At Ello, we're on a mission:
To unlock the limitless potential within all children.
Millions of children aren’t getting the individualized literacy support they need during the critical early elementary years to succeed as learners.
To tackle this problem in a new way, Ello’s team is bringing together their expertise in AI, machine learning, education, business, and psychology.
We created Ello, the first-ever AI reading coach that works with real books to help struggling readers with evidence-based instruction & motivation.
Who We Are
Who We Are
Working at Ello
Impact & Delight
A Culture of Care
Backed By the Best
Before Ello, Tom was the head of impact and adoption programs at Google for Education, where his team was responsible for ensuring that Google tools were used effectively in classrooms worldwide. He is on the board of GO Public schools, an organization dedicated to giving voice to families in the most underserved communities, and on the advisory board of Education Reimagined, the movement builder of learner centered education. He has also worked as an intelligence officer, a product manager, founded an EdTech company (with Catalin), and has built a mini-golf course in Cambodia. Tom graduated from Cambridge University with first-class honors in maths and psychology and has an MBA and MA (Education) from Stanford. He has won the Lamor prize at Cambridge, the Queen’s medal at Sandhurst, the Intelligence top student award, and was a Siebel Scholar at the GSB. He loves running, rugby, and lives with his wife and son in San Francisco.
Favorite Children’s Book: Little Blue Truck
Elizabeth is a clinical psychologist who specializes in child development, child behavior, and working with children and families in community settings, schools, clinics, and hospitals. She has worked with children and families for over 15 years. She provides training and education to students and professionals, has presented at national and international conferences, has published articles and book chapters on child development, and has been interviewed by magazines and radio programs on a variety of parent topics. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, two children, and labrador.
Favorite Children’s Book: Where the Wild Things Are
Catalin previously developed an AI-based augmented reality therapy for children with autism which is currently pursuing FDA clearance. He is currently on a leave of absence from the PhD program in Artificial Intelligence at Stanford University where he led a project using natural language processing to identify racial disparities in the California criminal justice system. He previously graduated from Stanford with an MS in Computer Science. He also co-founded machine learning companies DukaConnect and Sension (with Tom), both acquired.
While in high school, Catalin built a mobile payments system at PayNearMe with Macintosh-father Steve Capps. He has won the Lemelson-MIT Graduate Student prize, Stanford's Kennedy Medal, Forbes’ 30 under 30, and Business Insider’s 40 under 40. Originally from Germany, Catalin moved to Silicon Valley at age 17 and now lives in San Francisco with his partner Ruby.
Favorite Children’s Book: Die Kleine Raupe Nimmersatt (The Very Hungry Caterpillar)
Michael Auli is an industry scientist based in Menlo Park, California. His work spans machine learning, speech, and NLP, and he helped create projects such as wav2vec/data2vec, the widely used fairseq toolkit, the first modern feed-forward seq2seq models outperforming RNNs for NLP, and several top-ranked submissions at the WMT news translation task in 2018 and 2019. Before that, Michael was at Microsoft Research, where he did early work on neural machine translation and using neural language models for conversational applications. During his PhD at the University of Edinburgh, he worked on natural language processing and parsing.
Favorite children's book: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Terry Winograd is Professor Emeritus in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University. During his 40 years of teaching and research, he created and directed the Human-Computer Interaction Group and the teaching and research program in Human-Computer Interaction Design at Stanford. He was a founding faculty member of the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (the "d.school").
Winograd did pioneering research in artificial intelligence, in particular natural language understanding, during his PhD program at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab in the 1960s. His 1986 book with Fernando Flores, Understanding Computers and Cognition, marked a major departure in the philosophy underlying AI. He was a founding member and National President of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility. He is a member of the ACM CHI Academy and an ACM Fellow. He received the 2011 CHI Lifetime Research Achievement Award. He is a Fellow of the Stanford Human-Centered AI Institute and is on the board of Corporate Accountability International and is Vice-Chair of the board of Bend the Arc, A Jewish Partnership for Justice. He has been a consultant to a number of companies, including Google, founded by Stanford students from his projects.
Winograd has been married to Prof. Carol Hutner Winograd, MD for 54 years. Together they have two daughters, Shoshana and Avra, and five grandsons.
His favorite children's books were A.A. Milne, including Winnie-the-Pooh, and the poetry in Now We Are Six.
Nick Haber is an Assistant Professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, and by courtesy, Computer Science. After receiving his PhD in mathematics on Partial Differential Equation theory, he worked on Sension (with Tom and Catalin), an EdTech company. He then worked with Catalin on the Autism Glass Project at Stanford, a research effort that employs wearable technology and computer vision in a tool for children with autism. Aside from such work on learning and therapeutic tools, he and his research group develop artificial intelligence systems meant to mimic and model the ways people learn early in life, exploring their environments through play, social interaction, and curiosity.
Favorite Children’s Book: Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran
Anish is a software engineer who studied Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (EECS) at UC Berkeley. In the past, he has worked with ion thrusters for space flight, financial communication systems for loss mitigation, and tools for early-age autism diagnosis using wearable technology. Anish has a newfound interest in human-computer interaction (HCI) and wants to bridge the gap between novel research and impact. He loves to stargaze, watch the sunset, collect vinyls, and explore the corners of the cities around him.
Favorite Children’s Book: Goodnight Moon
James is a full stack software engineer who has worked for both startups and innovation labs for local and international companies. These include Dukaconnect a machine learning startup that was later acquired by Mastercard. This led to him joining Mastercard Labs For Financial Inclusion where he continued working on the product together with contributing to other projects that helped with financial inclusion for farmers, schools, and small retailers in Africa and India. He also worked for Safaricom Alpha an innovation lab for Safaricom, the leading communications company in Kenya where he helped work on an instant messenger that integrated payments using MPESA a mobile money transfer service in Kenya. He lives in Nairobi, Kenya.
Favorite Children’s Book: Aesop’s Fables
Lauren has been teaching and tutoring in the reading field since 2004, and has worked with students from preschool through college. She has a B.A. in English from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, and her M.S. in Education with an emphasis in Reading Instruction from California State University, Fullerton. Lauren has training in the Orton-Gillingham method of instruction and is actively involved in the Science of Reading movement so that all children, including those of diverse backgrounds and neurologies, can become strong, motivated readers.
She lives in Southern California surrounded by a large extended family, including 8 nieces and nephews under age 4. They are all budding bookworms, at least according to their doting aunt.
Favorite Children’s Book: Charlotte’s Web
Victoria is a Software Engineering graduate from the University of Sheffield. During her time in university, she worked on building a social platform to allow for restaurant retailers and tourists to interact. She also worked on a data collection system to support animal survey schemes.
Victoria covers both front-end and backend software development for Ello and has an interest in machine learning. Victoria's goal is to build software systems that improve people’s lives and she strongly believes that software has the power to change the world for the better.
Victoria lives in Nairobi, Kenya and she enjoys spending time with friends and family, sketching, and photography.
Favorite Children’s Book: The Nancy Drew Mysteries
Andrew is a software engineer who previously worked at Apple before joining Ello. While at Apple, he was able to make major contributions and lead projects delivering wide impact in many areas including data privacy & access, health & research, and developer education. Andrew received his master’s degree in Electronic and Information Engineering from Imperial College London.
Andrew is passionate about education and building products that can deliver a positive social value. Outside of work, Andrew enjoys basking himself in the outdoors and can commonly be found enjoying himself on a bike or a pair of skis. Andrew is currently based in San Francisco.
Favorite Children’s Book: Clifford the Big Red Dog
Before Ello, Jackie co-founded three organizations focused on empowering individuals to achieve their potential: Dent Education, edwell, and YaYa. She has worked across early childhood, K-12, and postsecondary education as a teacher, consultant, and startup leader. As a former high school English teacher, Jackie was named an "Outstanding Teacher of the Year" by Baltimore City Public Schools in 2010. She received her MBA and MA in Education from Stanford University, her MA in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University, and her BA from Princeton University. She loves spending weekends outdoors with her husband, son Sawyer, and dog Kepler.
Favorite Children’s Book: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Alena graduated from Samara State Aerospace University with a BA in Informatics and Computer Science. She has been working primarily in Unity with C# ever since she started programming in the Game Industry in 2014, and participated in the development of a large number of hyper casual games.
Unity isn’t just work for Alena, but is also her main hobby. She’s an indie developer who has already published her own game.
Alena was born and raised in a village in Russia and now lives in Berlin with her husband, daughter, and two cats. She enjoys reading and is crazy about house plants, which she tracks caring for using a Trello board in true engineering style.
Favorite Children’s Book: The Moomins and the Great Flood
Eliachim previously worked for Mastercard Labs in Nairobi as a Lead Field Operations Manager, and later for a stealth Venture Capital firm based in San Francisco as a junior analyst, where he helped process and close 300+ early-stage investments.
Eli loves meticulous work and never gives up. Outside of work, he loves listening to music (he used to make music), and hanging out with family and friends. He lives in Nairobi, Kenya with his family.
Favorite Children's Book: Goat Matata
Sergii was born and raised Kharkiv, Ukraine. He graduated from Kharkiv National University of Civil Engineering and Architecture with a master's degree in civil construction and engineering. After graduating, he spent several years figuring out what to do next, including taking a couple of years to tour with his band.
His design career began with creating artwork and merchandise pieces for the band, and he quickly shifted from designing for other musicians to freelancing full-time. In 2021, his main project became developing Ello’s brand identity, as well as web and app design. Sergii lives in Ukraine with his wife Maria and their cat Slash.
Favorite Children’s Book: Kyrylo Kozhumyako
Andrew is a customer support agent with over 5+ years of experience in the field. He began working for the US Army immediately after high school where he found his passion in assisting people and being a big team player. Moving on, he worked with computer hardware companies like NZXT and Gigabyte in Customer Support as computer hardware is a big passion of his.
Currently, Andrew fields the customer support and service front of Ello. Answering customer questions, fixing account issues, and communicating problems to other departments are just some of his duties here. He lives near Los Angeles, California, and enjoys spending time playing video games, hanging out with his friends/family, and watching Japanese anime.
Favorite Children’s Book: The Percy Jackson Series
Doli works closely with the CEO providing administrative assistance. Before joining Ello, she worked as a customer service representative and as an assistant operations manager of an e-commerce business. She likes baking, and has a passion for singing. She enjoys teaching kids how to sing. She lives in Quezon Province, Philippines.
Favorite Children’s Book: Mga Kwento ni Lola Basyang (The Stories of Grandmother Basyang)
Before Ello, Zac worked in strategy consulting, politics, and higher education, most recently serving as Director of Strategic Initiatives and Special Assistant to the President at Sarah Lawrence College in New York. After beginning his career in strategy consulting, Zac worked for a member of the United States Congress in Washington D.C. and in electoral politics in Massachusetts before transitioning into higher education and then to Ello. Zac holds degrees in History and Public Policy from Duke University, where spent his time writing for the school paper's sports section.
Zac is passionate about mission-driven organizations and improving education outcomes. He is a Kentucky native, an avid reader, and an enthusiastic outdoorsman. Zac lives in Philadelphia with his partner, Lauryn, and their dog, Finn.
Favorite Children's Book: Where the Wild Things Are
Brian is a full-stack developer and a mobile web specialist with 3+ years of experience building and maintaining business-critical applications. He loves creating tools that make people more efficient in their tasks. He is a creative professional with a diverse background that includes aircraft maintenance, graphic design, and marketing. He enjoys applying his varied knowledge to build reliable, maintainable, easy-to-use systems.
Favorite children’s books: Alice in Wonderland, Tales of Abunuwasi, Alibaba and the 40 thieves, and Icarus and Daedalus.
With over 13 years of experience in game development, Marllon started his career in his first semester at UniFacisa university, when he decided to use Unity as his main development tool. Since then, he has had the opportunity to work at companies like Stairs Graphics & Games, Yupi Studios, Spicy Rocket, Kaipora Digital, Universal Games Online, Prosperity Games, Instituto Alfa e Beto, Goodgame Studios and U4Hero!.
Marllon lives in Uberlândia, Brazil with his wife and daughter and loves playing multiplayer games, watching movies, studying the Bible and talking about Jesus.
Favorite children's book: "Heróis do Futuro" from the Geek magazine series.
Since childhood, Phillipe developed a love for digital games and solutions by playing Super Mario World with his parents.
He followed that love after four years of serving in the Brazilian Army and being decorated with the MINUSTAH Medal with an honorable mention by the UN for completing the United Nations Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti over eight months.
After that, he began his studies in Analysis and Systems Development at UNIPAC Uberlândia, which allowed him to perform general and gaming software engineering services and application development.
With over eight years of experience in software development, he has worked at companies like Algar Tech, Cedro Technologies, and Instituto Alfa e Beto.
Phillipe was born and raised in Uberlândia, Brazil, and he now lives with his wife. He enjoys spending time with relatives and friends, playing video games, and having a good meal together.
Favorite Children's Books: The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien and The Ranger's Apprentice Series by John Flanagan
Derlene runs the Brooklyn warehouse and loves packing up your Ello boxes each day! She began her career in early childhood education working at a local family daycare center, and she is enjoying leading warehouse operations for Ello.
Outside of work, Derlene is a proud aunt who loves reading with her nephew. She comes from a big family from the Dominican Republic. In her free time, she loves going for nature walks, working out, listening to music, and seeing animals at the aquarium or zoo.
Favorite Children’s Book: The Rough-Face Girl by Rafe Martin
With over 15 years of experience in customer service excellence, 5 years of remote leadership over a team of specialists, and a bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing, Sarah brings to Ello her passion for literacy at all ages and a philosophy that true English learning happens through creative writing and sharing of ideas.
Avid homeschooler and mom of 3 rambunctious boys, she has limited free time. In that small amount of free time, Sarah reads banned books, participates in literary discussions, writes short stories, novels, and novellas, raises awareness for Type One Diabetes, and continues to explore her passions and ever-changing interests through continuing education and graduate school.
Favorite Children’s Book: The Day the Goose Got Loose.
Anna was born and raised in the Philippines. She has worked as an executive assistant since 2019, and she was so happy to join Ello in 2022 to support operations.
Outside of work, family is everything to Anna. She has a daughter named Ysay who she loves reading books with. In her free time, Anna also enjoys cooking, watching vlogs, and singing Karaoke. Anyone who knows Anna will tell you that she is a joyful and outgoing person.
Favorite Children’s Book: Cinderella's Story, The Legend of the Pineapple (Alamat Ng Pinya)
Joe is a software and ML engineer, passionate about leveraging his technical skills for positive social impact. Prior to Ello, he worked on algorithmic fairness and privacy at Facebook, where he led and executed on projects aimed at ensuring equality of opportunity on the Facebook platform while protecting sensitive user data. He also worked as the founding engineer of a consumer technology startup where he designed ML infrastructure and models for neural signal decoding. Joe has a B.S in Electrical Engineering and an M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University, where he did research in medical AI and graph neural networks as part of the Ng and Leskovec labs.
Outside of work, Joe enjoys discovering new food and activities with friends, gaming (board games and video games), reading, and taking photos while exploring new places. Since moving to SF, he's been fitting in with the locals by learning how to rock climb.
Favorite children's book: The Magic Treehouse series
Henry is broadly interested in the intersection of machine learning and technologies that impact people's life. At Ello, he leverages his expertise in machine learning to help Ello understand child speech.
Prior to joining Ello, Henry completed the AI residency program at Meta, where he worked on wav2vec with Michael Auli. He also co-founded a startup that utilizes multimodal perception to understand conversations. Henry obtained his bachelor degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto, where he studied a broad spectrum of machine learning, from computer vision to reinforcement learning.
Outside of work, Henry enjoys exploring all kinds of sports, video games, and travel. He finds solace in taking long walks by himself but also cherishes spending quality time with friends over a good meal even more.
Favorite Children's Book: Journey to the West
Anthony loves working in the Ello warehouse, especially because he enjoys bringing home books to read with his son Sebastian. Anthony's prior work experience includes plumbing and heating, forklift, and boom operator. In his free time, he likes doing different activities with his son.
Favorite children's books: Gino Badino Book by Diana Engel
Jeremi has always had a passion for helping people and raising others up. After high school, he started studying computer technology and music as they were a huge passion of his and eventually landed in NZXT working on developing a strict QA methodology that would help shape the customer's experience with personal and customized gaming PC's uniquely tailored to each end user. He then later moved on to Gigabyte Technologies to take his QA experience and apply it in a Customer Support format to further elevate his technical skills and knowledge in computer hardware. He takes pride now in working with Ello in order to help facilitate and supplement the growth in young readers to develop their skills and become future leaders of the next generation. His hobbies include music, gaming, watching anime, and content creation.
Favorite childhood book: The Alex Ryder series by Anthony Horowitz.
Derek is a technology generalist with over a decade of experience spanning machine learning, enterprise consulting, early-stage startups, and sustainable resource development. He is deeply interested in the use of technology to create positive social impact. Most recently, Derek has published research with the Stanford NLP Group exploring the use of foundation models in improving fairness in the California parole system.
Derek is based in Melbourne, Australia and holds degrees in Computer Engineering and Commerce from the University of Melbourne, in addition to a graduate certificate in artificial intelligence from Stanford University. Outside of work, Derek enjoys running, reading, and playing Go.
Favorite Children's Book: So You Want to Be a Wizard, by Diane Duane
Erin is a Senior Technical Recruiter with over 9 years of experience in scaling technical teams for startups. Her specialty is in Engineering, Data Science, and Product hiring. She started her career agency-side and grew her skills sourcing for highly specialized talent. She eventually joined two mission-driven companies to help them scale at pivotal moments (Oscar Health, then TPT). Outside of full-cycle recruiting, she has also worked extensively in employer brand, talent mapping, trainings, and the DEI space.
She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and enjoys playing beach volleyball, hiking, camping, surfing, and spending time with her dog Bowie.
Favorite children's book: Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.
Prior to Ello, Apeksha was Chief Operating Officer at Rare Carat, an e-commerce start-up where she worked on operations, strategy, product and growth. During her tenure, the company grew from scratch to one of the largest online retailers of diamond engagement rings in the US. Apeksha received her MBA from Harvard Business School and BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University.
Apeksha is a generalist who enjoys building systems and processes, and is motivated to share a love of learning and language. She also serves as an expert advisor to students at Harvard Innovation Labs. Outside of work, Apeksha enjoys hikes, art galleries and metapuzzles. Originally from Belgium, Apeksha is currently based in New York.
Favorite children's book: The Worst Witch.
Dina, a marketing-turned-product management professional, has thrived in startup settings, working in consumer facing products across the globe. Her past endeavors include working on consumer-facing startups, including a unique mobile app that seamlessly merged the worlds of TikTok and Google Maps.
As a podcast host, Dina devotes herself to inspiring and empowering young girls in Kazakhstan to pursue tech careers. Through guests' stories, insights, and experiences, she aims to shatter barriers and create opportunities for the next generation of female tech enthusiasts. Having lived in six different countries, primarily in South East Asia, Dina has embraced diverse cultures and gained a global perspective along the way. Motherhood brings her immense joy, raising two little ones, one of whom is discovering reading with Ello. Her lively household includes a furry companion, three charming poison frogs, and a king snake.
Favorite book: The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School.
With a degree in early childhood education, Megan has been a kindergarten & first-grade teacher for almost 20 years. She has a passion for creating engaging activities that motivate, support, and inspire the youngest learners. As a mentor teacher in her school district, Megan works to build high-achieving curriculums and create virtual resources to share with all students and teachers. She uses her Science of Reading training and many years of classroom experience to form strong literacy foundations for children. When she isn’t teaching young minds or creating learning tools, Megan spends her time enjoying life with her husband and three children in central Arkansas.
Favorite Children’s Book: Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes
Stephanie started her teaching journey as a middle school special education teacher in 2007. After two years in middle school, she taught elementary special education for nine years and is currently a kindergarten teacher. Teaching kindergarten is so much fun and her favorite role yet! Stephanie has a B.A. in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education from Missouri State University and a M.S. in Teaching in Special Education from Arkansas State University. Stephanie is passionate about creatively using her training in the Orton-Gillingham method of instruction and The Science of Reading to make sure all students become strong, confident readers. Stephanie also loves creating books and resources to support teachers worldwide with reading instruction in their own classrooms. Stephanie lives in central Arkansas with her husband, daughter, son, and furry best friend, Ozzie.
A Seattle native, Molly found her way to San Francisco after graduating from the University of San Diego with a bachelor’s in communications in 2003. She attended the University of San Francisco (USF) and received a master’s in teaching; she began teaching middle school in the Bay Area shortly thereafter. After 11 years of teaching middle school humanities, Molly went back to USF and received a masters in teaching reading. A job opportunity for her husband brought Molly and her family back to the Seattle area in 2015. Molly and her family currently reside in Sammamish, Washington where she has been a reading specialist at a private school for six years. She is currently working to obtain her level one dyslexia certification through the Wilson Reading System. When not working, Molly and her husband enjoy all of the activities their three young boys participate in, especially baseball.
Andrew Wooler is a technical program manager focused on machine learning. He studied political science and computer science at UC Davis. He has experience in data science, technical marketing, product, and sales across several enterprise AI startups.
Andrew was born to two high school teachers that nurtured a love of books & reading. During the pandemic, he began volunteering as a tutor for under-resourced children. These experiences motivated him to shift to working in education full-time. He’s passionate about how education can become more personalized, creative, and accessible through technology.
Outside of work, Andrew enjoys water polo, surfing, reading, writing, video games, and music. He lives in San Francisco.
Favorite Children’s Book: The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
Prior to Ello, Aashil was at McKinsey, where he helped tech companies (large and small) with pricing, go-to-market strategy, product strategy, and operations. He was also a Product Manager for Periscope - McKinsey’s Growth, Marketing & Sales platform - where he designed and built B2B pricing software for McKinsey’s clients and consulting teams. Aashil studied Computer Science at Penn Engineering and Economics/Statistics at the Wharton School.
Aashil is passionate about transformative technology and is excited to help Ello change the way we learn. He currently lives in New York, where he loves learning languages, watching documentaries, and solving puzzles.
Favorite children’s book: The Magic Treehouse
Violet comes to Ello from a career in public education as a middle school teacher, where she experienced first-hand how the right education technology tools can have a profound impact on student learning, family wellbeing, and teacher sanity! Prior to becoming a teacher, Violet lived in Cape Town, South Africa coordinating an English language program for asylum-seekers and refugees. She holds a BA in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity and an MA in Education, both from Stanford University.
When not working, you can find her writing, directing, and performing in amateur theater productions. She lives in San Francisco in a co-op with six housemates, and is deeply embedded in Bay Area cooperative living communities.
Favorite children’s book: The Trumpet of the Swan, by E.B. White