We build evidence-based, equitable, easy-to-use tools to promote student and educator success.
Our story is a bit unconventional. We began our journey in EdTech at Illuminate Education, where we helped grow the company from a small startup to one of the nation’s biggest K-12 assessment tools (now used by 17M+ students). But after a decade of working at Illuminate, we felt it was time to hang up our hats and apply our technology smarts to a new worthwhile problem. But what?
Unknowingly, the seeds for Kelvin were planted years ago when we were still in high school. All three of us struggled in school for different reasons. Baxter was dealing with fallout from childhood trauma; as a high-performing but quiet "camouflage kid," Zach moved around a lot and never felt settled or connected in school; and Matt hid out in teachers’ classrooms and the library to avoid being bullied. Baxter and Zach both dropped out of highschool at sixteen. Unfortunately, stories like these are too common. Countless children and young people confront headwinds like trauma, poverty, discrimination, excessive pressure to perform, anxiety, depression, bullying, etc., and not everyone has the many advantages and supports that we did. We knew firsthand these things were important to student success. But what did the research say?
As we delved into the literature and talked to our educator friends (superintendents, researchers, brain scientists, teachers, school administrators, counselors, etc.), we discovered that these factors play a significant role in learning and are correlated to student outcomes like academics, attendance, behavior, and even longterm mental wellness. We had found our purpose by following the thread of our personal experiences and research: to use our technical skills to make sure all students are seen, valued, and supported.
We started out with three nerds looking for a way to use our technical skills to improve students’ lives. We’re also designers, programmers, product managers, tinkerers, engineers, parents, and hard workers.