Entrepreneur In Residence, Early Math Play

Who We Are: Carina Initiatives

Carina Initiatives is a philanthropic fund working to send more kids from more communities to the frontiers of science and technology. We see math as fundamental to future innovation; as such, we fund and support organizations that work to inspire, unearth, and train math talent.

We want to help start an organization that works to inspire an early passion for mathematics for millions of more kids.

In the United States, children from low-income families perform more poorly on numeracy assessments compared to their counterparts from high-income families. The disparity, known as the numeracy gap, manifests as early as age four and persists throughout primary and secondary education, gradually widening over time.

One of the underlying causes of the numeracy gap is widespread math anxiety. To effectively address this issue, we propose fostering a positive attitude towards mathematics in many more families by actively engaging kids and families in recreational math activities and playful math exploration.

Many mathematicians and computer scientists attribute Martin Gardner’s Mathematical Games Column with first opening their eyes to the beauty and joy of mathematics. We believe this type of playful math engagement is foundational to the development of people who end up loving math and computer science.

While some analog and digital solutions for encouraging early math play exist, they’re not widespread. Our research shows that good, high efficacy content has been created, but it is not being fully utilized by most families due to challenges in discovery and continued engagement. We want to change that.

We believe that if we want to meaningfully shift the numeracy curve in the US, we’ll need highly scalable and cost-effective digital solutions to reimagine our early childhood culture around math. So, we want to support the creation of a trusted brand and platform for K-2 focused Math Play content in the US. This digital first brand will leverage games, interactive experiences, and passive-viewing content to facilitate long term engagement in math play.

The mission of the organization is simple: curate and promote a platform of quality early math play experiences that engage kids, is championed by educators, and trusted by parents.

The Role

We are looking for an experienced product leader to join the Carina team as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) to set the strategy, build an MVP, and become the CEO of this organization. This is a full-time position reporting to Carina’s Thinking Games Lead until successful spin-out, at which point the entrepreneur will assume the role of CEO of the new organization.

The EIR will have 6 months to refine the Math Play vision, build the business plan, and develop the brand and design spec. Once approved, Carina will provide funding and support for the CEO to recruit team members and launch the organization. The startup funding will be $3-5M. Carina is willing to continue to fund a series of rounds, should the organization continue to achieve strong growth numbers.

Our ambition is to have 3 million active kids monthly on this platform within a decade.

Carina expects that in order for this new organization to be successful, it will need to do the following key things well:

Curation – Select high quality recreational math content across games, books, shows, and interactives
Design – Build an accessible and engaging platform that works well for teachers, parents, and kids
Brand – Create a beloved, trusted and respected brand among educators and parents
Go-to-market – Develop and execute on a business model that leverages our brand, design, and content to convert educators into ambassadors and parents & schools into customers

Responsibilities

  • Communicate a compelling GTM strategy and product roadmap
  • Hire and manage a high-performing team
  • Build the organization and product from 0 to 1, then scale rapidly

Skills and experiences you’ll need to bring:

  • Product development and assessing product-market fit in a high-growth start-up
  • Deep appreciation of mathematics and desire to change the culture around early mathematics
  • Extremely high energy and drive – relentless
  • Exceptional communicator, capable of stakeholder management and relationship building
  • Proven track record in any of the following: Marketing, Development, or Design
  • Plus: 0 to 1 experience

Preferred Location: Remote and/or Southern California. Open to a fully remote US-based position with light quarterly travel.

We value and encourage diversity and solicit applications from all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, gender, sex, age, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, gender identity, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.

EIR Annual Salary: $200-$250K

CEO Compensation: TBD

Website: carina.fund

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