Instructure was founded in 2008 by two smart (dare we say “visionary”?) computer science grad students who got their start with a Geo Metro, a big idea, and an instructor / mentor / techpreneur who thought they might be on to something.
That unassuming Geo Metro would set in motion the company’s legendary product validation tour, which was the catalyst for transforming that big idea into the Canvas learning management system (or LMS, if you speak edtech). And that instructor / mentor / techpreneur? He was (and still is) Josh Coates, Instructure’s first investor, its current CEO, and the founder of Berkeley Data Systems (a.k.a. Mozy).
With only two dozen employees, Instructure formally launched Canvas in February 2011. An open-source software and the only true, native cloud LMS, it set a new, open standard for education technology. Flash forward to Q4 2014, and Instructure’s headcount had grown to nearly 500, and the Canvas community had exploded to more than 1,000 colleges, universities, and K-12 schools with 16.5 million cumulative users (and counting).