May 11, 2021 • 3M

Fix The Education, Fix The World

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To investors,

Today I am announcing that I have led a $5 million Series A investment in Synthesis, which is the education spin-out from the school that Elon Musk custom built for his own children.

If you remember, I previously led the seed round of the company about two and a half months ago. Here is what I wrote about the business at the time:

“The traditional school system teaches our children rote memorization and measures success based on end of year test results. This is not the best way to prepare young children for the real world. The system leaves children lacking critical thinking skills, along with problem solving, independent thought, creativity, and teamwork experience.

Elon Musk realized this years ago and decided to build a school on the SpaceX campus for his own children. Musk partnered with Josh Dahn to create Ad Astra, which became the educational experience that he believed would be best for the children that he wanted to raise. Ad Astra (now known as Astra Nova) uses simulations, case studies, fabrication and design projects, labs, and corporate collaboratives to develop students that are enthralled by complexity and solving for the unknown.

The only problem is that the Astra Nova experience was only available to a select few families who could get into the program. But Josh Dahn, the co-creator of Astra Nova, wanted to bring this game-changing educational program to the masses.

Enter Synthesis.

Josh Dahn has teamed up with Chrisman Frank, an early employee at ClassDojo, to create a software based solution that puts children ages 7-14 through the one-of-a-kind program. These children are taught critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, creativity, independent thought, and teamwork. Simply, Synthesis prepares children for the real world in a way that the traditional education system does not.”

At the time of the seed round, Synthesis had gone from $0 to $1 million in annualized recurring revenue in approximately 3 months. Fast forward to today and the company is now doing more than $3 million in annualized recurring revenue. So why are thousands of parents signing their children up for this enhanced educational experience?

Easy…it actually works. 

The lack of critical thinking and problem solving skills being taught in our education system should be a national emergency. Rather than complain about it, the team at Synthesis is doing something about it. Josh and Chrisman have put together an incredible team, including former teachers like Ana Lorena Fabrega and others.

If you want your child to be more proficient and better prepared for the real world, you should consider signing up here:

The company has been growing incredibly fast. They have seen 50% monthly compounded growth since the start of November and are now doing over $3 million in annual run rate. More than 85% of all students stay in the program after 90 days.

I’m joined in this round by a list of other incredible investors, including Sahil Lavingia, Bobby Goodlatte, Shane Parrish, Austin Rief, Polina Pompliano, Brianne Kimmel, Julian Shapiro, Steven Galanis, Kat Cole, Sam Parr, Zac Prince, Ryan Denehy, Shaan Puri, Andrew Wilkinson, Melanie Shapiro, Ryan Shea, Matt James, Matteo Franceschetti, Jack Butcher, Matthew Delladova, Jeff Richards, Andrew Spellman, Jayni Shah, John Danner, and Alan Rutledge.

We have assembled an incredible team of operators and investors with one simple mission — educate your child with the problem solving and critical thinking skills that will prepare them for success in life. If that sounds compelling to you, you really should consider giving it a try.

Sign up your child for Synthesis:

The world deserves to have a society filled with innovators, entrepreneurs, and creatives. Help us, help your child. Have a great day and I’ll talk to everyone tomorrow.


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Chrisman Frank is the co-founder and CEO of Synthesis, a new educational experience for children aged 8-14 that focuses on teaching problem solving and critical thinking skills.

In this conversation, Chrisman and I discuss:

  • Industrial education complex

  • Why students are suffering

  • How teachers fit into the system

  • Why the old model doesn’t work

  • How Synthesis works

  • The current traction of the business

  • What parents are saying

I really enjoyed this conversation with Chrisman. Hopefully you enjoy it too.


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