Jim Lobdell

Jim Lobdell

Venture Partner

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

William Butler Yeats

Jim is an accidental entrepreneur, eschewing the investment banking path that so many of his Stanford classmates took to try to make a difference as a teacher. His classroom was a lively, noisy testament to the power of hands-on learning, which he later codified as History Alive! when he co-founded Teachers’ Curriculum Institute. Five years in the classroom and three education startups later, he is still driven to make the educational experience more meaningful for all students.

Why Education?

Because all students deserve captivating learning experiences where the energy in the classroom is palpable, where the conversation is lively and animated, where kids lose track of time, and where the lines between “smart” and “struggling” students blur. Every time I see students engaged like this, I want to give the teacher a big high-five.

Little Known Facts

  • Member of two NCAA championship water polo teams
  • Had an aborted 3-week stint as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines
  • Played a mean saxophone as a teenager
  • Was married at a hunting lodge


  • Desmos
  • Kaymbu
  • KickUp