Monthly Archives: June 2014

The GradeNation Story

Dave Nelsen, GradeNation LLC co-founder and Managing Partner.On May 26, 2009, Lou Piconi, then CEO of Apangea, and Dave Nelsen, President of Dialog Consulting Group (that’s me), met for lunch in downtown Pittsburgh. Lou described his vision for a system that could help parents access the best resources and right products when they want to help their kids do better in school (K-12). Indeed, parents spend roughly $10B annually on such services, but they’re spending the money based on marketing messages and based on what might have worked for their friends’ kids, independent of fit. In other words, parents are spending money randomly and not getting the best results.

What if a system could analyze each student’s unique situation using available state test scores, the child’s dominant learning style (visual, auditory, or kinesthetic), parent and teacher observations, and parental constraints (location, budget, desired level of involvement, etc.)? Continue reading

Coming Soon: Android App

The GradeNation team is hard at work building the initial version of its App for Android. The first application will feature live attendance and grade point average (GPA) reporting for students in the Pittsburgh Public Schools grades 9 through 12. By achieving at least 90% attendance and a 2.5 GPA, high school graduates can qualify for The Pittsburgh Promise, a $40,000 scholarship for college (or technical or trade school) in Pennsylvania.

Efficiency with Resources

Dave Nelsen, GradeNation co-founder.

Dave Nelsen, GradeNation co-founder.

Hi. I’m Dave Nelsen, one of three co-founders of GradeNation (along with Todd Lamb and Lou Piconi). We believe in running our company lean so that our funding accomplishes everything it possibly can for students.

We work as a virtual team, with no real estate costs. We built this website using an off-the-shelf WordPress template available for free. GoDaddy hosts our site for just a buck a month (a special deal for the first year).GradeNation Success

We used two images in constructing our site. This first one forms the header. We chose it because it speaks to the value and satisfaction that can come from mastering your education.

Image by alamosbasementThis second image acts as background, although you wouldn’t have noticed it unless you looked carefully. I’ve installed it using a highly translucent gradient. Thanks to Flickr members CollegeDegrees36 and alamosbasement (likely a fellow Pittsburgher based on her catalog) for making them available on Flikr under a creative commons license.