Tembo Education: Phil Michaels, Founder Spotlight

by Evelyn Donatelli

How did the idea to found an education-technology company for children come to you? Was this in mind before your dual MBA in Entrepreneurship and Master of Science: Marketing at Tampa’s Sykes College of Business?

I was a premedical student in undergraduate college, and subsequently the Yankee team physician’s assistant, before my entrepreneurial ambitions accelerated following working with a fitness start-up. From there, I realized I could have more impact as an entrepreneur than in the traditional medical field, and applied to business school to further pursue.

Why children’s education, and why 0-6 age range specifically?

Social impact initiatives which already existed in our first target demographic, Sub-Saharan Africa, specifically Nigeria, shelter, clothes and food were often provided, but education was not. Ages 0-6 are the most imperative for brain development. By providing education to children during the most pivotal time for their development, we give them the opportunity to succeed not only in education, but in life, by teaching them basic social and critical skills which can be applied and leveraged for the rest of their lives.

Does Tembo Education currently have a presence in the US? Where do you see Tembo going in the next few years?

Tembo has recently launched in the USA, allowing signups nationwide, and already have customers in Boston, Florida, DC, New York, and more.

For every child educated in America, it enables Tembo to educate children who are underserved; similar to TOMS shoes' "1-for-1" model.

Tembo aims to transform early childhood education for the world by making high-quality education more accessible and affordable for millions of children worldwide. Their vision is to become the #1 one-to-one learning platform in the world for 0-6 year old children.

Come see Phil speak at our Social Enterprise Panel on Thursday, March 29, 2018 from 5-6:30pm in Emerson 210. He’ll be speaking more about his work and answer audience questions at the event!