We contribute to the world by making evidence-based, easy-to-use tools that advance school wellness and wholeness.
Our story is a bit unconventional. We started in EdTech at Illuminate Education back in 2009. During that time, we helped grow the company from a small startup to one of the country's biggest K-12 assessment platforms. (Now used by 17M+ students). After Illuminate, we felt it was time to apply our technology smarts to a new worthwhile problem. But what?
Unknowingly, the seeds for Kelvin took root years ago during high school. All three of Kelvin's co-founders struggled in school for different reasons. Zach, a high-performing "camouflage student", moved often and never felt connected or engaged. Baxter (or Julian) was wrestling with fallout from childhood trauma. And Matt hid out in teachers’ classrooms and the library to avoid bullies. Both Zach and Baxter dropped out of high school when they were sixteen. Unfortunately, stories like these aren't unique by any means. Countless young people confront headwinds like trauma, poverty, discrimination, anxiety, depression, and bullying. (And not all students have the many advantages and supports that we did.) We saw the importance of these factors through our own experiences, but what did the research say?
We delved into the research and talked with our educator friends—superintendents, researchers, brain scientists, teachers, school administrators, counselors, etc. And we discovered that social-emotional factors play a measurable and significant role in learning. How a student feels has a direct connection to how they do in school, and these things impact outcomes like academics, attendance, behavior, and even longterm mental wellness. We found a purpose for our technical abilities and now look to build tools to ensure all students feel 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.