StartOut Education Founders: Oscar Pedroso and Thimble’s investment in EdTech education

How did you first start working in education, Oscar?

My whole professional career has been in education. I started as a college admissions officer at the University of Rochester when I was an undergrad. Once I graduated, the position became full-time working in the College of Engineering’s office.

How did you venture into entrepreneurship?

Being at such a poor school district, we didn’t have a ton of resources or academic programs. What I observed as a teacher is what led me to the early beginnings of Thimble.

What is your mission with Thimble?

Thimble is a tech curriculum that teaches robotics and programming skills to elementary and middle school students. We sell reusable kits that teach kids how to build robots, drones, etc. and how to program those projects to show them how these skills can be fun and useful. We also provide teachers training so they can implement this type of education successfully.

Where are you currently making an impact?

At present, we’ve sold to 2,000 customers in all 50 states and 30 countries. We’re in contracts with just over 300 schools in 37 districts, mostly in Texas, the Southeast, and New York. Our goal is to keep expanding into as many schools and districts as possible. It’s still hard at times because schools aren’t the easiest to work with but we’ve been pretty successful at it.

What are the biggest challenges facing education today?

It’s tough working in K-12 because everything moves so slowly, and it’s very relationship-based. Superintendents don’t typically respond well to cold calls and you need to have that face-to-face interaction to get your point across well.

Was it a challenge to make the transition from educator to entrepreneur?

It was certainly a transition. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial attitude that I couldn’t act on as a student. I read all that I could and it took some time. I realized the best thing I could do was surround myself with people from all backgrounds to really make a product that could work. My co-founder is a computer engineer who brings a wealth of knowledge in hardware and programming, whereas I bring a curriculum and teaching background.

How has StartOut helped you develop your entrepreneurial skills as an LGBTQ+ founder?

I first found StartOut from a mentor I had in NYC through an event. A few weeks later, I found out about the Growth Lab through a newsletter. We applied twice before we got in and it was one of the best growth opportunities for our company.

You can connect with Oscar on LinkedIn for the latest updates on Thimble, and be sure to follow our blog on Medium for more monthly founder stories!



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