The first career matchmaking platform for high school students

By Cole Fortson

A Daring Idea for Education
The Problem

44% of graduating high school seniors in America don't have a career identified

There are 4 million high school freshmen in the US. After investing five days a week for 36 weeks a year, for four years, only half of them have learned enough to determine what they want to major in college. Even fewer have an idea of the actual career they wish to pursue once they graduate college.

4k+ hours

required to graduate high school


of college students change majors at least once

The American education system is experiencing a national crisis.

While much of the world has already been radically impacted by technology and design thinking, American high schools have barely changed at all. Once first in the world in high school completion rates, the US is now 23rd. While 80% of high school seniors receive a diploma, less than half of those are able to proficiently read or complete math problems. Over the past 40 years, despite billions of dollars invested in school reform, there has been no measurable improvement in the academic proficiency of American high school students. Reading and math scores have remained flat among 17-year-olds, as have scores in science, history, writing, and geography.

Compared to India and China, American high school students are in school 25 to 30% less. Meanwhile, investments in education have continually dropped. 34 states are contributing less funding per student this year than prior to the 2008 recession. Given that states are responsible for 44% of total education funding in the U.S., less funding has contributed to increased school closings, and in turn, frequent overcrowding.

An even bigger problem is threatening to handicap the U.S. behind most developing countries: little to no consideration is given to help students make the connection between tests and curriculum, and actual careers. Most high schools don’t provide practical classes to prepare students for life as adults, such as how to pay taxes, register to vote, get a loan, or manage a bank account. For the nearly 95% of 9th graders that report they plan to go to college, less than half are ready for college by the time they graduate. According to the largest standardized test in the United States, fewer than 40% of graduating seniors have mastered reading and math, and are poorly equipped for college. Additionally, 44% of graduating high school seniors report that they haven’t identified a career yet. The clock is ticking for our education system to provide students with tools and programs that truly prepare them for success in the real world.

A Bold Vision for the Future

The world's first career matchmaking platform for high school students

For graduating senior Cole Fortson, the problems plaguing the U.S. education system were vivid and obvious. Cole discovered a passion for coding early in life, but in contrast, he witnessed most of his classmates fall into the 44% of American graduating high school seniors who haven’t identified a career they want to pursue by the time they go to college.


of students enter college as undecided. Of those, as many as 75% will change their college major at least once in 4 years.

Inspired by the gaps in the high school education experience, as well as obvious pain points in school management and campus safety concerns, Cole began dreaming up radical solutions and eventually the idea for Edugate emerged. Edugate is an ed-tech platform that is bringing about huge advancements in modernizing the student and faculty experience.

Edugate is building an entire suite of cutting-edge ed-tech products that feel familiar, just like the apps you use on a daily basis. Currently, they’re focused on increasing transparency, ensuring campus safety, and helping students engage with their student body community.

Edugate’s grand vision is to algorithmically prepare and direct high school students to careers they love and jobs they’re passionate about. Based on student information and interaction within their app, Edugate provides clear and powerful data recommending industries and career focus areas. Their intuitive matchmaking system can also suggest educational content for students, helping to augment broad and generic classes with school-approved personalized classes. With this vast collection of combined educational resources from schools, communities, and corporations using Edugate, Students will be more prepared and equipped for their future.

Edugate is jumping into the fray in the educational technology market, which has an annual growth rate of 18% per year and is expected to reach 41 billion by 2020. While the market is tight and ed-tech products are highly competitive, Edugate’s versatile 3-product suite allows a school to select only what they need. In the next decade, Edugate hopes to help millions of students find their dream job and inspire them to educate the next generation.