Teaching the World to Read: Elizabeth Adams, Ello Co-founder

Our mission as a company is to maximize the potential of every child, and scale one-to-one support for children.
– Elizabeth Adams

In this episode of On Work and Revolution podcast, our guest Elizabeth Adams, shares her unexpected journey from being a self-described Silicon Valley outsider to becoming a key figure in the tech hub. As a seasoned clinical psychologist and co-founder of Ello, an ambitious EdTech venture aiming to teach the world to read, Elizabeth discusses the evolution from concept to launch. 

The conversation delves into the nuanced dynamics of fundraising, highlighting her pivotal role in bringing valuable parent and educator perspectives to investor discussions. With Ello successfully securing a Series A round, Elizabeth envisions a future where AI continues to drive innovation in education, realizing the dream of scalable and equitable learning experiences.

Debbie and Elizabeth explore the following topics that EdTech leaders and founders should pay close attention to:

Unconventional Transition: Elizabeth Adams shares her unexpected journey from a seasoned clinical psychologist to an entrepreneur, detailing her leap into the tech world and the founding of Ello, highlighting the unique circumstances that led her to entrepreneurship.

Pivotal Role of COVID-19: The narrative takes a significant turn as Elizabeth discusses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, revealing how it inspired the evolution of Ello from a parenting support platform to a revolutionary AI-driven reading companion, addressing the challenges of remote learning and unmet educational needs during the crisis.

Intersection of Expertise and Technology: Elizabeth emphasizes the importance of combining subject matter expertise, particularly in child development and education, with advanced technology to create a meaningful and impactful product. The conversation underscores the synergy between her role as a parent and educator and Ello’s mission to provide personalized, joyful literacy education.

Fundraising Dynamics: Elizabeth sheds light on her involvement in investor discussions that focused on translating her insights into compelling narratives that instill confidence in the market viability of Ello, demonstrating the importance of diverse perspectives in securing funding.

Future Vision and AI in Education: Looking ahead to 2024, Elizabeth shares her excitement about Ello’s future, emphasizing the transformative potential of AI in education. She envisions leveraging AI to make high-quality, individualized education accessible and equitable, fulfilling the original dreams of AI to revolutionize learning on a broad scale.

About our guest, Elizabeth Adams:

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.


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