In a chat with any Avanoo employee, you’d notice something unique: we care deeply about our vision of supporting people, teams, and organizations in opening to their potential.
It isn’t just what we do… it is who we are.
We didn’t know our perspective would be unique – because we didn’t build Avanoo with anything but a vision in mind. We were outsiders who simply wanted to help people and teams grow.
Below is an overview of Avanoo’s early history. It’s been an exciting and humbling journey… one whose chapters continue to be written each day.
March 2011 – Tecpan, Guatemala
Avanoo cofounder, Daniel Jacobs, spent a few weeks helping to build an eco-sustainable community for orphans and at-risk children in Guatemala. He was inspired by the children he met; they seemed happy. He wondered what he might learn from them.
February 2012 – Arequipa, Peru
Daniel founded a sustainable chocolate company called Placebo Effect. Its purpose was to share the kind of joy he’d seen in the kids he’d met. Daniel created a crowdfunding campaign for the chocolate. It raised a few thousand dollars.
April 2013 – Seattle, Washington
The chocolate company didn’t work – Daniel was a terrible chocolatier. But people – including renowned behavior science researchers – were attracted to his ideas and writings about how behavior and mindset research could be used to help people grow.
June 2013 – San Francisco, California
Daniel and Prosper Nwankpa founded Avanoo together – then called Placebo Effect. Prosper had just sold a tech company he’d scaled to support hundreds of millions of people. He and Daniel were ready to turn two big visions into an organization.
September 2013 – Bariloche, Argentina
Daniel and Prosper received a small round of seed funding from Jeff Bader – President of NBC, Bob Scott – former President of Morgan Stanley, and Brooks Fisher – former Chief Marketing Officer of Intuit.
January 2014 – Los Angeles, California
After testing with research partners, and starting anew three times, Daniel and Prosper launched the first version of Avanoo: 3-minute daily videos that utilize story, social support, and deep analytics to drive growth.
September 2014 – Bariloche, Argentina
Avanoo retained our first corporate client, Kaiser. An executive at Kaiser complained that the biggest barrier to partnership was our then-name. “Placebo Effect is a terrible company name,” she said. “Find another one…”
A few days later, we changed our name to Avanoo.
Ava in Finnish means “open”, and Noo in Old English means “now”. It aligns perfectly with our mission of supporting people, teams, and organizations in opening to our potential right now.
December 2014 – Boulder, Colorado
Avanoo signed a deal with its two hundredth renowned expert to support development of our three-minute daily videos. Experts include NY Times Bestsellers, TED Talk speakers, top researchers, and more.
January 2015 – San Francisco, California
Avanoo was accepted into a small group of companies for a five month “business accelerator” program with one of the world’s most coveted investors. Avanoo beat out more than 1,500 companies to be a part of the group.
May 2015 – San Francisco, California
Avanoo experienced wild growth at 500 Startups. We raised millions of dollars from top institutional investors. An impossible vision had begun to support many top brands around the world.
TODAY – Boulder, Colorado
Avanoo has steadily grown. Today we work strategically with executives across industries helping to build culture, reinforce values, fill learning gaps, and help people grow in ways that are fun, meaningful, and memorable!
As we’ve grown, our team has expanded, as have our suite of products and services. We have thousands of core videos, custom vidoes, workshops, strategic consulting, machine learning, and more…
Today, just as four years ago when it all started, everything we do has one vision: to support our partners in experiencing the growth and performance they desire!
Daniel Jacobs and Prosper Nwankpa
September 14th, 2017