The core Studycat team is based at our headquarters in Tainan, Taiwan but we have team members spread across the globe in Boston, Miami, Oxford, Stockholm, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. We represent 9 different nationalities, and we speak English, Mandarin, Spanish, French, German, Swedish, Japanese, and Taiwanese.


Mark, Mat and Jason founded Studycat from their base in southern Taiwan in 1999. After owning and operating successful language schools, they have now focused their combined talents into being the driving force behind Studycat.

Mark Pemberton


  • Commercial strategy
  • Partnerships
  • Global branding
  • Warwick University (Phil)
  • Fluent in Mandarin Chinese

Mateo Solares


  • Product strategy
  • Gamification of learning
  • Technical lead
  • Warwick University (Comp. Sci)
  • Fluent in Mandarin Chinese

Jason Bakkum

Creative Director

  • Art and video production
  • Song and story writing
  • Social media content creation
  • Cheng Da University (Mandarin)
  • Fluent in Mandarin Chinese

Academic Leaders

We’re proud to have these very experienced academic and educational leaders as part of the Studycat team. These experts ensure our learning content and experience meets the highest standards and delivers superior language learning outcomes.

Jake Whiddon

Head of Academic Experience

  • Academic Quality Assurance
  • Teacher training
  • Ex EF and  Macmillan Education
  • Trinity College London (DipTesol)
  • University of Queensland (IDLTM)

Maria Teresa Velasco

Head of Education

  • Discovery Education 20 years
  • Created ‘Discovery en la Escuela’
  • Winner of John Hendricks Innovation Award 2015
  • Cambridge University (Eng Lit.)

Wade O. Nichols

Head of Curriculum

  • Curriculum development
  • Curriculum writer for Disney English (China), Macmillan and Pearson
  • Ex Nickelodeon
  • MA Columbia University

Executive Management

Danny Bolivar

Head of Community

  • Studycat Social and Community
  • Ex VP Media at Discovery Kids
  • Ex Head of Global Social Media for Discovery Networks & Communications 2011-2014

WR Shao

Head of China

  • China Strategy and Execution
  • Greater China partnerships
  • 25 years IBM Taiwan
  • Chairman Eli Shanghai

Dan Schmeer

Head of Marketing

  • Conversion optimisation, localisation, ASO and SEO
  • 20 years marketing & product management within the financial services and education sectors
  • University of Liverpool (Politics)