Chris Bennett & Arrel Gray

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Chris Bennett & Arrel Gray

Arrel Gray co-founded several startups before Wonderschool, including social shopping service Soldsie in 2011 and social platform Yolk in 2010. Chris Bennett founded the networking group Black Founders in 2011. Both startup founders did not have any public criminal records or arrests.

You will find a deep dive of our findings into Arrel Gray's and Chris Bennett's backgrounds below.

ARREL GRAY

Arrel Gray co-founded Wonderschool in 2016 together with Chris Bennett. Before Wonderschool, Gray also co-founded social shopping service Soldsie in 2011, social platform Yolk in 2010 and web design studio 17FEET in 2004. He holds a bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Grinnell College.

In 2017 Arrel Gray was featured by TechCrunch together with Chris Bennett after their childcare platform Wonderschool raised $2 million in funding. The article reported that Gray started Wonderschool after he struggled to find a desirable daycare for his own toddler. Business Insider reported that Gray and Bennett initially partnered with two experienced educators which later grew to a team of five teachers.

In a CCN interview in January 2018, Gray shared that he is looking to start millions of Wonderschool programs in the long term. At the time of the interview, Gray revealed that there are around 80 Wonderschool programs operating in California and New York, among other states.

In a featured case study by IBM, Gray shared that he is a software engineer and has built several medium-scale services for tens of thousands of records.

In 2013, TechCrunch reported that Gray built Soldsie together with Bennett after they discovered that retailers engaged clients on Facebook. The article noted that Soldsie proved successful especially with mom-turned-entrepreneurs, who don't have physical stores or eCommerce sites.

According to his Facebook account, Arrel Gray is currently based in Los Angeles, California though he was originally from Austin, Texas. On Twitter, he currently has 145 followers and frequently posts entrepreneurship news and trivia. On Angel.co Gray has 134 connections and defines his markets as Education and Marketplaces. His skills list includes product development, small business, UI design, and web development. According to Crunchbase and The Official Board, Gray serves as CTO in both Wonderschool and Soldsie.

We did not find any criminal records or police arrests for Arrel Gray in public registries, social media or in the news. We searched California arrests databases, public records websites and trusted media sources but did not find any criminal records for Arrel Gray. Though this information might be private, we think that the lack of records in publicly available arrests database and news show that Gray may not have been arrested at all.

CHRIS BENNETT

Chris Bennett co-founded Wonderschool with Arrel Gray in 2016. He holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School. Bennett founded the campus-based startup LiquidBooks in 2005. He also founded the networking group Black Founders in 2011, the same year he co-founded Soldsie. Bennett currently serves as the CEO of both Soldsie and Wonderschool.

According to his Facebook profile, Bennett lives in Miami, Florida, but is originally from San Francisco, California. On Twitter, Chris Bennett has 2,151 followers and posts mostly about entrepreneurship and Wonderschool updates.

On Angel.co Bennett has 526 connections and lists his markets as consumer internet, SaaS, mobile commerce, ventures for good and social media platforms, among others. He lists his skills as valuation, merger and acquisition, and Python. He also serves as advisor to Parachute and YoGov. Finally, Bennett reveals that he invested an undisclosed amount in Forkable, a lunch delivery startup.

In 2018, Bennett was included in Pitchbook's 25 Black Founders and VCs to watch this year. In April 2017, Bennett was one of several startup founders who gave a talk at VC in Residence at WeWork. Miami Herald reported that Bennett is a passionate proponent of accelerators such as NewME and 500 Startups. He said, "Talk to as many VCs as you can, because you learn what they care about... The best way to get ready for talking to VCs is to join an accelerator. The next best way is to surround yourself with entrepreneurs who have been successful and learn from them." Bennett also shared that he appreciated Silicon Valley's ecosystem of entrepreneurs, engineers and investors.

In a 2017 interview with RollingOut, Bennett shared that he started several companies before Wonderschool and Soldsie. His decision to start Wonderschool was born out of his desire to focus on social impact. Bennett also shared that he met Arrel Gray around 2010 in San Francisco. Regarding how his family background influenced his career, Bennet said: "I just know that my parents were entrepreneurs, so when they moved to the States they both started businesses. My dad ran a corner store, my mom was a tax preparer. So I just saw firsthand what it was like to operate a small business and the amount of work that went into it, so that’s how I first acquired the skill to run Wonderschool." In a recent article by Moguldom, Bennett traces his appreciation for education to his immigrant Honduran parents.

Finally, Bennett shared that he is looking to expand Wonderschool in Texas, Seattle, New York and other cities. In 2017 Forbes reported that Wonderschool had 50 programs in California.

We did not find any criminal records or police arrests for Chris Bennett in public registries, social media or in the news. We searched publicly available arrests database such as MyLife and MonsterCrawler but found no records for Bennett. Though this information might be private and not disclosed to the public, we think that the lack of criminal records in public databases and news show that Bennett had not been arrested at all in his life.

CONCLUSION

To wrap it up, Wonderschool co-founder and CTO Arrel Gray co-founded several startups before Wonderschool including social shopping service Soldsie in 2011, social platform Yolk in 2010 and web design studio 17FEET in 2004. Wonderschool co-founder and CEO Chris Bennett founded the networking group Black Founders in the same year he co-founded Soldsie with Gray (2011). We did not find any public criminal records or arrests for either Wonderschool co-founders.
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