Our mission is to help everyone get smarter.
We define “smart” people as those who are passionate, curious, well-read, and interested in making the world a better place.
We believe that reading is the way in.
We started this work through Veritas Tutors & Test Prep, Inc. in 2001 (now Zinc Educational Services), which has now established itself as a leading, boutique provider of standardized test preparation and academic coaching, offering school-sponsored test prep classes at some of New York’s top schools. Unlike most others in the test prep field, Zinc owes its success to a methodology that raises academic abilities — particularly reading comprehension. In other words, we have found that to help students succeed on tests of any kind, they need to be stronger readers.
We began developing Zinc Reading Labs because we saw an opportunity to reach a much wider population of students with our message - that reading is essential across the curriculum. We plan to continue to develop Reading Labs as a cross-disciplinary reading tool for teachers of English, History, Social Sciences, and beyond.
Meet the team
Matt Bardin, Founder and CEO
Matt taught high school and middle school in the NYC public schools in the early 1990s and was a founding director of Teach For America. He founded Veritas Tutors (now Zinc Educational Services) in 2001. He was a co-founder in 2008 of High Five Labs, a company that produced the Smart Vocab apps, a popular sharable to do list for couples called HoneyDo, and Mario Batali Cooks! for celebrity chef, Mario Batali.
He founded Zinc Learning Labs to make the key element of an elite education - advanced literacy - widely available.
Hilary Teplitz, Director of Content
The daughter of two actual rocket scientists, Hilary drifted from the fold and got a PhD in Russian Literature. She worked in admissions at Brown University and content development at SparkNotes before joining Zinc Learning Labs, where she leads the team that selects and writes all of our content.
Kevin Bedeau, Senior Product Manager
Before joining Zinc, Kevin managed products at K-12 ed tech company Amplify and worked as a consultant with several start-ups. He holds a BA from Cornell.
Karthik Chandrasekariah, director of technology
Karthik is an experienced and passionate programmer. Before Zinc, he co-founded Eos Software Systems, a company that helped startups quickly convert raw ideas into reliable products. At Eos, he set up the foundation for sites within the top 500 in the US. Karthik started his career working with ThoughtWorks, a renowned Agile consultancy company, where he built web apps using Agile methodologies. When not building software, he spends his time traveling and taking photographs.
Colette Coleman, Director of business development
Colette is passionate about education reform and equity. After graduating from Yale University, Colette worked as a middle school teacher in Los Angeles through Teach For America and then went on to teach elementary school in Indonesia. She moved to New York to work with city schools on the implementation of education technology in their classrooms and to consult with school and district administrators on tech integration to reach English Language Learners. Colette holds a Master's degree in Education and a California state teaching credential.
Tamara Olson, Design lead
Tamara spent several years at Google, first as a design manager in Ads and then in Education leading design for Google Classroom. She has also crafted experiences for The Paperless Post, Apple (working on the 2007 apple.com redesign), The New York Observer, and Conde Nast. She is a graduate of NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) and holds a B.A. in Media Studies from Macalester College.