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Our People

The Valenture team is made up of expert, highly-qualified teachers, passionate mentors and educational visionaries, a dedicated admissions team, innovative learning designers, and team players who are all instrumental to our overall success.

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The Board

    Robp Desk

    Robert Paddock

    Founder & CEO

    Robert is the co-founder of GetSmarter, an online education company that has educated over 90,000 working professionals from 134 countries around the world, and partners with Universities such as Harvard, Cambridge, MIT, Oxford, LSE and Stanford. GetSmarter sold to Nasdaq-listed 2U in 2017. Rob is a founding board member of Injini, Africa’s first EdTech incubator, an Executive Director of Hubble Studios, an education technology agency in Cape Town, and an advisor to a number of online education companies in Africa and abroad.

    Robp Desk

    Robert Paddock

    Founder & CEO

    Robert is the co-founder of GetSmarter, an online education company that has educated over 90,000 working professionals from 134 countries around the world, and partners with Universities such as Harvard, Cambridge, MIT, Oxford, LSE and Stanford. GetSmarter sold to Nasdaq-listed 2U in 2017. Rob is a founding board member of Injini, Africa’s first EdTech incubator, an Executive Director of Hubble Studios, an education technology agency in Cape Town, and an advisor to a number of online education companies in Africa and abroad.

    Robl Desk

    Prof. Robert Lue

    Chancellor of Valenture Institute & Harvard University Professor

    Robert is a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Richard L. Menschel Faculty Director of the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard University, where he is responsible for fostering innovative teaching in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. In 2012, Rob’s extensive work on using technology to enhance learning took a new direction when he became the Faculty Director of HarvardX. In addition, as the Faculty Director of the Harvard Ed Portal, Rob oversees the integration of undergraduate education with community outreach on Harvard’s Allston campus and is currently the UNESCO Chair on Biology and Social Innovation.

    Robl Desk

    Prof. Robert Lue

    Chancellor of Valenture Institute & Harvard University Professor

    Robert is a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Richard L. Menschel Faculty Director of the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard University, where he is responsible for fostering innovative teaching in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. In 2012, Rob’s extensive work on using technology to enhance learning took a new direction when he became the Faculty Director of HarvardX. In addition, as the Faculty Director of the Harvard Ed Portal, Rob oversees the integration of undergraduate education with community outreach on Harvard’s Allston campus and is currently the UNESCO Chair on Biology and Social Innovation.

    Samer Salty

    Samer Salty

    Founding Investor

    Samer is the founder and managing partner of Zouk Capital with almost 30 years’ experience in private equity, sustainability, investment banking and technology. Samer’s vision for sustainability started with his investment in The Carbon Neutral Company in 2000 and his philosophy is to make investments that both create economic value and build on sustainable principles. Samer holds a B.S. in Electronic Engineering from California Polytechnic and a M.S. in Management and Finance from MIT. He also sits on the International Council of the Harvard Kennedy School, Belfer Centre, and the Advisory Board of the MIT Sloan School of Management.

    Samer Salty

    Samer Salty

    Founding Investor

    Samer is the founder and managing partner of Zouk Capital with almost 30 years’ experience in private equity, sustainability, investment banking and technology. Samer’s vision for sustainability started with his investment in The Carbon Neutral Company in 2000 and his philosophy is to make investments that both create economic value and build on sustainable principles. Samer holds a B.S. in Electronic Engineering from California Polytechnic and a M.S. in Management and Finance from MIT. He also sits on the International Council of the Harvard Kennedy School, Belfer Centre, and the Advisory Board of the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Leadership Team

Amy Desk

Amy Johnson

Chief Academic Officer

Amy is a curious and enthusiastic EdTech leader. Nearing 10 years in the education sphere, Amy has spent the majority of her career leading GetSmarter’s learning design, learning technology, learning analytics and student support services, most notably on GetSmarter’s executive team as Chief of Education. She completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Media and Writing and has a Post-Grad in Education. Her passion lies in pursuing micro-credentials.

Amy Desk

Amy Johnson

Chief Academic Officer

Amy is a curious and enthusiastic EdTech leader. Nearing 10 years in the education sphere, Amy has spent the majority of her career leading GetSmarter’s learning design, learning technology, learning analytics and student support services, most notably on GetSmarter’s executive team as Chief of Education. She completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Media and Writing and has a Post-Grad in Education. Her passion lies in pursuing micro-credentials.

Brad Desk

Bradley Elliott

Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer

Brad’s passion is growing brands and businesses. As founder of Platinum Seed, he grew the company to its current form as digital partner to some of the most recognised regional and global brands operating within Africa. Platinum Seed also acted as an incubator for two other businesses he founded: CheqOut, one of South Africa’s first mobile payment solutions [winner of Mobile Monday’s App Of The Year] & Continuon, an Intelligent Social Marketing SaaS platform. He is driven to evolve the secondary education landscape, not only through the delivery of knowledge, but importantly to help students develop skills that keep them future-fit.

Brad Desk

Bradley Elliott

Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer

Brad’s passion is growing brands and businesses. As founder of Platinum Seed, he grew the company to its current form as digital partner to some of the most recognised regional and global brands operating within Africa. Platinum Seed also acted as an incubator for two other businesses he founded: CheqOut, one of South Africa’s first mobile payment solutions [winner of Mobile Monday’s App Of The Year] & Continuon, an Intelligent Social Marketing SaaS platform. He is driven to evolve the secondary education landscape, not only through the delivery of knowledge, but importantly to help students develop skills that keep them future-fit.

Dan Desk

Daniel Coetzer

Registrar

Daniel was the registrar at GetSmarter where he worked in a senior capacity within a student success team, which has given him a thorough understanding of what students need to be successful in an online learning environment. His work is underpinned by a strong passion for high-quality education and social equality. In working with leading universities around the world, he has built strong working relationships with university academics and administrators, and developed the skills necessary to ensure that the varied needs and requirements of partner institutions are met.

Dan Desk

Daniel Coetzer

Registrar

Daniel was the registrar at GetSmarter where he worked in a senior capacity within a student success team, which has given him a thorough understanding of what students need to be successful in an online learning environment. His work is underpinned by a strong passion for high-quality education and social equality. In working with leading universities around the world, he has built strong working relationships with university academics and administrators, and developed the skills necessary to ensure that the varied needs and requirements of partner institutions are met.

Rick Desk

Rick Greener

Principal

Rick is an accomplished educator with 30 years of teaching experience, over half of which has been at management level. For the last 20 years he has worked in an international school which offers the Cambridge Examinations. Having taught science and biology to the International GCSE and A-Levels, he is well versed in the UK curriculum expectations and as professional development coordinator, has introduced many of the best practice teaching methods into his school. Rick got involved in education technology as the wave began to form in South Africa and helped organise and run the first national EdTech Conference. Since then, he has travelled both locally and abroad to research, plan and successfully implement the use of educational technology.

Rick Desk

Rick Greener

Principal

Rick is an accomplished educator with 30 years of teaching experience, over half of which has been at management level. For the last 20 years he has worked in an international school which offers the Cambridge Examinations. Having taught science and biology to the International GCSE and A-Levels, he is well versed in the UK curriculum expectations and as professional development coordinator, has introduced many of the best practice teaching methods into his school. Rick got involved in education technology as the wave began to form in South Africa and helped organise and run the first national EdTech Conference. Since then, he has travelled both locally and abroad to research, plan and successfully implement the use of educational technology.

Team Leads

    Nesh Desk

    Nesh Govender

    Head of Admissions

    Nesh Desk

    Nesh Govender

    Head of Admissions

    Grant Desk

    Grant Ruskovich

    Head of Strategic Partnerships

    Grant Desk

    Grant Ruskovich

    Head of Strategic Partnerships

    Cheryl Desk

    Cheryl Howson

    Head of Finance

    Cheryl Desk

    Cheryl Howson

    Head of Finance

    Richard Desk

    Richard Thompson

    Head of Legal & Governance

    Richard Desk

    Richard Thompson

    Head of Legal & Governance

    Chigava Desk

    Chivimbiso Gava

    Head of Learning Design

    Chigava Desk

    Chivimbiso Gava

    Head of Learning Design

    Kim Desk

    Kim Westcott

    Head of Technology

    Kim Desk

    Kim Westcott

    Head of Technology

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    Justin Sandler

    Head of Paid Media

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    Justin Sandler

    Head of Paid Media

    Tim Desk

    Tim Abel

    Head of Planning & Strategic Project Management

    Tim Desk

    Tim Abel

    Head of Planning & Strategic Project Management

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    Lizzy Steenkamp

    Head of Learning Technology

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    Lizzy Steenkamp

    Head of Learning Technology

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    Simone Botes

    Operations Manager

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    Simone Botes

    Operations Manager

Offices

    Londondesk

    London

    +44 845 095 0046
    100 Brompton Road, London, SW3 1ER
    UK

    Londondesk

    London

    +44 845 095 0046
    100 Brompton Road, London, SW3 1ER
    UK

    Bostondesk

    Boston

    +44 845 095 0046
    539 Washington St, Boston, MA 02111,
    United States

    Bostondesk

    Boston

    +44 845 095 0046
    539 Washington St, Boston, MA 02111,
    United States

    Cpt

    Cape Town

    +27 21 207 3894
    4 Wandel St, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001
    South Africa

    Cpt

    Cape Town

    +27 21 207 3894
    4 Wandel St, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001
    South Africa