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Top Hat (company)

Top Hat (company)

Top Hat is a company founded by Mike Silagadze. Top Hat produces software aimed at increasing engagement in students. The software allows users to integrate videos and graphics and customize interactive textbooks.

Top Hat is a Canadian educational software company with its headquarters in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and a second office in Sydney, Australia. Top Hat hosts a library of interactive college textbooks that students read on their mobile devices, and a platform designed for teachers to check attendance with additional products for student engagement, assignments and activities. Students pay to use the app per semester or over longer periods, and universitywide licences are also available.

History

Co-founders Mike Silagadze and Mohsen Shahini started Top Hat in 2009 in Waterloo, Ontario, to tackle problems with student concentration and mobile devices they witnessed while studying at the University of Waterloo.Early on, the company’s sales approach involved selling directly to academic administration "who had little incentive or interest in changing the way students access course materials," according to Silagadze. The firm changed its tactics to sell directly to educators, a strategy that, according to the company, has resulted in more than two million student subscribers across North America and beyond. The company claims that they are used in over 1000 universities. As of 2018, Top Hat charges no platform fees for students when their professors assign Open Educational Resources.

Recognition

In 2017, Top Hat was recognized by numerous awards including Canadian Innovation Exchange Top 20 Program, "Best Canadian Startup of the Year" at the TechVibes Canadian Startup Awards, and Pauli Award for Company of the Year.

Products

Educators are able to adopt, customize and sell digital textbooks and course materials on the Top Hat Marketplace. Teachers can also collaborate with one another to create and update teaching material. Currently, 90 percent of course materials in the Marketplace are free. Top Hat Test allows educators to create and administer tests and assessments.

Timeline

People

Name
Role
LinkedIn

Adam Fremes

Employee



Alexandra Siavelis

Employee



Alyssa Atkins

Employee



Andrew Corway

Employee



Anson MacKeracher

Employee



Boris Wertz

Investor



Brian Ekstrom

Employee



Charles Hudson

Investor



Chris Arsenault

Investor



Christopher Muenchhoff

Investor



David Hurley

Employee



Dhawal Tank

Employee



Erica Goldenberg

Employee



Erin Neal

Employee



Ezaam Yusuf

Employee



Frank Erschen

Investor



Gordon Leslie

Employee



Jonathan Bega

Investor



Karamdeep Nijjar

Investor



Kirushanth Sakthivetpillai

Employee



Larry Innanen

Investor



Leila Rosenthal

Employee



Marina Pinato

Employee



Matt Golden

Investor



Mike Silagadze

Board member



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