Last month, Arjun Mehta, grade 12, was featured in a Silicon Valley Business Journal story about his latest project, a whiteboard and conferencing app known as Stoodle, which has also been received coverage in Yahoo! Finance.
Mehta, whose previous business sold for $200 million, got the idea for Stoodle during his first year at Harker. Shortly after transferring to Harker during his sophomore year, “I noticed a significant difference from the public school I attended my freshman year and realized that there was a great opportunity to connect students from different schools to share knowledge,” he said.
Developed by Mehta, Simar Mangat ’13 and senior Divyahans Gupta, Stoodle enables students to collaborate on things such as school projects and homework assignments. Maverick McNealy ’13 was also involved in the project, but left due to his growing golf career.
When legendary entrepreneur Vinod Khosla visited Harker as the keynote speaker for the 2012 Research Symposium, Mehta spoke to him about Stoodle. Khosla referred Mehta to his wife, Neeru, who was impressed with Stoodle and its team. Neeru’s CK-12 Foundation, which provides open source educational materials to students and teachers, soon began funding Stoodle, which is already generating buzz. Just this week, Stoodle was one of about 40 companies featured at the “Education Datapalooza” held at the White House, a joint event run by the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy and the Departments of Education and Treasury, which showcased apps and services available to help students succeed.
“The response has been fantastic,” Mehta said. “Teachers and students across the nation are praising Stoodle.org for its helpfulness, flexibility and ease-of-use, as well as, of course, for being free.” The tool reportedly already has thousands of users since launching last month, and Gordon Jones, managing director of the Harvard Innovation Lab, recently joined the company’s board, alongside Neeru Khosla, Richard Schmalensee, dean emeritus of MIT’s Sloan School of Management and Stanford Graduate School chief technology officer Paul Kim.
“The positive buzz we have been getting from educators across the country has been overwhelming,” said Mehta. “People are loving it! Notable individuals like U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Jim Shelton have also recognized and tweeted about us! As you can probably tell from my excessive exclamation mark use, this is a very exciting time for my team and me!” he finished.
In addition to Stoodle, Mehta also has worked with head of school Chris Nikoloff, advancement head Joe Rosenthal and business and entrepreneurship teacher Juston Glass to form a startup incubator for Harker students. Mehta said his experience with the business and entrepreneurship program has been “very beneficial, mostly through the quality of individuals the school invites to campus.”