A former public school teacher, education policy researcher, and PhD candidate, Mandela Schumacher-Hodge co-founded Tioki, the “The LinkedIn for Educators,” in 2011. Funded by Kapor Capital, 500 Startups, and Imagine K12, Tioki empowered educators in 28 countries with tools and techniques to position themselves for employment and career advancement. In 2013, Mandela was appointed the Global Director of Education Entrepreneurs, a Gates Foundation initiative operated within UP Global (now Techstars). Within the first year, her team expanded the programming from three to six continents, officially establishing it as the largest effort in the world focused on teaching people how to use entrepreneurship to improve education.
In 2014, Mandela was named to the Forbes “30 Under 30 in Education” list, and in 2015, Mandela gave a TEDx speech entitled “Why Education Needs Entrepreneurs,” that’s well on its way to being one of the most impactful talks on education in recent years. Over the past four years, Mandela has advised hundreds of aspiring entrepreneurs around the world, and she currently publishes new startup advice on her blog every week.