Skip to content

Founder Friday: Scott Wayman, Kangarootime


From the moment a child is born until the day they enter the workforce, they are continously coming into contact with people that impact their development. Childcare workers, elementary school teachers, professors, and of course their family play a major role in physical and cognitive growth.

Scott Wayman realized that the educational sector was seriously lacking innovation, despite being so essential to our development. This led him to start Kangarootime, a platform that’s automating tasks for educators and better connecting families to their child’s education.

Learn how the 2017 43North Winner is changing the face of education and striving to achieve ACV Auctions-level growth in today’s Founder Friday!

How did your startup, well, start up?

I started my first company as an ‘intrepreneur,’ meaning I joined an existing company (Medstreaming) and started a business within that company. It was a really exciting time in the world of healthcare, and our little team was punching above its weight, taking on multi-billion dollar companies and closing deals in some of the most prestigious health systems around the world.  We raised a nice Series A and had an incredible ride.

In that time I had taken guardianship and adopted my youngest brother after my Mom was diagnosed with ALS. I saw from the parents perspective how dynamic Early Education/Childcare Centers were, and what a challenging paradigm we have in delivering high-quality childhood development. I knew that the innovation that we have all tried so hard to demand from our healthcare would be more enthusiastically backed and adopted in the world of education.

What do you do? Your Startup?

We have 4 core competencies. First of all, we automate the business of childcare and early education. We make their billing, paperwork, credentialing, staff management, payroll, and regulatory adherence automated.

The second thing we do is automate the classroom. We make teachers better by prompting them with alerts and nudges to deliver child-specific learning, nutrition, and even medications and diaper changes.

Third thing we do is connect families into the classroom through our mobile app. This is critical not just because parents are gaining peace of mind, but it also helps us to connect classroom learning to what happens at home. We are finding that this is so powerful, and when educators and families work in tandem, the real magic happens.

Then the fourth thing, which is growing, is partnering with our customers to help them understand the data that they are collecting about the business, the classroom, and interactions from the parents. We know that we are enabling the most interesting data story ever told in education and we can help educators and parents nurture bodies, minds and souls.

When was the ‘aha’ moment for your startup when you realized this could actually work?

I have had two different ‘moments.’ I went to a trade show with 100 owners and directors and spoke to them about what I was going to build. The excitement level was so intense that we had 50 customers commit to coming on board before a line of code was ever written.

The second was once we spun up the platform and had some serious hiccups in beta with our limited release group, and the customers kept sending us referrals. We were deficient in so many areas but they continued to show relentless support.

What has been the biggest accomplishment for your startup to-date?

We are working with some of the best people in the world. Our customers are driven to do wonderful work with children everyday. Our team is a group of the kindest, hardest working, most passionate people I have ever met. Assembling this fantastic team is not only the greatest accomplishment I have pulled off at Kangarootime, but in my entire life.

Goals for the next year? Three years?

We admire ACV Auctions and the unbelievable growth that they have achieved over the last three years.  We strive to scale and grow like a company in ACV’s stratosphere.

Why Buffalo?

We loved our office on Ocean Blvd. in Long Beach, California, but our customers are on the East Coast and living in Buffalo created some serious advantages for our business. Our team LOVES the cost of living.

Buffalo has an incredible labor force with phenomenal resources. 43North has been amazing, especially in pairing us with Bob Willer from Campus Labs as our appointed mentor. Having access to the CEO at Campus Labs (and 43North’s Board Chair), Eric Reich, one of the great EdTech founders, is also an amazing resource.

How do you do it? What drives you?

That is easy. I am living my life’s dream and working with some of the greatest people I have ever met.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Yes, 2 things!

1. Celebrate the journey and give yourself the grace to fail and ask for help.
2. Challenge yourself to create a culture of openness, and make it your life’s goal to have your employees LOVE their job.

Tags: Founder Friday, Kangarootime, Year 4

More blog posts

Charging Ahead: Jane Chen’s Electrical Revolution with StepWise

In this episode of the Latitude podcast by 43North, Justine Palkowski, Senior Marketing Manager, hosts the co-founders of Stepwise, a Y9 cohort company that recently relocated to Buffalo. Stepwise aims to revolutionize electrification, making it affordable and accessible for homeowners. Meet the Team: Jane Chen, Co-founder and CEO, brings a business background and a passion

Phenomenal Ventures Managing Partner, Helen Min on the 43North Latitude Podcast Graphic
Leaning into Your Strengths for Entrepreneurial Success

Discover the keys to entrepreneurial success as Helen Min, Managing Partner at Phenomenal Ventures, shares insights on playing to your strengths in the startup world. Helen, a Buffalo native with a background in major tech companies and advertising, discusses the evolving role of AI, the power of complementary strengths in founding teams, and the crucial

How Tech Can Save You Money with StoreCash

In our latest Latitude with 43North episode, we sat down with Daricus Releford, Co-founder and CEO of StoreCash, a dynamic app that’s reshaping how you save at your favorite stores. Daricus, part of our year nine cohort, shares the ins and outs of StoreCash, its unique features, and his journey as a black founder in