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About Us

About Us

Our Story

Friends joined by a common desire to make the world a better place for all kids to thrive

Everyone knows kids use their technology for everything else they feel is important – connecting with friends, family and learning about a whole world of other stuff. We’ve committed to build authentic and easy-to-use tech-based tools that help kids make wiser decisions and make sense their world and the people around them. Our products bring a predictive digital triage to identify potential trending hotspots in a child’s behavior. Innovative A.I. algorithms learn and adjust content and mentoring so each interaction is personalized to that child’s needs. HOW IT ALL BEGAN…


Team

Beth Carls

Beth Carls
Co-Founder, CEO
Board Member

Amy Looper

Amy Looper
Co-Founder, COO
Board Member

Eric Castro

Eric Castro
Partner
CTO

Mike Castro

Michael Castro
Partner
Engineer

Christie Curtis

Christie Curtis, LMSW
Chat Manager

Rahul Das

Rahul Das
Business BBA, UT Austin 2021
Sales Intern

Pam Heller

Pam Heller, M.Ed.
Content Director

Jackie Montaine

Jackie Montaine
MBA/Social Enterprise Concentration
UT Austin 2019
Sales/Marketing Intern

Madison Rogas

Madison Rogas, M.Ed.
Counselor Education ’19
Translator/Chat Mentor

Melina Soroka

Melina Soroka
MBA/MA in Advertising UT Austin 2019
Marketing Intern

Darci Bechen-Terry

Darci Bechen-Terry
Creative Director/Illustrator

Zac Ziebarth

Zac Ziebarth
Partner
Business Development

Minty Ro Bot

Minty Ro Bot
Virtual Partner
AI Analyst
Personal Assistant


Advisors

Eric Boyce

Eric Boyce
Partner/Advisor
Board Observer

Bob Bridge

Bob Bridge
Southwest Angel Network
Investor/Partner/Advisor
Board Observer

Cliff Drane

Cliff Drane
VP of Creative & User Experience Limeade
Partner/Advisor

Ann Fry

Ann Fry, MSW
Clinical SocialWork
Chat Mentor/Advisor

Teresa Herrin

Teresa Herrin, CEO
American College Tours
College Selection & Admission Specialist
Strategic Partner/Advisor

Arnav Jain

Arnav Jain
AI/Data Analysis Engineer/BS Computer Science, BBA Business Honors University of Texas at Austin 2019/Advisor

Meeta Kothare

Meeta Kothare, Phd
UT McCombs Social Innovation Initiative/Advisor

Amy McIntyre

Amy McIntyre, M.Ed.
Director for TX College Tours
Strategic Partner
Instructional Technology/Advisor

Brian Mikulencak

Brian Mikulencak
Blue Dot Advocates, PBC
Board Observer


Alliances

BCorp Logo
Cedars Logo
CISCT Logo
Rackspace Logo
Swan Logo
SELL Fellowship Logo
UTSII Logo

Investors

Bob Bridge
Southwest Angel Network

Bob Bridge
Executive Director
Southwest Angel Network

Ready to see where reThinkIt! and ThinkingApp can help improve your attendance, support teachers in the classroom and increase your school revenues?

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Beth and Amy partied, as the Prince song goes, like it was 1999! Literally – because they, along with eight other co-founders, had taken their internet consulting firm public in September 1999. In fact, on that momentous day, there were 28 new millionaires created from the initial group who decided to “take the plunge” in 1996 with them.

The team created the largest mid-cap, high-tech IPO and had grown 8,164% in a mere 35 months. By creating the first internet consulting company to fully integrate a cracker-jack team of tech and creatives under one roof, they picked up a Fortune 500 group of early adopter clients such as Exxon, Chevon, Dell, Sony, Enron, Halliburton, Master Card, United Airlines, Hilton, M&M Mars, Continental Airlines, Merrill Lynch, Duke, Marathon Oil, USAA, and more.

An exciting local achievement came when their company won the Houston Business Journal’s Fastest Growing Private Company award and went public a month later. Who wouldn’t be partying, happy and ready to kick back and relax? They’d just come off of a huge rocket-ride of success.

Not Beth and Amy. They knew this was actually just the beginning for them. The beginning of what they really felt called to do as social venture entrepreneurs – use technology and sound business principles as a true force for doing good and doing well in the world – for kids…

Today, Beth and Amy – along with OneSeventeen Media’s innovative team, many who have worked together since the rocket-ride days – share a common commitment to using technology so kids can thrive.

Beth Carls Co-Founder, CEO, Board Member

My Story

"It’s true. I’m the techie parent who introduced my boys to Twitter!” From busts in the plumbing lines to facilitating board meetings, I guess you could say I’ve done it all around the office! Sometimes with more finesse that at other times but all the while wanting to serve our team as a rock solid example of doing whatever it takes. As a social venture entrepreneur, my commitment is to building our company with a greater purpose that includes higher standards of accountability, transparency and performance.

I grew up in a small East Texas town of 2,500 and experienced what it means to be supported by a “village”. There was always someone to give me advice or encouragement. I had a wonderful education experience and grew up believing I could accomplish anything.

Still, despite having confidence and caring people to turn to, like most adolescents, there were things I didn’t share that I tried to handle on my own. Having an unbiased, anonymous resource of trusted advice – like the advice given by our products – would have been very helpful.

My grandmother’s example instilled in me the importance of giving back. Throughout my working career, I have valued volunteering to non-profit organizations such as, The HEB Feast of Sharing, The March of Dimes, FotoFest Intl., The Women’s Home, Human Rights Campaign, Target Hunger, Boys and Girls Clubs, ChildBuilders, SafePlace and Travis County Healthy Adolescent Initiative. I also enjoy mentoring young people and have supported the amazing work of Austin’s Un.Incubator, SXSWedu Advisory Board, University of Texas’ Social Entrepreneur Leadership Lab (SELL) Fellowship and University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business Social Innovation Initiative.

The professional stuff

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

In 1996, I helped found a private Internet professional services firm, Align Solutions – the fastest growing private company in Houston from 1996-1999. It was a wild ride - we grew 8,164% in 35 months working with innovative clients like Exxon, Container Store, Continental Airlines and Dell Computers. Align merged with 7 other companies in 1999 creating Luminant Worldwide, the largest mid-cap IPO in the tech sector (September 1999) with a $158 million valuation. It was exciting to see 28 young team members who took the plunge with us become millionaires the day we went public.

With co-founder Amy Looper and eight other partners, we created Luminant as the first Internet consulting firm to fully converge two industries into a “technology-meets-design” company. Out of this hard word and the IPO we created with a $158M valuation and 1200 employees, Amy and I were able to fund our first social enterprise.

From 2000-2008, we produced online interactive tools to help almost 200 schools and 500,000 kids stay in school and develop their character skills.

My fourth and latest venture with co-founder Amy Looper, OneSeventeen Media, helps kids self-discover to make sense of their world with social media. Our latest tipping point products are reThinkIt!, a kid’s personal need-it-now mobile mentor, and ThinkingApp, interactive e-books that help children make wiser decisions through SEL and Restorative Justice principles.

Two main things that motivate me today: 1) creating mobile tools that give digital natives a safe “virtual village” for support; and 2) growing our company to such financial success that we can help fund other women-led companies.

Amy Looper Co-Founder, COO, Board Member

My Story

“He walked right up to me and put the noose around my neck.”

Yes, I was hung on the playground with a jump rope by a classmate twice my size. Literally, my life was saved that day by the recess bell. I was an easy target because I had repeated first and third grade, being labeled “the stupid kid”. I was bullied regularly for what seemed like an eternity from my kid point of view. I had loving parents who did everything they could to try to help alleviate the problems, still there were things I didn’t share.

Fast forward, I’ve realized my unique experiences as a bullied kid and understanding the power of technology are some of the main sources of our innovation today. Building the world’s first and best AI-driven mobile apps, smart enough to help kids make wiser decisions and develop a healthy sense of self, are the main goals that fuel my passion. We’ve reimagined school-counseling-meets-social-emotional-learning for 21st Century kids.

By building today's intelligent data-driven virtual Jiminy Cricket, from my childhood era, or virtual Baymax, for today's kids, we gather and adjust content specifically tailored to meet their individual needs – personally there for them on-demand.

Our team is building smart applications for a world where kids can focus on being kids, while having their own AI-driven intelligent chat-bot counselor and a live counselor at their fingertips – just a simple text away. This is my personal why – to help kids discover their value so they can revel in who they are and thrive.

The professional stuff

I cut my creative teeth in the fast-paced advertising world at one of the largest ad agencies in the Southeast. In 1982, after moving back to Houston, my hometown, I found myself with a stellar portfolio of agency experience. Even after my work experience on several major national accounts, I was still unable to get full-time work thanks to the 1980’s oil boom-bust and subsequent economic recession. Being young enough to not know how afraid I probably should have been, I jumped in for an eat-or-die entrepreneurial venture, founding my first private company by breaking a continual sweat and delivering exceptional creative and customer service experiences.

In 1997, I parlayed the design and marketing firm I co-founded with Beth Carls, into founding partner equity in Align Solutions, an internet consulting startup. I was one of ten co-founders that steered Align to a staggering 8164% growth in less than three years, garnering us Houston Business Journal’s Fastest Growing Company. Align became Luminant Worldwide, the largest mid-cap IPO in the tech sector (September 1999), with a $158 million valuation. Yes, those were the heady days when you could get money for an idea sketched out on a napkin!

Leveraging my past experiences to co-found OneSeventeen Media feels like I’m home. A place where everything I’ve learned (and continue to learn today) is poured into building mobile applications with an innovative team of like-minded folks. We all have purpose to use technology as a force for good and doing well especially for kids.

I watched my Mom volunteer all of her life and frequently tagged along. It's something I've tried to model so volunteering comes naturally to me as well. There's too much volunteering over the years to list but I currently enjoy serving as a long-time SXSW Edu Advisory Board member, Startup Launch mentor judge and Student Startup Emcee. I also volunteer as a mentor-in-residence for the University of Texas' Social Entrepreneur Leadership Lab (SELL) Fellowship and University of Texas' McCombs School of Business Social Innovation Initiative.

As an author and energetic speaker I've enjoyed representing our company's successes and have appeared on national media outlets such as CNN, CNN/HLN, A&E, USA Today, TIME and People Magazine. I've presented our bullying research to the U.S. Congressional education staff members as well as participated in the White House Conference on School Safety.

Recently I was honored to represent OneSeventeen Media by presenting remarks to the US Conference of Mayors 86th Winter Conference's Education and Workforce Development Committee Members in Washington, D.C. about our research and innovative use of Artificial Intelligence to affect school safety.