From Inspiration to Innovation: Kauffman Adds Insights from More Founders on Khan Academy Entrepreneurship Series

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Five successful entrepreneurs add to collection of startup stories on Khan Academy at

New content posted today on the Kauffman/Khan Academy entrepreneurship interview series features founders of five vastly different companies whose innovations have reinvented their industries. Adding to a collection of founders already featured in the series, the latest contributors share how they started in their garage, home or apartment with an idea and today run growing companies.

Presented in a conversational format with accompanying illustrations, the 14 videos feature five entrepreneurs who share insights that include ideas for how to pivot from startup to growth stage, how filing patents can protect intellectual property and how navigating the challenges of running a business is like sailing through unexpected currents.

The entrepreneurs featured in the new interview series are:

  •     Jason Christiansen, president and CEO, Rigid Industries, projecting LED technology manufacturer and distributor
  •     LaKeshia Grant, CEO, Virtual Enterprise Architects, IT consulting firm
  •     Linda Jeschofnig, co-founder, Hands-On Labs, science distance learning materials and services
  •     Renaud Laplanche, founder, Lending Club, online credit marketplace
  •     Dave Smith, CEO and founder, TekScape IT, technology consulting services

Founders already featured in the series include Giles Shih, president and CEO of BioResource International; Lara Morgan, founder of Pacific Direct; Marc Ecko, founder of Ecko Unlimited; Richard Branson, chairman of the Virgin Group; T.A. McCann, founder and CEO of Gist; and Zach Kaplan, CEO of Inventables.

Personal lessons and insights from accomplished entrepreneurs are the basis of the Khan Academy online interview series produced by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The series represents the first entrepreneurship content to be added to the Academy’s vast collection of free online educational tutorials and learning resources, potentially inspiring its 6 million student users a month.

Since launching in the fall of 2013, the series has generated more than 144,000 views. The Kauffman Foundation will continually add new content featuring more entrepreneurs. To see the Kauffman/Khan entrepreneurship interview series, go to


About the Kauffman Foundation

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that aims to foster economic independence by advancing educational achievement and entrepreneurial success. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo., and has approximately $2 billion in assets. For more information, visit, and follow the Foundation on and

About Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a 501(c)3 non-profit with a mission of providing a free world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Khan Academy provides free online educational materials (e.g., practice exercises, instructional videos, dashboard analytics, teacher tools) that support personalized education for users of all ages in a scalable way. To date, the organization has delivered over 360 million lessons and 1.9 billion exercise problems. Currently it has 10 million users per month and over 4 million exercise problems completed each day. Khan Academy covers subjects from basic Math to college level Biology and Art History. For more information visit

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Rose Levy
Goldin Solutions
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Charlotte Koeniger
Khan Academy
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