BY Stephen Nartey, 2:00pm May 29, 2023,

This tech funder raised $4M to support 100 universities to bridge the gap between education and technology

With a strong commitment to improving access to education and empowering students, Heather has made significant contributions to the sector. Photo credit: Heather Hiles via LinkedIn

Over the last 25 years, Heather Hiles has directed her energy toward helping people to identify and enhance their academic and professional aspirations. However, when she set out to pursue her dreams several years ago, her aspirations weren’t directed at the education sector. She and a friend aimed to develop a document-sharing site that would enable families to share videos of fun moments.

However, when they launched the app, they noticed it was more helpful to teachers than the families they had targeted. Educators used the platform to store data on students’ learning history and their accomplishments; which her colleague felt was a deviation from the vision they had invested time and money to materialize. This stirred up an unforeseen conflict between the co-founders when Heather thought they could redefine their goals to serve the interest of the academic community.

After a long-drawn battle, Heather finally run Pathbrite, which aligned with her passion for working towards bridging gaps between education and achievements, according to Leanin.

Today, she is a celebrated leader and entrepreneur in the field of education technology. With a strong commitment to improving access to education and empowering students, Heather has made significant contributions to the sector. Her notable achievements include raising $4 million to support 100 universities and students through Pathbrite.

Heather holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and ethnic studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.B.A. in finance and strategic planning from Yale University. Prior to her involvement with Pathbrite, she worked at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Although she eventually resigned, her time with the foundation allowed her to gain valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities within the education landscape.

This experience played a pivotal role in shaping her vision, driving her to pursue ventures that would have a meaningful impact on students and educational institutions. She also pioneered Imminent Equity, a growth equity fund.

Heather has always been passionate about leveraging technology to transform education. She recognized the potential of digital tools to enhance learning experiences, provide personalized instruction, and bridge the gap between traditional classrooms and the digital world. Armed with this conviction, she embarked on a journey to create innovative solutions that could address the evolving needs of students and educators.

In her role as the leader of Pathbrite, she has demonstrated her entrepreneurial spirit, securing significant funding to support universities and students. Her accomplishment in raising $4 million to help 100 universities reflects the confidence investors had in her vision and the potential of her venture. Pathbrite aimed to empower learners by providing them with a platform to showcase their achievements, build portfolios, and develop skills that would enhance their career prospects.

Heather’s impact extends beyond Pathbrite; her leadership and expertise have been recognized in various spheres of education. In 2019, she was appointed to lead California’s Online Community College, a groundbreaking initiative aimed at providing affordable, accessible, and high-quality education to working adults in the state.

Her journey in education technology exemplifies her dedication to breaking down barriers and improving educational opportunities for all. Her experience at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as her pursuit of ventures like Pathbrite, highlight her drive to create positive change in the field of education. With her continued efforts, Heather remains an influential figure, inspiring others and making a lasting impact on the education technology landscape.

Last Edited by:Editor Updated: June 11, 2023


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