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Krannert Executive Forum - Amanda Thompson, Explore Interactive

Friday, April 16, 2021
11:30 am

Amanda Thompson

Krannert Auditorium

Amanda Thompson, Chief Executive Officer, Explore Interactive

Amanda Thompson is the CEO of Explore Interactive, an educational technology company with a platform that teaches STEM concepts through fun and engaging augmented reality adventures. This fall Explore has launched the MindLabs product which allows educators and parents to teach concepts of basic circuits. Since then it has won the National Parenting Product Award for 2020, and has been recognized as a top gift by both Forbes and TechCrunch, among others. The offering is unique in that the digital environment can allow collaborative, hands-on learning whether the students are together in a classroom or learning from home. More on the company and the innovative product is available at where you can also play with a digital demo of the product. The product is ideal for COVID learning as it can enable remote or classroom collaboration and each child can have their own materials. STEM education in particular has been hit hard by distance learning, MindLabs gives kids a fun and hands-on way to learn through the magic of augmented reality. Thompson and her kids Dante (12) and Marinda (10) also star in the MindLabs YouTube educational series as Dr. Pixel, Pax and Pixie.

As an entrepreneur, Dr. Thompson has overseen and managed projects with millions of dollars in funding and grant awards in bio tech and ed tech companies since earning her MBA and PhD in finance from Purdue University. Thompson is also involved directly in both the entrepreneurial and educational communities. She has worked with Purdue Foundry companies to advise in identifying, communicating and estimating the value proposition of the business idea from a financial and strategic perspective, as well as building an operational plan, financial model and valuation for the new start-up. She has twice attended the NSF i-Corps program, San Francisco and Houston, as a strategic mentor. She completed the competitive WiSTEM program at Chicago’s 1871 start-up hub. As a professor, her academic experience spans from venture capital to corporate valuation and from financial policy to derivatives in teaching faculty, alumni, undergraduate, MBA, online and executive courses at Purdue and UNC-Chapel Hill. She has been selected by cohorts of students in both programs as the Outstanding Professor.

Her passions include activating women of all ages and backgrounds in entrepreneurial ventures, by taking leadership roles in the WomenIN program at the Foundry and the Women of MBA@UNC programs; volunteering in the classroom for the financial and entrepreneurship literacy program Junior Achievement, rock climbing, soccer and chasing her two children. Amanda has a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M – College Station (2003) and an MBA, M.S./Ph.D. in Finance from Purdue University (2005, 2010).

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