Startup Sunday Season 1 Episode 14 (Khan Academy)

khan-logo-vertical-transparentImagine you post a video today on YouTube. The response to that video inspires you to make more videos. 10 years later you become one among the top 100 most influential people on earth. You receive a Padma Shri (The fourth highest civilian award) in India. When people live by the quote “Little drops make an ocean”, they become an inspiration for the whole world. Salman Amin “Sal” Khan is one such inspiration.Born in Louisiana to Asian parents, Khan was motivated in making other people learn. He might not have thought by then that this trait of him would take him places. After graduating from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Mathematics, Electrical engineering and Computer Science, he went on to do his MBA from Harvard. Khan worked as a hedge fund analyst at Connective Capital Management.

It all started when Khan was teaching his cousin, Nadia, mathematics through Yahoo’s doodle notepad. After interests towards his tutoring by his relatives and friends, Khan created an account on YouTube November 16, 2006. His videos and the way of teaching were more than welcome among the masses. He still recalls the comments which were posted under his videos encouraging him to do more on different subjects.

Three years after the first video was posted, Khan quit his job as a financial analyst after seeing the overwhelming response to his videos. Khan with the help of his close friend Josh Genfer concentrated to develop on the YouTube channel which already was receiving huge viewership. The YouTube channel generated 458 million views. Viewers included students and non-students. After the enormous success of the YouTube channel, Khan also launched his website, Khan Academy, where teachers, students and parents can register as users in the website from where they can take quizzes, prescribe homework and monitor progress of a student. As of October 2016, there are more than 2.8 million subscribers.

The khan academy is presently offering videos for free on Mathematics, Science and Engineering, Computing, Arts and Humanities, Economics and Finance. The website also provides test preparation training such as SAT, MCAT, IIT JEE, GMAT, NCLEX-RN and CASHEE. Khan Academy has consistently been one of the attractive and promising ventures to invest. Since the startup is into developing multi-lingual digital classrooms to cater the needs of all the people throughout the world, there has been a sudden raise in investments from abroad through donations and corporate investments. Khan academy in total has received 10.2 million USD through funding as of now. Khan draws $556000 a year in compensation. The other employees of Khan Academy earn more than $100000 a year.

After inviting Khan as a speaker at TED, Bill Gates revealed that he himself uses Khan Academy software to teach his own children. In 2009, Khan Academy received the Microsoft Tech Award for education. There are many high profile sponsors to this venture like Google who donate money which would help Khan Academy develop new courses. Khan was the receiver of the Heinz Award in the area of “Human Condition”. In 2016, Khan was awarded with the Padma Shri. (The fourth largest civilian award in India)

“One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries”

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