“I like to tell people I started the company in fifth grade. That’s a lie. But, I was diagnosed with a bunch of learning disabilities as a kid and I really struggled in school. I had this teacher that totally changed my life, named Miss Whitefield. My parents were really involved in my education. So the whole hypothesis of the company was based on the belief that, if we could figure out a way to increase parental engagement and help make teachers better teachers; if I can give every kid a Miss Whitefield on a really big scale, what does the world look like?” – Brett Kopf
Before Brett had reached the age of 30, he was named to Fast Company’s most creative people and he was founder and CEO of Remind, a classroom app that connects over 30 million students, parents, and teachers and hit #1 in the Apple App Store.
How did he get to this point, and what did he look like as a kid? Thankfully, Brett shared a great photo of himself at the age of 7.
He did not look like a budding entrepreneur as a child, and if we saw him as a sophomore in college, he said he compared himself to a boiling pot of water. He didn’t fit into the system. School was so hard for him.
As he came closer to the end of his sophomore year, Brett said he came to the realization that he couldn’t just go work for a company after he got out of school.
He realized he had a lot of creative energy and he wanted to solve a problem. Brett credits one of his college professors, Dr. Glenn Sterner (now at Penn State) for really helping put him on the road to creating Remind, the company.
Brett recalled that he ended up majoring in Agriculture after 5 majors because his grades weren’t good enough (that was the system). In the Agriculture Department, he became a Bailey Scholar (at Michigan State) which was part of an experiential, cooperative, and interest-based learning program.
Students were asked what they wanted to learn about, and if one student suggested kayaking, another cooking, and another technology, they would interconnect the different subjects to become a shared curriculum. Brett was interested in technology, but didn’t know anything about it…so Glen gave him a push, and said, “Go do it!”
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Check out Brett’s company, REMIND.