Current 2017 Fellows
Jingwen Tao, Senior Fellow
Jingwen Tao is a Senior Fellow at Learn Capital. Prior to Learn Capital, Jingwen worked at 17zuoye (Homework-Together), one of the largest EduTech companies in China, and led their business development and strategy team. While there, she initiated and facilitated strategy partnerships with companies across different industries, including publishing, gaming, technology, educational training, and animation. She started her career as a venture capitalist in China and then worked for Bain & Co. as a strategy consultant. Jingwen graduated from MIT with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Science.
Megan Pierce, Undergraduate Fellow
Megan is currently an undergraduate student at the University of California Los Angeles, pursuing a degree in Business Economics and Accounting — she hopes to pursue a career in finance and social entrepreneurship upon graduation. As a fellow at Learn Capital, Megan seeks to aid in the discovery of technology startups focused on solving the systemic problems facing the educational sector today.
Marissa Lowman, Senior Fellow
Marissa Lowman is a Senior Fellow at Learn Capital. Prior to Learn Capital, Marissa co-founded LearnLaunch, an edtech accelerator, community, and co-working space in Boston. While there, she developed and scaled the Across Boundaries conference, grew the community to over 5,000 members, and helped select the first three accelerator classes. She began her career as a Fulbright Teaching Fellow and has worked at leading educational non-profits. Marissa graduated with honors from Johns Hopkins University and recently completed her MBA at Cornell Tech.
Vinit Sukhija, Senior Fellow
Now an Associate with Learn Capital, Vinit Sukhija started as a Senior Fellow. He formerly led Teach For America’s Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation Initiative for two years, where he supported and invested in over 200 early-stage education entrepreneurs and was named to Forbes’ 2015 30 Under 30 in Education. He boasts a diverse range of experiences at the intersection of education and entrepreneurship, including serving as a Judge and Coach for several Startup Weekend EDU events, a Judge for Yale School of Management’s Education Business Plan Competition, a Strategy Consultant for the Charter School Growth Fund, an Advisory Board Member for two education non-profits, and a high school mathematics teacher in the South Central and South Gate communities of Los Angeles. Vinit graduated summa cum laude from UC Berkeley and recently earned his MBA from MIT Sloan.
James Leo, Senior Fellow
Now heading up US Strategy and Business Operations for VIPKID, James began his career in education investing at University Ventures, a venture capital fund dedicated to impact in the postsecondary education space. He began his professional career when he dropped out during his sophomore year of high school to join the army after 9/11. He deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), led and trained an infantry platoon, and now serves in the Army Reserves as a military intelligence officer. He has graduated from the non-commissioned officers’ leadership course (Distinguished Honor Graduate), Officer Candidate School, and the US Army’s Intelligence school (Van Deman honors).
James graduated magna cum laude from the University of Southern California as a Renaissance Scholar where he studied Philosophy (Ethics), Business, and Engineering Technology Commercialization. He is currently a master’s student in Stanford’s Learning, Design & Technology program.
Brook Bisrat, Senior Fellow
Now the Director of Impact Operations at Learn Capital, Brook Bisrat started as a Senior Fellow. Prior to this, Brook worked as a Macro and Commodities Derivatives Assistant at Infinium Capital Management. During his time there he helped found the Macro Team and taught traders technical analysis. He also spent time as a Macro Futures Trader and Global Derivatives Technical Analyst at Yellowstone Capital Management and Raven Traders. While there, he established Macro Groups for both organizations, and worked closely with multiple portfolio managers. Most recently he worked in Operations at Oscar Health Insurance and Kindrid.
Sharon Li, Fellow
Sharon is currently an MBA candidate at Harvard Business School. Prior to business school, she worked across education, finance, and technology sectors. She started her career at RBC Capital Markets in the Mergers and Acquisitions group primarily covering technology companies. After investment banking, she worked in the K-12 sector with Rocketship Education, a high-performing charter network in under-served communities.
Most recently, she worked in higher education with University of California (UC) systemwide headquarters, which serves UC’s 10 universities and 5 medical centers. In both organizations, she worked closely with the CFO and senior management driving strategic initiatives and supporting financial operations. Sharon is interested in advancing education and learning via innovative business models.
Brad Popiolek, Senior Fellow
Brad Popiolek is a Senior Fellow at Learn Capital. Prior to joining Learn Capital, Brad spent the last nine years in educational technology as a product strategist focused on higher education and lifelong learning. Brad was most recently the enterprise product manager at Degreed during a period of growth from thirty to over 100 partners. He was the director of product at Uversity through the acquisition by TargetX; where Brad led the development of the first real-time predictive analytics solution and native mobile applications.
Before his experience in start-ups, Brad worked in the for-profit and traditional higher education sector. At Apollo Education Group, Brad led an academically-focused social network for online students. His entry into technology was at the University of Texas at Austin where Brad was responsible for Wayfinder, a website to help undergraduate students choose their academic and career path. Brad earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina and received an MS in Higher Education Administration at Florida State University.
Guilherme Nazareth de Souza, Fellow
Guilherme dropped out of university at the age of 17, frustrated with the quality of traditional higher education. A year later, he joined the founding class of Minerva, and got inspired by how new education models can solve old problems. At the age of 19, he joined Learn Capital as a fellow, and seeks to transform how we teach to make education more affordable and efficient.
Elaine Dang, Fellow
Elaine is currently an MBA candidate at the Yale School of Management. Prior to business school, she had a career in education and social entrepreneurship. Elaine taught high school math through Teach For America (TFA) and later joined TFA to lead part of their recruitment efforts in Southern California. She was connected to Learn Capital through her previous work with Bridge International Academies, a low-cost high quality school network and one of Learn Capital’s portfolio companies. She is interested in innovative business models that solve an educational need, particularly for underserved communities.
Alexandra Sukin, Undergraduate Fellow
Alexandra is an undergraduate at Harvard University where she is the youngest board member of Harvard Ventures and Co-director of Harvard VentureWorks, a student-run accelerator that supports startups from Harvard’s undergraduate, business and law schools. She is also a founding team member of Intercollegiate Pitchoff. Alexandra joined Learn Capital as a Summer Fellow and is interested in the process and implementation of innovation as applied to education.
Former 2016 – 2017 Fellows