From 1 to 50 Million Users: Andrew Sutherland’s Edtech Startup ‘Overnight’ Success

Constant commitment to the student experience drives innovation at Quizlet and remains its founder’s mantra.

HONOREE PROFILE | by Victor Rivero

Built by a student, the first iteration of Quizlet is something Andrew Sutherland created back in 2005 while a sophomore at Albany High School in California. He originally built it as a website to help himself study hundreds of French vocabulary words. Andrew majored in computer science at MIT, which he left after three years to continue working on Quizlet full-time, at the support of his professors.

Today, as founder and CTO of this user-powered learning platform used by more than 50 million students and teachers each month, Andrew is helping a lot more people than just himself and his friends. 

As CTO, Andrew is in charge of building the technology that powers more than 300 million study sets and allows millions of students to learn more efficiently.

Currently, Andrew is helping to build out Quizlet’s MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions) functionality, using machine learning to pull and analyze data from billions of study transactions on the platform which inform the development of highly relevant question-and-answer options.

Andrew’s constant commitment to the student experience is what drives innovation at Quizlet. In 2012 and 2013, Andrew was featured in Forbes Magazine’s 30 under 30 List for Education. He has since been featured in TechCrunch, EdTech Digest, and many other publications. In 2019, Andrew served as a commencement speaker for the Palo Alto High School graduating class, inspiring students with words of wisdom, encouragement, and to “always treat others well.”   

In 2020, Andrew was named Winner of The EdTech Leadership Award (“CEO/Founder – Startup”) as part of The EdTech Awards from EdTech Digest. 

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