Zynga Co-founder’s Junyo Is Using Big Data To Help EdTech Companies Better Understand What Schools Really Need


In 2011, Steve Schoettler left Zynga, the company he had co-founded four years earlier, to devote himself to a new project, called Junyo. With interest in education technology beginning to take hold, Shoettler and his co-founders at Junyo set out to leverage the growing capabilities of Big Data tools and analytics to tackle some of the deep-seated problems in K-12 education. Chief among those was using data to help schools get a more complete picture of student performance, along with helping schools to answer an important question: What should we teach students next — and how?

While the startup’s blended learning software attracted nearly a dozen schools, Junyo soon found itself trying to solve too many problems at once. The archaic infrastructure and lack of data standards meant that, to build the most effective solution for its partners, it would be biting off more than it could chew. The…

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