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Meet the Founders

Elyse Klaidman

Elyse Klaidman is an artist, educator, and leader passionate about inspiring and developing generations of diverse problem solvers, artists, innovators and storytellers through experiential learning. After 22 years at Pixar as a leader, creative director, and founder of exhibitions and educational programs, she co-founded X IN A BOX.


Tony DeRose

Tony DeRose is a computer scientist and mathematician with over 40 years experience in computer graphics research and development, 23 years of it at Pixar. Prior to Pixar he was a professor of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. He has always enjoyed teaching, so the opportunity to start an educationally oriented company is a dream come true.

Chief Technical Officer

Brit Cruise

Brit Cruise writes and creates all forms of educational content & products. He began his career with his YouTube channel Art of the Problem. This led him to Khan Academy where he produced educational videos, summer camps and lead partnerships with NASA, Google, and Disney/Pixar. Brit studied Engineering at the University of Western Ontario and Computer Science at McGill University.

Chief Learning Officer

Story Xperiential was created by Elyse Klaidman, Tony DeRose, and Brit Cruise, who previously developed Pixar in a Box. All three have extensive experience in film and education; Klaidman and DeRose each spent more than twenty years at Pixar, and Cruise developed beloved content at Khan Academy.
“For a long time, we’ve known that education has fallen short in preparing people for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” said Elyse Klaidman. “With college tuition and loans becoming more unattainable for many families, students are turning to alternative programs to launch their careers. That means demand for high quality, affordable, project-based virtual apprenticeships is at an all-time high. In the time that Story Xperiential has been available, we’ve seen doors open for participants who have completed our course and developed a portfolio piece. And while the program has obvious advantages for students, companies will be the ultimate beneficiaries of exceptional, well-prepared talent.”
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