Devin: What do you see as your superpower?
Sarah: I'm going to cheat a little bit because a friend told me yesterday where he thought mine was. And what he told me is the fact that I act on ideas. I move on ideas.
Sarah Thomas, PhD, is the founder and CEO of EduMatch, an ed-tech platform for educators around the world to share ideas and collaborate on their common passions.
“EduMatch started out very grassroots back in 2014,” Sarah says. “It was just kind of folks saying, ‘Hey, I know this one thing. I'm very passionate about this thing, and I'm looking for connections.’ So what I would do is just kind of connect folks over social media that had things in common.”
Today, the social enterprise is an umbrella organization for four different operations:
The company has already published 100 books!
Today, Sarah is leading the company through a crowdfunding campaign on SMBX.
Back in December, I was in a Facebook group, and someone mentioned the SMBX. I went on there and saw what they were doing, and I was just like, “This is amazing,” because I also dabble in investing myself.
So, I started going in and funding different things. I saw that there was a piece on there for entrepreneurs. I clicked on that and saw how I could get my business linked up with it. I said, “Okay, let's give it a shot.”
What I like about the SMBX is that they are a community-funded way to crowdsource funds for your business.
Sarah attributes her success to her superpower, her bias toward acting on her ideas.
AI Episode Summary
Devin Thorpe interviews Sarah Thomas, the founder of EduMatch, a global platform for educators and students to connect and improve education.
EduMatch started in 2014 as a grassroots initiative to connect educators with similar interests and has since grown to include publishing books, podcasting, and professional learning services.
The platform aims to amplify the voices of historically marginalized individuals and empower educators to learn and grow together.
EduMatch has an international reach, with participants from countries like Australia, Ghana, the Philippines, Canada, and Vietnam.
Sarah Thomas decided to use crowdfunding as a financing tool after discovering SMBX, a platform that aligned with their mission to empower educators and help them achieve their ideas.
Sarah's superpower is acting on ideas and embracing opportunities to try new things. She believes in taking risks and learning from failures.
She shares her own experience of struggling in her early years as an educator but finding the support and connection with students that kept her going.
Sarah's advice for others is to dive in and try new things, taking shots and staying in the fight even when facing challenges or failures.
To engage with EduMatch, individuals can visit the website edumatch.org, join the EduMatch Fam Facebook group, or email Sarah directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EduMatch is currently running a crowdfunding campaign on SMBX, and Sarah encourages people to participate and support their mission.
How to Develop Acting on Ideas As a Superpower
Sarah sees EduMatch as the manifestation of her superpower, acting on her ideas.
EduMatch almost didn't happen. I remember the backstory. It was a Friday night in September 2014. I was chatting with a friend on my phone, and so something she said just kind of gave me that idea, like, that might be a good thing to try.
I almost didn't act on it, but something told me, “Okay, you know, right now, right now, this is the time to go ahead and set up a Twitter profile. This is a time to set up a Google form. This is a time to set up a landing page. And let's do this.” I am just so glad that I listened to that little voice.
Sarah offers some advice for developing this bias toward acting on your ideas.
First, she suggests taking moderated risks. She counsels jumping in feet first rather than diving in head first.
Second, she says it is important to remember what Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” even if you don’t remember who said it.
Third, she points out that her friend Tammy Neal taught her that “it doesn’t count as failure unless you give up.” Sarah adds, “Sometimes you might have that little voice to listen to as well, saying, ‘Don't give up. Stay in the fight.’”
By following Sarah’s example and tips, you can strengthen your ability to act on your ideas, potentially turning that ability into a superpower that enables you to do even more good in the world.
Sarah Thomas, PhD (she/her):
About EduMatch: We are a worldwide community of educators who learn and grow together. We support one another in our professional learning journeys and believe in the power of sharing stories. For that reason, we connect on various social media platforms and build deep relationships that transcend geography, job titles, and all demographic categories. We also believe in empowering the expert within and seek to amplify voices of students and educators, as well as grassroots educational efforts.
Company Facebook Page: facebook.com/groups/edumatchfam
Other URL: thesmbx.com/app/auction/EduMatch-2
Biographical Information: Sarah Thomas, PhD is the founder of EduMatch, an organization that empowers educators to make global connections across common areas of interest. She has spoken and presented internationally, participated in the Technical Working Group to refresh the 2017 ISTE Standards for Educators, and is a recipient of the ISTE Making IT Happen award. Sarah is a co-author of the ISTE digital equity series, Closing the Gap and the winner of the 2023 Maryland Society for Educational Technology Outstanding Leader Using Technology award.
Twitter Handle: @sarahdateechur
Personal Facebook Profile: facebook.com/sarahdateechur
Instagram Handle: @edu_match
For the September SuperCrowdHour, I’m going to share some of the lessons I’ve learned from making dozens of crowdfunding investments and talking to hundreds of entrepreneurs and investors. You’ll learn not just how to make investments via crowdfunding but how to make money doing it.
Many impact crowdfunding investors focus on impact first. I admire the approach but note that a goal for maximizing impact is best accomplished by making money. It works two ways. A company that goes out of business has no impact after it dies. One that grows profitably can do unlimited amounts of good. Furthermore, if the investment delivers financial results to you, you can reinvest and do more good as an investor!
If you’re focused primarily on making money, you’ll find this session helpful, too. We’ll discuss maximizing financial returns. Don’t miss it!
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