CrossBraining Profile

Posted Jul 19th, 2021

CrossBraining is an early-revenue e-learning platform that scales personalized, hands-on learning.


Jim Kelly, Chief Operating Officer

A veteran teacher, principal, district and county administrator, Dr. Kelly brings over 25 years of leadership experience to the team. He specializes in integrating data, systems, technology, and curriculum to solve complex problems prohibiting growth. Guided by a calling for service, and driven by a Midwest work ethic, Jim treats each project with sincerity and passion. 

Jim brings that same organizational leadership to CrossBraining. As Chief Operating Officer, he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of staff and systems. Through the implementation of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), he helps the CrossBraining leadership team focus the vision on the use of simple concepts and practical tools to instill focus, discipline, and accountability throughout the company. In a nutshell, Jim guides the leaders at CrossBraining to be a cohesive, functional, healthy leadership team.

1. What experience or person encouraged you to be an entrepreneur?

I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur but building a business with people committed to the same vision, all rowing in the same direction, has been exciting. I’m now too far in to quit and need to see where the journey goes. 

2. What has been your biggest challenge in being an entrepreneur/startup?

The unknown. I knew the rules and played the game of the education system for over 25 years. I believe in our product and feel it can benefit learners everywhere. But jumping into the entrepreneurial/startup world has been an exciting whirlwind with a steep learning curve.


3. What are you most proud of?

CrossBraining has held true to our core values even as the chips were down and easier paths were available to us.


Josh Nichols, Founder and CEO

Josh was kicked out of elementary school. To him, school was the thing he had to put up with in between building things in his garage. And when he started his teaching career, he realized that he had been learning the whole time through what he was doing.  

After being nominated for Michigan’s Teacher of the Year, he wanted to bring that way of learning to every student.  Josh is a 20-year STEM teacher, Governor’s STEM Advisory Board Appointee, and former NCAA basketball player for the University of Minnesota. 
And that school that kicked Josh out? They are now a CrossBraining customer.


1. What experience or person encouraged you to be an entrepreneur?

I have always been interested in solving problems and coming up with solutions. I was the kid who sold candy while in school, and who traded baseball cards during class and quickly turned around and sold them later that day. As an athlete growing up, I had to sell myself and live up to expectations to earn a full-ride basketball scholarship. I learned early on that I like working under pressure and that I like delivering results. When I got into teaching, I continued to find solutions to problems and knew that at some point I would find a solution that would destroy the status quo. The book “Bold” by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler changed everything for me. The book convinced me that I had an idea that could change the way the world trains people.


2. What has been your biggest challenge in being an entrepreneur/startup?

The biggest challenge that I have experienced is how to do a lot with a little. To be a successful startup, you have to adopt the mindset that money does not solve all problems and embrace creativity and communication to solve problems.


3. What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of our team. We live by our core values and drive to be excellent. We are candid and transparent.