Blair Pircon

Blair Pircon

Co-Founder & CEO

The Graide Network

Chicago, IL USA

Don’t look at what other people are doing in order to set expectations for yourself. If you’re doing what you want to do, it shouldn’t matter what else is going on. Let go of the things you’re comparing yourself to or the expectations other people have you.


By Roadtrip Nation

Blair Pircon


My road in life took a while to figure out.
As a fourth-generation entrepreneur, she grew up admiring the creativity of new business ideas—says she would “wonder when an idea would come along she was passionate enough about to pursue.”
In middle school and high school, she dabbled in various entrepreneurial ventures including an arts and crafts company, and a video production company.
Following her interests in math and business, she attended the University of Notre Dame where she received a degree in finance.
She got a job at Robert W. Baird & Co. investment bank where she worked as an equity research analyst covering U.S. and Chinese education services companies.
After spending over six years studying K-12 education, she began to notice the problems plaguing the system and how technology could make a difference.
In 2014, she decided to leave her job in investing to attend Northwestern University and pursue her master’s degree in business administration.
She spent her two years in grad school actively working to start her company alongside her co-founder and fellow MBA classmate, Qinyuan (Chen) Liu.
In 2016, she launched The Graide Network, which connects teachers with qualified assistants to grade and provide data-driven feedback on student work.
Keep following my journey


Co-Founder & CEO

I am creating a new platform to support some of the most influential people out there — teachers.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Problem Solving

Day to Day

As the CEO, I am mainly focused on expanding our partnerships with elementary and high schools. Our goal is to eventually expand into other grade levels and other countries, but we want to focus on perfecting our model in this sector first. Each day comes with a new set of challenges, but I take it all one day at a time.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Don't look to other people in order to set expectations for yourself. If you are doing what you want to do, it shouldn't matter what everyone else is doing. Know how you want to measure yourself and let go of comparisons and expectations.


The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"Why would you get your MBA as an entrepreneur? That's an investment better suited for a different career path."

Challenges I Overcame

School Stress
Work Stress
Work-Life Balance