Tom Zemlin

Chief Technology Officer

Tom is a third generation computer scientist who started programming at the age of 12. In his final semester at Hamline University, Tom dropped his resume off at a company called MECC and the next thing he knew he was working on The Oregon Trail. At MECC Tom discovered his love of edTech and the mission he continues today.

Tom’s career has seen him work on some of the most legendary education products; The Oregon Trail, Carmen San Diego, Compton’s Encyclopedia, Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, Number Munchers, National Geographic, and many others. During his 30 year career Tom  has also worked in the advertising and entertainment industries building some of the first websites in the state of Minnesota and heading up external game studios for PlayFirst.

In 2001 Tom founded SnowOwl Studios which created modern versions of Number Munchers and Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing. SnowOwl also created top ten titles for casual gaming clients like THQ and PlayFirst. One of the most interesting projects at SnowOwl was creating a digital reading program for special education curriculum that utilized adapted interfaces for kids will wide ranges of special needs.

The latest adventure for Tom was with Capstone, a children’s book publisher focused on the school library market. At Capstone Tom built the development team around PebbleGo and Capstone Interactive. PebbleGo started life as a simple research and inquiry tool focusing on K-2 literacy. Tom’s team advanced PebbleGo from a simple web app to an entire education platform and has served up one billion articles to students in Tom’s tenure at Capstone.

Tom is an Eagle Scout and his minor at Hamline was Political Science. Tom has a passion for civics and a deep sense of civic duty. At Hamline Tom worked with the political science department to create computerized statistical models to predict election outcomes.

Tom lives in Plymouth, MN with his wife, Karen. When not at the keyboard, Tom enjoys spending time at his cabin and supporting Karen’s adventures as a Hall of Fame marathon swimmer.