The “School that Ad Tech Built”: Q&A with Team Dayā Founder, Jay Sears

Can you briefly tell me about your career path/story to date before you founded Team Dayā?

I’ve worked at the intersection of the Internet, advertising and media industries my entire career. I’m a veteran of two successful IPOs, one successful merger and one business failure so spectacular it was the subject of a book called Burn Rate.

What are some of your upcoming projects, and has COVID-19 impacted any of these plans?

Team Dayā ( दया) scheduled work on schools in Malawi (East Africa) and Guatemala (Central America) has been postponed until it is safe to travel. But our fundraising never stops, and we are always looking for additional team members who want to join a future school groundbreaking trip.

What has been your proudest moment as Founder of Team Dayā?

There have been many proud and joyful moments for all of us. When six of us traveled to the remote village of Dhayapur, Nepal to work on our first school groundbreaking, almost a year to the day of starting our group, it was beyond any sort of expectation. A school in a place like Dhayapur represents the opportunity for generational change. We have also received financial support from over 400 colleagues, friends and family and I continue to be humbled by this.

What do you think is the biggest barrier to having worldwide access to education– and how do we address it?

Team Dayā and its supporters can have real impact on its individual projects, and we can inspire others to make an impact. Illiteracy and poverty go hand-in-hand. Grind away at illiteracy and you empower people to fight their way out of poverty. Individual people, small groups, organized small and big NGOs and governments all need to do their part.

What’s next for you?

Professionally, I have been consulting in media and technology while considering fractional and full time roles. With Team Dayā, we continue to build the team, fundraise and plan for when we can get back out in the field.

How can anyone reading this help support you and your team’s efforts?

There are three ways to help:

  1. Donate
  2. Help us get the word out – invite us to speak (virtually of course!) to your company or group. Promote us in a newsletter or on a web site. Contact us.
  3. Join the team. Help us with fundraising or with marketing or other work. And travel with us to a future school groundbreaking. Contact us.

Thank you, Jay, for all of your hard work in supporting communities in need and #EducationforAll!

Team Dayā (Dayā means kindness in Nepali) is a group of your friends from the advertising and technology industries who are building primary schools in some of the most impoverished places in the world. Founder & Instigator, Jay Sears, has worked at Mastercard, Rubicon Project, Pulsepoint, ContextWeb, EDGAR Online, and Wolff New Media, but he’s certainly not your average “blazer and jeans” AdTech guy. During our recent matching program(up to 4k!) with Team Daya, we chatted with Jay about some of the Team’s latest projects, as well as the importance of the basic education that so many of us take for granted.

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