Garrett Smiley

Garrett Smiley – The School of the Future

Garrett Smiley – The School of the Future

Garrett Smiley is the Co-Founder of Sora Schools, an education startup based in Atlanta. Sora is a virtual, project-based high school where students explore their interests, learn however is best for them, and gain exposure to future careers and fields of work

Prior to Sora, Garrett co-founded a charity which built wells in developing nations called Drops of Love. Garret also directed a university startup incubator called Core Founders at Georgia Tech, and started an education non-profit that worked with foster children to develop financial literacy called Flip. Garrett studied Computer Science at Georgia Tech. Garrett also worked as a Venture Partner at Contrary Capital where he scouted, invested in, and mentored startups in the Atlanta area

Key Takeaways:

00:21 What’s your Elevator Pitch?

00:58 What’s your Origin Story?

07:54 All About Sora Schools

14:15 What are your typical students there?

15:42 What’s the application and first day like in Sora?

19:32 Requirements in order to graduate from Sora

22:00 Roles of the Adults in Sora

25:34 Getting into College

27:01 Is Internship part of your high school experience?

32:49 Metaphor comparing Sora School and Conventional Education


“How do you solve a system issue, you create another system, right?”

“We take a really different approach to education, but we don’t instead make people sit and, you know, control their seat time, if you will.”

“They should have in-person interaction, but why are we shipping kids off at school just that they can receive a human YouTube video lecture?”

“We’re hoping to create a lot more paths out of high school. So families have more options.”

“Before COVID happened, we were having to do meet ups. So we’re hosting meetups every once in a while they are going to museums together, and this is something we want to continue to do.”

“It’s so funny. People don’t realize, like this is a fairly recent invention, like in the grand scheme of things of what we consider schooling is still novel and, and it worked. But unfortunately, the whole world has changed.”

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