We want students to love reading.

That is why we are building the best ereader for students. For too many, reading simply is not as educational and rewarding as it should be. We are working to reinvent reading so that students understand and remember what they read, build connections between texts and build knowledge. Our software helps teachers use great texts to promote deep learning and helps students explore texts to actively construct knowledge.

As a company, we want to help students learn, think, and become people who do great things. We are optimistic about what thinking young people can accomplish and we look forward to the world they will build.

The Team

Deep Sran

Dr. Deep Sran

Chief Academic Officer · Co-Founder

Deep has been on a mission to improve formal education for over 15 years. He is the Founder of Loudoun School for the Gifted, a private school for grades 6-12 in Ashburn, VA. Prior to opening his own school, Deep was a teacher and curriculum director at the Cesar Chavez Public Charter High School in DC. He has taught students from middle school through graduate school and is passionate about solving the difficulties educators and students encounter in reaching their true learning potential. Deep completed a Ph.D. in Human Development after obtaining a J.D. from Georgetown and practicing corporate law for several years.

Deep first “read to learn” in college, thanks to great teachers who assigned rich texts and led students in far-reaching discussions about those texts. Specifically, his Shakespeare professor spent the first month of class reading King Lear aloud, so that students paid close attention to the language and meaning. In high school, Shakespeare was a chore. In college, because of a single teacher, the richness of Shakespeare’s work and the value of reading closely were clear.

Jay Goyal

Jay Goyal

CEO · Co-Founder

Jay’s experience spans several sectors with one common theme - using technology to solve important problems. Most recently, he worked at Microsoft as a Director of Bing Mobile strategy and business development, where he led a billion dollar search and commerce deal with Nokia. Previously, he improved systems and processes at a startup microfinance organization in Honduras, led manpower and process design as one of the first 25 members of the Transportation Security Administration, and helped launch a web content management startup. Jay received his MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Economics and Public Policy from Duke.

Jay’s favorite book in high school was Of Human Bondage, because his teacher pushed him to constantly ask, “which is better to follow, passion or reason?” Maybe because of what happened with main character Philip, Jay tends to follow reason.

Anish Mehta

Anish Mehta

Director of Engineering

Anish has been coding ever since he can remember, always wanting to be self-sufficient and thus developing expertise across the entire technology stack. Most recently Anish worked at Amazon, designing and implementing the retail email platform for all international marketplaces. Previously, he spent 3 years at Microsoft in Bing Shopping. Anish builds mobile apps and websites in his spare time and won the Apps for Californians contest in 2010. He graduated with a degree in engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Anish’s favorite book is Catch-22 from 9th grade English class. Anish always marvels at the paradoxical situations he notices every day, and in his mind nobody has been able to capture them better than Joseph Heller did.

Christian Marc Schmidt

Christian Marc Schmidt

Director of Design

Christian’s experience spans the fields of information design, interaction design, and media installation. Previously, he worked at the design firms IDEO and Pentagram, and was an interaction designer in Online Services at Microsoft. His work has received recognition from organizations such as D&AD, the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), Print Magazine, and the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). Christian has taught in the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at New York University and the Visual Communication Design program at the University of Washington, and regularly serves as visiting critic at graduate and undergraduate design programs. Christian holds a BFA from Parsons School of Design in New York, and an MFA from Yale University.

Christian’s favorite book is The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster, for it's postmodern narrative and surrealist portrayal of New York.

Allison Ragasa

Allison Ragasa

Director of Sales

Allison has been connecting schools with technology for almost 10 years. Whether building technology, classroom technology, hardware or software, she has seen student engagement and teachers excitement increase with each new implementation. A Northwest Native, Allison graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A in Political Science and Communications.

Allison's favorite book is Little Women and she continues to have a fondness for stories about women and girls all over the world, from many different time periods.

Scott Freschet

Scott Freschet

Director of Growth

Scott’s focus - for almost a decade - has been helping deliver internet applications and content to people around the world. For most of this time, he worked at Yahoo! across various business lines. Most recently, he worked as a Product Manager to acquire a crowd-sourced content platform that powers popular Yahoo! media sites with original content . Previously, he modeled growth forecasts, helped define search partnerships and tracked all advertising revenue generated from Yahoo!’s mobile offerings. Scott received his B.A. in Business Economics and Global Studies from UCLA and recently attended Draper University in Silicon Valley.

Scott enjoys reading current events and blogs. His perfect morning would include a copy of the New York Times, a cup of tea and Feedly to read his favorite bloggers.

Joe Ngai

Joe Ngai

Customer Development Manager

Joe is a former Teach for America Corps Member, teaching at Ada S. McKinley in Chicago. He was the lead teacher of a Head Start classroom, aimed to improve children’s literacy and writing skills. Joe graduated with a B.A. in History and Chinese Language and Culture from Northwestern in 2011.

Joe’s favorite book is Perfume, by Patrick Suskind. Although he read Perfume during his sophomore year at Northwestern, Joe is still haunted by Suskind’s vivid characterization of Grenouille, the novel’s sociopathic protagonist.

Karen Nitzkin

Karen Nitzkin

Reading Specialist

As the reading specialist for Actively Learn, Karen provides pedagogical insight to drive product features and teacher adoption. She has over 10 years of experience teaching English, Humanities, and Reading Intervention classes, grades 7-12, in public and independent schools. She earned her B.A. in English Literature from Northwestern University and a M.A. in English Education from Columbia University.

Karen loved reading Thornton Wilder’s Our Town in 11th grade American Literature class. The play states, “...everybody knows in their bones that something is eternal, and that something has to do with human beings.” She remembers when her teacher asked, “What is that thing about human beings that is eternal?”. Karen now poses this question to her students when they read the play. She is still carefully considering her own response.

Advisory Board

Jordan Meranus

Jordan Meranus is currently the CEO of Ellevation Education which provides an innovative suite of software tools to manage ELL programs. Jordan is an entrepreneur who has helped start and lead a number of high-impact education organizations. Most recently, Jordan was a Partner at NewSchools Venture Fund, a nonprofit organization that helps entrepreneurs develop innovative organizations that help address some of the most intractable challenges in public education. At NewSchools Jordan worked extensively with technology organizations, and helped to incubate new education organizations on a number of occasions. Prior to NewSchools, Jordan was a Managing Director at Imagitas, where he launched an e-government business to help federal agencies provide better services to citizens. Jordan is also a co-founder of Jumpstart, a national nonprofit organization that provides intensive early literacy services to low-income children in dozens of cities across the country. Prior to Jumpstart, Jordan was a teacher. Jordan received his bachelor's degree in history from Duke University and earned a master's degree in both Education and Public Administration from Harvard.

Steve Nordmark

Steve Nordmark is the Chief Academic Officer at Knovation. He has over 20 years of experience in research and development of custom software solutions, with over 15 of those focused on enhancing the opportunities of under-served populations in K-12 schools. His goal is to create dialog, collaboration and ideas around innovative uses of technology to help the child – no matter where that child is – reach his fullest potential because he has access to tools that will help him learn. As the Chief Academic Officer, Steve focuses on the future vision of educational technology to support personalized learning. He researches, tracks, and analyzes trends in learning sciences, interoperability and technology architecture foundations for next generation learning systems. Prior to Knovation, Steve was instrumental in developing strategic alliances with print publishers, resulting in the rapid development and deployment of reading, language, and phonics software programs. As the vice president of research and development at Failure Free Reading, he expanded online solutions that increased the learning outcomes of the lowest literacy students. Steve earned a Bachelor's degree in Engineering from the University of Illinois and a Master's degree in Education from Florida Tech.

Dr. Patricia Alexander

Dr. Patricia Alexander is the Jean Mullan Professor of Literacy and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher in the Department of Human Development, Learning, and Quantitative Methodology at the University of Maryland. She has served as President of Division 15 (Educational Psychology) of the American Psychological Association, Vice-President of Division C (Learning and Instruction) of the American Educational Research Association, and Past-President of the Southwest Educational Research Association. A former middle-school teacher, Dr. Alexander received her reading specialist degree from James Madison University (1979) and her Ph.D. in reading from the University of Maryland (1981). Since receiving her Ph.D., Dr. Alexander has published over 270 articles, books, or chapters in the area of learning and instruction. She has also presented over 400 papers or invited addresses at national and international conferences.

Chris Daniels

Chris Daniels is currently Director of Business Development at Facebook. Prior to Facebook, Chris was at Microsoft for 5 years where he held various roles as GM of Bing Mobile Product Management, Director of Online Strategy and Director of Business Development. Before Microsoft, he was at Applied Semantics which sold to Google in 2003. Chris has an MBA from Duke University and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and Chemistry from Duke as well.