We’re at it again with our Founders Edition Wisdom Wednesday. This month, we connected with Timeri Tolnay, CEO of EdCuration. As a career educator, Timeri became an “edupreneur” in 2008 to help start a curriculum and professional development company which she launched, grew and exited from in 2014. In 2019, she launched EdCuration to bring a match-making marketplace to the education industry to help educators more easily identify the high-quality instructional resources that they need, and to get better learning materials into classrooms, faster.
Timeri is an amazing entrepreneur and we were so excited to sit down with her.
Watch the full conversation on our IGTV here!
Can you Share Your Founders Story?
Timeri comes to entrepreneurship through two ways. The first — living a problem throughout her career and then getting the inspiration to try and solve it through technology and the second — having a husband who has always been an entrepreneur, “I thought to myself man if he can figure it out, then I can as well, so he was definitely an inspiration.”
EdCuration is an online marketplace for educators to find instructional resources. “I started as a K12 teacher and then was a school and district administrator for 12 years. During this time I went through 3 different curriculum purchases.” Later, she started a curriculum company with a colleague that she grew and sold into many school districts across the county. Through these experiences, she saw that technology could be leveraged to make it easier for educators to find the instructional resources that they need.
“Most people don’t know that educators spend billions of dollars (and many hours) every year on getting new and exciting learning resources into classrooms for our children.” EdCuration helps educators with that process by curating a collection of high quality supplemental learning programs into an online marketplace to make searching, discovering, evaluating, comparing and connecting to programs & providers easier than ever before.
What advice would you give to yourself on Day 1 of starting your business?
“Continue to practice faith building exercises. When we start a company, we start it with a lot of faith, during the valleys, it can be hard to keep the faith, but through perseverance we always get there.”
What are your biggest goals for this year + how do you plan to celebrate when you hit them?
This year EdCuration is building 3 new features to their marketplace that will bring values to both of their customer sets. “Our goal is to complete this by the end of the year but we’ve also given space to complete by Q1 of 2022, because sometimes that’s how these things go.” Timeri explained that she wants to get better about finding ways to celebrate with her team, especially after this year of not being all together, she wants to learn and has it on her list to determine how to celebrate those wins.
How do you define work life balance?
“Is there balance? It’s a bit of an imbalance.” One thing Timeri is grateful for with this entrepreneurial journey, and the silver lining of it being time consuming is that, “It does force me to really get clear about what is most important. If I don’t take care of what is most important, I will be no good. For me, it’s health and well being and then my family. In my work life balance, that takes priority every day. My daughter is in high school so she has some independence, but it’s really 7 days a week that I am checking in to make sure I’m exercising, sleeping and seeing friends because community is so important.”
With things starting to return to normal Timeri would like to add travel to her work / life balance practice. “My family loves to travel together, and we’re hoping to schedule a trip to Vietnam, which could also be celebratory!”
Who / what inspires you?
The person that inspires Timeri most takes the form of a 15 year-old girl, “My daughter inspires me to set an example for what can be different in her world compared to mine growing up.” Timeri went into education because at the time a lot of women went into either nursing or teaching, that’s not that case as much any more and it’s exciting to be able to set an example for her daughter in that way.
Favorite sip + snack? (favorite wine, other alcohol or non-alcoholic beverage and pairing!)
“I am never disappointed with a good aperol spritz and a light Italian pizza with arugula and olive oil on top, delish!!” Now we’re hungry!!
A big thank you to Timeri for sitting down and chatting with us. We are thrilled to have you as part of the Wander + Ivy community and thank you for the impactful work you do!
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