Kate Volzer is passionate about helping students find success in their pursuit of higher education. Upon completion of her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago, she began her career by serving in various student advisory roles for her alma mater while pursuing her MBA.
Immersed in this work, she became aware of a significant communication gap between various departments at the University—gaps that hindered the progress of helping students graduate faster and find the right jobs, while also making donation and alumni engagement goals more difficult to reach.
This realization is what sparked the idea for Wisr, the company Volzer co-founded in early 2016 alongside DecisionDesk CEO/Co-Founder John Knific and Beegit CTO/Co-Founder Kris Ciccarello. A JumpStart portfolio company, Wisr helps higher education institutions create knowledge sharing communities to track student and alumni engagement, leading to better outcomes for students, alumni and their schools.
Wisr dedicated much of their early launch efforts to customer discovery and extensive market validation prior to building their product, an approach that has paid off in rapid growth. Of 250 EdTech companies invited to present at the 2017 ASU+GSV Summit, Wisr was selected as one of three startups to be honored with a Venture Innovation Award—a remarkable honor given the company’s young age.
In the video below, Volzer introduces her business, discusses the keys to their early success and explains the vital importance of detailed customer discovery and client feedback.
Join Kate at Startup Scaleup for her panel, Strategic Money: Finding The Right Investors, where she’ll join local investors to discuss the relationship between entrepreneurs and funders. Learn more about her session and register for the event here: http://startupscaleup.org/schedule/strategic-money/.
This post is part of JumpStart’s “Insight” video series, a monthly feature introducing you to Northeast Ohio investors, entrepreneurs and organizations dedicated to helping entrepreneurs succeed.