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Apple Acquires Coursera Professor’s Startup for $200M

MOOCs have opened the way for many new things. One of their more amazing aspects is that they’ve connected normal, everyday learners — like you and me — to people who are actively contributing to the online learning space, and who are (in some cases at least) building cutting-edge technologies. We actually get to learn directly from these proactive, influential experts.

Dr. Carlos Guestrin and his co-teacher Dr. Emily Fox, who are Amazon Professors of Machine Learning at the University of Washington, teach the Machine Learning Specialization on Coursera. Incidentally, Carlos got his PhD from Stanford under Coursera founder Daphne Koller.

I have done the first two courses of the Machine Learning Specialization. The Specialization uses a library called “Graphlab” (though you can also use a different library) to teach Machine Learning concepts. Carlos started the open source Graphlab project in 2009, when he was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

In 2013, Carlos launched a startup built around this open source project, and he raised $6.75 million for the startup. According to Geekwire, his startup called Turi (formerly Dato, and before that GraphLab Inc.) was acquired by Apple earlier this month for $200 million. In all, Turi had raised $25.25 million from investors before being acquired by Apple.

You can learn more about Carlo’s journey in the interview below.

Full Episode: Carlos Guestrin