About University Startups

Creating Opportunity

University Startups is committed to creating opportunities for students to discover pathways to higher education and better careers. The organization develops pathways to college and the workforce through access to college preparation, internships and new career opportunities. 

Supported by a leading team, partnering with nonprofits and foundations, and offering a virtually delivered hands-on program, we’re set on changing hearts and minds through the power of entrepreneurship. 

Leadership Team

Marc Steren

Co-Founder and Co-CEO

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John Jabara

Co-Founder and Co-CEO

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Laura Lee Williams

SVP of Corporate Development

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Tremain Davis

Chief Strategy Officer

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Khuram Zaman

Chief Technology Officer

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Katherine Zmoda

SVP of Operations

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Erica Beard

VP of Sales

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Le-Marie Thompson

Non-Profit Business Development

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Brooke Smith

Lead Curriculum Designer

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Tami Levey

VP of Customer Development

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Board of Advisors

Melissa Potter

Vice President Strategy and Impact at Paramount, Board member National Jobs Corp

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Ravi Puli

President and CEO intl Solutions, connections to India ecosystem

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Marla Beck

Co-Founder and former CEO, Blue Mercury

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Byron Garrett

CEO, National Family Engagement Alliance

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Bobby Tahir

CTO, Hobsons

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Dan Cohen

Executive Director, Center for Entrepreneurship, Wake Forest University

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Jon Issacson

Chief Financial and Corporate Development Officer, Lefteris Acquisition Corp

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Featuring Professors From Top Tier Business Schools

The story behind “University Startups”

In the early days of the pandemic, our founders, both academics and entrepreneurs, created an online course for high school students on how to launch a social impact venture. Utilizing proprietary online resources while students were at home, they were able to teach students and provide a different style of learning with access to top tier professors.

The initial course was a success, not only igniting an entrepreneurship flame in many participants, but several of the students went on to elite colleges in an entrepreneurship-related career path.

As the company grew, they connected with a foundation looking for ways to reach under-resourced high school students and they knew this program was exactly what was needed. A connection between teaching, the style of learning, the lived experience of building a business and the desired result - leading to increase in college admittance. 

And that’s how University Startups was born. 

Building off that first idea, University Startups provides a transformational learning process that creates pathways for success, in school and beyond. The program opens doors to college preparation, internships and new career opportunities.

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