About Wisr

  /  About Wisr

Mission & Founding

Veteran entrepreneurs Kate Volzer, John Knific, and Kris Ciccarello founded Wisr in 2016 to bridge the growing rift between college education and successful job placement. More students than ever were pursuing higher education, but the American labor force participation rate had been declining steadily for a decade. As a first-generation college student, Kate understood how a one-size-fits-all system fails to accommodate students’ individual needs.

Leveraging over thirty years of collective experience in higher education technology, the Wisr team built a college network that connects all of an institution’s stakeholders to put each student at the center of a personalized web of mentors, academic advisors, and job opportunities.

“Wisr brings together everyone supporting an institution – alumni, staff, and faculty – to help students prepare for careers before the panic sets in junior or senior year. Too many undergraduates are taught that they just need to focus on grades and that the job will somehow fall into place on its own.”
—Kate Volzer, Co-Founder & CEO

Innovation Award

Top 3 Education Startup

Top 5 to Watch

The Wisr Team


Kate Volzer

Co-Founder & CEO

Associate Director of Admissions at UChicago, VP of Business Development at DecisionDesk, Founder of VisitCoordinator


John Knific

Co-Founder, President, & COO

Co-Founder & CEO at DecisionDesk, Entrepreneur in Residence and Co-Creator of LaunchU at Oberlin College


Kris Ciccarello

Co-Founder & CTO

Co-Founder and CTO at Beegit, VP of Software Development at ExchangeBase, Technical Director at Sanctuary Software Studio


TJ Breslin

Senior Software Engineer

IT Specialist at the U.S. Department of Defense, Software Development Analyst at Lockheed Martin


Justin Smith

Lead Front End Engineer

Senior Software Engineer at Timshel, Manager of UX Development at thunder::tech


Samantha Sconyers

Customer Success Manager

Marketing Associate at Direct Commerce, Venture for America Fellow


Grace Frye

Business Development Manager

Executive Digital Editor at the Trinitonian, Venture for America Fellow

Anna Masica

Operations Manager

Admissions at John Carroll University, Venture for America Fellow

Interested in joining our fast-paced, collaborative team in Cleveland? Explore career opportunities at Wisr!

Board of Advisors

Jeff Marshall

Board of Advisors (Co-Director)

Managing Director, Private Equity and Direct Investments at Halcyon Investments, Ltd.

Kevin Berner

Board of Advisors (Co-Director)

Venture Partner at JumpStart Inc; President & CEO of Phycal Inc; CEO of Logos Energy Inc

Lev Gonick

Board of Advisors (Co-Director)

Chief Information Officer at Arizona State University; Co-Founder & CEO of DigitalC

Carey Jaros

Board of Advisors

Chief Operating Officer at GOJO Industries; Techstars Mentor

Jerry Doyle

Board of Advisors

Practice Lead at Doctums Global; Former Vice Provost of Career Services & Student Access, Success and Diversity Initiatives at Illinois Institute of Technology

Jason Palmer

Board of Advisors

General Partner at New Markets Venture Partners

Lauren Fine

Board of Advisors (Observer)

Partner at Gries Financial Partners

Work With Us

Take a look at our products for details on how Wisr can help your institution offer best-in-class resources to prospectives, students, and young alumni.


Boost yield by helping prospective students and parents connect with undergrads and alumni during admissions.


Student Success

Improve student life and retention with long-term mentorship, personalized resources, and support for communities.


Career Development

Offer every student one-on-one career coaching from industry experts by leveraging your alumni.


Alumni Relations

Build powerful affinity and drive giving by connecting alumni volunteers with undergrads they can help.

See how Wisr can create meaningful connections on your campus