Episode #14: Our Children Can't Read

Tech Optimist Podcast — Tech, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation

Written by

Alumni Ventures

Published on


2 min

Join host Mike Collins on the Tech Optimist podcast as he interviews Andrea Reisman Johnson, CEO and Co-founder of Rally Reader. Discover how her platform addresses literacy challenges by combining technology with engaging content to enhance reading skills for K-12 students. Learn about Andrea’s personal journey in literacy and how Rally Reader is making reading accessible and enjoyable for children, helping them succeed academically.

Episode #14: Our Children Can’t Read

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In this episode, host Mike Collins highlights innovative technologies and their real-world impacts, focusing on ventures driving positive change. Andrea Reisman Johnson, CEO of Rally Reader, discusses a literacy solution using AI and machine learning to improve reading skills for K-12 students, emphasizing personalized progress tracking and engaging content. Explore Rally Reader’s journey, founder insights, and its potential to address critical literacy challenges.

Watch Time ~20 minutes

The show is produced by Alumni Ventures, which has been recognized as a “Top 20 Venture Firm” by CB Insights (’24) and as the “#1 Most Active Venture Firm in the US” by Pitchbook (’22 & ’23).


Creators and Guests


Mike Collins
CEO, and Co-Founder at Alumni Ventures

Mike has been involved in almost every facet of venturing, from angel investing to venture capital, new business and product launches, and innovation consulting. He is currently CEO of Alumni Ventures Group, the managing company for our fund, and launched AV’s first alumni fund, Green D Ventures, where he oversaw the portfolio as Managing Partner and is now Managing Partner Emeritus. Mike is a serial entrepreneur who has started multiple companies, including Kid Galaxy, Big Idea Group (partially owned by WPP), and RDM. He began his career at VC firm TA Associates. He holds an undergraduate degree in Engineering Science from Dartmouth and an MBA from Harvard Business School.


Andrea Reisman Johnson
CEO at Rally Reader

Andrea Reisman Johnson is the CEO and co-founder of Rally Reader, an app that helps children who are reluctant readers, have learning differences, or missed school during COVID. Johnson, a mother of three who struggled with reading herself, developed the app to help kids interact with devices they already use in a positive way. The app provides kids with pronunciations and definitions that match their grade level, which can help improve their reading comprehension, listening, speaking, and writing skills.

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