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

Funding rounds

Funding round
Funding type
Funding round amount (USD)
Funding round date
Investment
Top Hat (company) funding round, February 2017
29,500,000
February 15, 2017
3 Results
Results per page:
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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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Further reading

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

Documentaries, videos and podcasts

Title
Date
Link

Companies

Company
CEO
Location
Products/Services

News

Title
Author
Date
Publisher
Description
Meagan Simpson
May 26, 2020
BetaKit
Top Hat is set to acquire the Canadian domestic higher education textbook businesses of Nelson Education, one of the country's largest education publishers.
Isabelle Kirkwood
May 12, 2020
BetaKit
EdTech company Top Hat is restructuring its business to meet the immediate demands brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Frederic Lardinois
February 4, 2020
TechCrunch
Toronto-based Top Hat, a company that makes a number of software tools for teachers in higher education, today announced that it has raised a $55 million Series D funding round co-ed by Georgian Partners and Inovia Capital. All of the company's previous investors, including Union Square Ventures, Emergence Capital and Leaders Fund, also participated in [...]

References

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