Founder & CEO
Adam started Abl to help all schools move beyond the 20th century model of education. Two and a half decades after dropping out of high school, he returned to the field of education to rethink the structure of school as we know it. His career has been focused on helping organizations become more agile and responsive, and now he brings this expertise to schools. Prior to Abl, Adam co-founded Yammer in 2008, ultimately creating one of the fastest growing SaaS companies of all time. He oversaw product, analytics, and engineering, scaling the company to 500 employees until Yammer sold to Microsoft in 2012 for $1.2 Billion. To clear his head, Adam also enjoys long bike rides, backpacking, and rock climbing.
Parul has an affinity for the extracurricular. Her toy making in elementary school, photography in middle school, involvement with Future Problem Solvers in high school, and ongoing experiments at UC Berkeley and the MIT Media Lab were all possible with the privilege of her public K-12 education. After dabbling in other social sectors at Farmers Business Network, Puddle, Wikipedia, and IDEO.org, Parul joined Abl because she thinks education is “the great equalizer and balance wheel of social machinery.” With the rest of the Abl team and partners, she wants to true that wheel. Parul lives in San Francisco with her husband and son, and can frequently be found on her bike, in her kitchen, or tinkering in the shop.
Ryan joined Abl to help the millions of people underserved by our present education system. Reflecting on his own unorthodox path through college made him realize what a significant impact environment can have on student outcomes. As a result, he is passionate about partnering with schools to design environments that encourage all types of students to discover those unique paths. Before joining Abl, Ryan was an early employee at Yammer, where he worked with Adam on the engineering leadership team. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and dog.
Amy is an educator hungry to rethink the factory model of education. She is fascinated by episodic and incremental school redesigns aimed squarely at eliminating the achievement gap. Prior to joining Abl, she approached this problem in several roles, as a Teach For America Metro-DC Corps Member, teacher leader for Rocketship Education, and Principal of Rocketship Brilliant Minds. Amy holds a degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and is an alumna of Relay GSE’s National Principal Fellowship.
Growth & Impact
Chris Fitzgerald Walsh is an experienced K-12 educator, media producer, and entrepreneur. Since his days as a middle school teacher, Chris has leveraged digital tools to bring large scale innovations to teaching and learning. Most recently, Chris was the CEO of Zaption, an innovator in interactive video for learning; the company was acquired by Workday in 2016. Chris has held leadership positions with numerous national education organizations including New Tech Network (NTN), Edutopia, WestEd, and the KIPP Foundation. He also co-founded the Google Teacher Academy, and he is the creator and executive producer of the Infinite Thinking Machine. Chris earned his M.A. in “Learning, Design, and Technology” from Stanford, and a B.A. and M.Ed. from UCLA. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with family, traveling, kayaking, and searching for the perfect chocolate chip cookie.
A storyteller by day (and wine enthusiast by night), Heather owes her love for the written word to a handful of exceptional English teachers in high school and college. But even in a sea of wonderful educators, most students lack the opportunity to experience personalized learning. Heather joined Abl to bring a more democratized approach to learning to schools everywhere. Before Abl, Heather cut her teeth in marketing communications at Yammer, and later joined Postmates, where she led content for the on-demand delivery giant. She holds a BA in English from Dartmouth College.
Abiy believes education plays a crucial role in narrowing the income gap. He’s excited to be part of Abl to foster a more inclusive education system. He is also proud to contribute to a mission driven company; prior to Abl, Abiy worked as a Software Engineer at Ripple to make financial inclusion more of a reality. In his free time, Abiy enjoys Adventure Motorcycle Touring.
Jen is a designer who, after her 5-year-old started kindergarten, was surprised to discover that schools haven’t changed much since she herself was in elementary school. She joined Abl to help rethink the ways in which K12 schools can move away from the one-size-fits-all model. A former designer at frog, Jen understands the importance of users and empathizing with their needs during the design process. And if you happen see someone flying effortlessly up a steep San Francisco hill on a beautifully designed bicycle, it just might be Jen! (the ‘flying’ part courtesy of a nice electric assist).
Jay Wright manages full-cycle recruiting at Abl. Throughout his career, he has helped various Mobile, E-commerce, and SaaS startups build strategic recruitment models in addition to leading executive searches. He joined Abl because he believes this new category of EdTech has the potential to transform student outcomes and spark real social change. Jay received his BA in Film & Media from UC Berkeley.
Ravi considers it an ethical imperative to use his skills to help give voice and power to the underrepresented and underprivileged. He joined Abl because this imperative is also at the heart of what education – as an equalizer – strives for. Abl offers Ravi the opportunity to help fundamentally transform education to close the opportunity gap. Before joining Abl, Ravi led the implementation of a microservices architecture at Renew Financial, a fintech company tackling climate change and energy inequality by providing accessible clean energy financing. When not slinging code or debating whiteboard drawings, Ravi can usually be found playing his piano or riding his bike, but rarely at the same time. He holds a diploma from Los Cerros Middle School in Danville, California.
Ren had an incredibly positive experience in public school and is often surprised to meet people who did not. After unexpected turns at Accenture and Okta as a UI expert in the unglamorous realm of enterprise security, she wondered how she could help address inconsistencies in the education system. While many EdTech companies bring innovation to the classroom, Ren loves that Abl gives her the opportunity to improve the daily lives of teachers. In her spare time, she is a bedroom music producer, mediocre indoor rock climber, and avid pastry cook.
Gene is a software engineer who has always wanted his work to reflect his beliefs. After 3 previous years in EdTech, including first hand experience working with school administrators to understand their greatest challenges, Gene joined Abl to help the educational industry test, track, and iterate more quickly on pedagogical theories. Originally from Australia and now living in San Francisco, Gene spends his spare time caring for his dog Macy or getting fit in the gym.
Partner, Charter School
Co-Founder & Partner,
Co-Founder & Partner,
Co-Founder & CPO,
Partner, Owl Ventures
Board Member, Abl
Director of Education,
College Ready at Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation
Co-Founder, Reach Capital
Partner, First Round Capital