The following is exerpted from Time Magazine:

In the fall of 2009, he quit his job and devoted his full attention to Khan Academy from a makeshift office in a converted closet in his home. The real breakthrough came in May 2010, when Ann Doerr, wife of Silicon Valley venture capitalist John Doerr, dropped $10,000 into his PayPal account. He was overjoyed at the donation--his largest to that point--and immediately wrote to thank her. When Doerr found out it was his largest donation, she insisted that they meet. Khan spent an hour with Doerr over coffee, explaining his vision of how the way we think about learning could be fundamentally altered. On his drive home, his phone beeped with an incoming text message: Doerr said she planned to deposit an additional $100,000 into his account. "I almost crashed the car," Khan says.

Word spread quickly. A month and a half later, Khan's phone lit up with text messages and e-mails informing him that Bill Gates had just mentioned Khan Academy in a speech at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Then Gates flew Khan to Seattle for a meeting and gave him a $1.5 million grant. (He would eventually throw in $4 million more.) "I'd been, frankly, frustrated at how little creative work was being done to use the Web as a core component of instruction," Gates wrote in an e-mail to TIME. "And when I saw this, I thought--yes, he's got it." Soon Khan had a $2 million donation from Google, followed by grants of $3 million from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and $5 million from Irish entrepreneur Sean O'Sullivan.

Khan is using the money to transform the academy from his own personal YouTube channel into an educational nonprofit with Silicon Valley start-up DNA. The goal: to create a complete educational approach--with video lectures, online exercises, badges to reward student progress, an analytics dashboard for teachers to track that progress and more--that can be integrated into existing classrooms or serve as a stand-alone virtual school for anyone wanting to learn something new.

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