About Riff

What’s In A Name?

The name Riff comes from music… when you “riff” with another musician, you use subtle cues to learn how to come into harmony and balance with other members of the band. Riff uses this same idea to help small groups learn how to work better together online.

Why did we start Riff?

Riff Analytics arose from two pursuits — social science and social learning — that came together to form one big idea: using technologies and AI to enable better experiences when teams learn and work together. The Riff mission is to optimize team performance by helping people become more conscious of how they interact in small group settings and drive better outcomes.

Our team has over a century of experience between us, as educators, researchers, executives, entrepreneurs, and innovators. And, we’re all passionate about the Riff mission to work better together.



(Co-founder) Former VP at Pearson Education and edX; researcher and lecturer at MIT and BU Questrom School of Business

Beth Porter

(Co-founder) World-renowned data scientist and professor at MIT Media Lab

Alex "Sandy" Pentland
Board Member and Senior Advisor

Entrepreneur, investor and fellow at MIT Media Lab and the Connection Science Institute

Douglas Kim
Board Member

(Co-founder) Fintech entrepreneur, author, and speaker; associate fellow Oxford University Said and lecturer at MIT

David Shrier
Board Observer

(Co-founder) Research associate and PhD candidate at the MIT Media Lab

Dan Calacci
Scientific Advisor

Early stage investor, strategic advisor, and board member, EIR, Techstars Boston

Jennifer Jordan

Technology ventures consultant, government contracts specialist, and senior executive

Steve Derezinski

Founder at SendFriend, Global Justice Fellow at Yale.

David Lighton
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Mike Block
Board Member