Paul Hansen graduated from Oberlin College in 2004 with majors in Studio Art and English. He attended graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed a PhD in English in 2014. His dissertation focused on the relationship between New Media and American literature. While researching platforms like YouTube as a graduate student, Paul became interested in entrepreneurship, and met Finn Kuusisto and Fred Turkington at a StartUp Weekend event. The original idea that they worked on together, an online platform for student debates, began with Paul using debate activities to teach literature students how to construct an argument.