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Knowledge Is Power

Profile of educational software company Blackboard Inc.

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This story appears in the August 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

Most college campuses touted Internet connectivity by 1997. But as co-workers in the higher education technology practice at KPMG, Michael Chasen and Matthew Pittinsky, now both 28, discovered students were mostly e-mailing and "studying" Quake and Doom. Intent on maximizing the educational benefits of schools' Internet infrastructures, Chasen, a Georgetown MBA, and Pittinsky, a Harvard Education School alum, quit KPMG and rented a Dupont Circle, DC, brownstone under the name Blackboard LLC (now Inc.) to create a software solution.

Four months later, Blackboard scored revenue through a 1,600-college/university consulting contract. Enter a dozen more bodies into the two-room, desk-dense brownstone, already at capacity with two guys and a dog.

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