Higher Ed, Disruptive Innovation Topic of Telluride Foundation Presentation

05/19/14 | By | More

Pete Wheelan, CEO of Inside Track, to Discuss Issues With American Higher Education System

TELLURIDE – The Telluride Foundation and Telluride School District invite the community to a presentation on “American Higher Education: What’s Wrong, Why it Matters, and How Entrepreneurship, Technology and Innovation Can Help”  on Friday, May 30, 4:30-6 p.m. at Arroyo Wine Bar, 220 E. Colorado Avenue.

This community talk will be presented by Pete Wheelan, chief executive officer of Inside Track, a company that uses one-on-one student coaching, process expertise, analytics and technology to increase college and university graduation rates and enhance student experience. Wheelan believes that the business model for higher education is broken, and that the cost to students is unsustainable.

According to Wheelan, although America used to be the leader in education, today college graduates are increasingly ill-equipped for the workplace and student loans now account for 9 percent of all consumer debt. Wheelan, however, remains positive.

“There is an unprecedented amount of innovation and investment in higher education over the last five years, which is finally driving action and change,” says Wheelan. “Going back 50 plus years, there has arguably never been a more challenging – yet exciting – time for American higher education.”

Prior to his work with Inside Track, Wheelan was an executive in the travel and publishing industries, serving most recently as COO and Chief Revenue Officer at Blurb, Inc., a ground-breaking creative publishing platform (named in Inc 500 as  No. 1 fastest growing media company in 2010 and Top 100 Up and Coming private companies by Goldman in 2012).  Previously, he held the position of SVP, Strategic Marketing and Business Development for Lonely Planet Publications (acquired by BBC).  In the late 1990s, he was co-Founder and CEO of AdventureSeek, an online portal for adventure travel (acquired by The Unexplored Travel Network). He was also a strategy consultant with The Boston Consulting Group.

Wheelan earned a BA from Dartmouth College, an MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and a JD from Northwestern Law School.  He lives with his family in Mill Valley, and is currently visiting Telluride as an “Entrepreneur in Residence” for the Telluride Venture Accelerator.

 For more information on the Telluride Foundation visit www.telluridefoundation.org.

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