Our History

In February of 2020, while on lock down during the coronavirus pandemic, Quantum Engineering CEO Mike Callow contacted his former colleague, sales and operations executive Jon Prove, to discuss the idea of creating a small, low-cost, Windows-powered and Intel-based computer for children, parents, and educators who wouldn’t normally be able to afford one. Their goal was to ensure more people could connect to information and each other, from home, the office and school. It’s estimated that nearly half of all households around the world do not yet have a computer. Hackboard’s mission is to help eliminate this gap.

Working together and teaming with Intel and Microsoft, they set out to develop and launch their new computer. The result is Hackboard™, a powerful, new computer designed from the ground up to be one of the most affordable Windows-powered and Intel-based computers ever introduced. It is ideal for students, teachers and families. Because Hackboard is a single-board computer that works with a variety of add-ons, accessories and kits, it is also an excellent choice for hobbyists and makers.

The Team

At Hackboard, we’re a passionate team of experienced designers, engineers and marketers based in Austin, London and Shenzhen. We create affordable, powerful technology for hands-on education and invention.

Mike Callow, CEO & Co-founder

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. I have to agree. I was unexpectedly locked down by the coronavirus in China without access to my office computer and needed a high-quality, low-cost computer solution. There were none to be found, so I hacked together a board from available components to solve the problem. Sharing my experience with my colleague, Jon Prove, we realized there must be millions of children, families and workers around the world in a similar situation who needed help. The idea for Hackboard was born.

With years of experience in the design and development of Raspberry Pi-based and Intel-based computers, I feel very fortunate to be able to apply my experiences to be able to make a difference in the world. The world needs high-quality, low-cost computing to help eliminate the digital divide and ensure the next generation has access to the information needed to succeed. Bringing the Hackboard team together is an honor and a privilege and I’m proud to be working with such special people to bring our vision to life.

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Jon Prove, Co-founder & COO

People are our priority, not just outside our company but also within. It’s important to build strong, diverse teams with complementary skill sets. Everyone’s opinion is valuable and unique. My role is to help bring the team together with the tools, resources, partnerships and capabilities needed to help them succeed. Working together, we can accomplish great things. Our team is passionate about our mission and the difference we can make in the world.

Our goal may seem lofty but we believe it’s attainable. Having worked for some of the industry’s leading Raspberry Pi-based companies, I’ve been a member of talented teams that strive to achieve lofty ambitions. Those experiences have provided me with a unique combination of skills and knowledge that will be valuable as we work together to accomplish Hackboard’s goals. As Yoda said, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

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Jon Prove, Co-founder & COO

People are our priority, not just outside our company but also within. It’s important to build strong, diverse teams with complementary skill sets. Everyone’s opinion is valuable and unique. My role is to help bring the team together with the tools, resources, partnerships and capabilities needed to help them succeed. Working together, we can accomplish great things. Our team is passionate about our mission and the difference we can make in the world.

Our goal may seem lofty but we believe it’s attainable. Having worked for some of the industry’s leading Raspberry Pi-based companies, I’ve been a member of talented teams that strive to achieve lofty ambitions. Those experiences have provided me with a unique combination of skills and knowledge that will be valuable as we work together to accomplish Hackboard’s goals. As Yoda said, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

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Dean Kline, Vice President of Marketing and Communications

In my career, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to work for some amazing companies and people. From IBM’s headquarters to working directly with Michael Dell, Bill Gates and President George W. Bush, I’ve had the chance to develop communications and marketing strategies, keynotes, media relations campaigns and industry events around the world. My most recent role was Global VP of PR and Media Relations and VP of US Marketing for Raspberry Pi-based startup pi-top. I’ve also held communications and marketing leadership roles in K-12, higher education, government and healthcare sectors. A lifelong musician, I’m also the founder and director of the American Academy of Music and Dance. I graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a bachelor’s degree in English, where I was editor of the Ohio Wesleyan Literary Magazine.

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Hackboard’s Promise to the World

 

We believe in the ability of computing to change the world. This isn’t a new idea – but we believe computing should be more affordable so that those who don’t have access to computing and the internet today can get access. With information and knowledge, people’s lives can be changed for the better. Unfortunately, nearly half of all homes around the world do not have a computer – what’s often called the Digital Divide or Digital Poverty. Our mission is to provide an affordable computer that solves this global problem.

To achieve our mission, we promise to make our products as affordable as possible, allowing as many people as possible to afford a computer, many for the first time.

We believe in creativity, connecting things together, inspiring others and while bringing joy to those who are creating.

We believe in the power of open systems, allowing diverse products to connect to each other and make new things that solve real-world problems.

We believe in education and using technology to open up the minds of students and teachers to things they never thought possible, and to knowledge that they never had access to.

We value people and we believe in putting people before profit. This is often a difficult challenge, since by their nature, businesses need profitability to survive. But we believe that an organization that prioritizes people over profits – both inside and outside the company – can survive and even thrive while maintaining its financial health.

We believe that technology can be a pathway to social equality. Often, the greatest limiter to opportunity and fairness is access to knowledge, education and information. We believe that by helping ensure the most people possible have access to computing, social equality will follow.

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