Yesterday evening, I was one lucky education blogger when Michael Staton, CEO and co-founder of Inigral made the time and agreed to do a KWestions interview. I’m happy to share the exciting news as one of the first with you.
Inigral, sometimes called the Facebook of Higher Education, are now partner of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. In a $4 million Series B founding round the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation invested $2 million, joining the existing investors Retro Venture Partners and Founders Fund.
Michael having an educational background himself, experienced the struggle many freshmen have when they’re just about to start college at first hand. Based upon his observations and simultaneously seeing Facebook becoming increasingly popular amongst students, the team have been building Inigral as a Facebook app since 2007.
Its main and shared objectives with the Gates Foundation is to considerably lower the drop out rates of students during their first year at university and to empower students from low income families as well as first generation graduates. Although the reasons to drop out college are various as Michael explains in our talk, the social factors and pressure besides pure financial reasons need not to be underestimated.
Inigral’s success is an affirmative to my own idea that we as educators have to pick-up students where they spend their time already and facebook is apparently serving their expectations and needs much better compared to the more or less fruitless efforts of the past to implement an all new Higher Education only social network.
It was a delight talking with Michael and to experience his passion for what he does what I feel makes a significant difference as an entrepreneur and contributes massively to the success of an idea and therefore a company.
I hope, you will all enjoy the interview as much as I did.