Capture Education founder and CEO Mike Neubig, 47, was a high school underachiever. Now his New Albany, Ohio-based software company helps administrators steer students like him toward success.

--As told to Sarah Todd

I graduated from high school with a 2.4 GPA. Academics weren't a big priority; my dad's education stopped after the eighth grade, and my mom had a GED. So they didn't push me too hard, and the school had low expectations for me.

Still, I wanted to play football, so I went to college and started taking classes I was interested in. After freshman year, I always made the dean's list.

After graduating, I wanted to help kids like me, who had what it takes to be successful but without anyone recognizing that. I was a teacher and guidance counselor, and then I started advising schools about curricula that group students according to their interests, not just their grades. In 2011, we started producing scheduling software to place kids in classes on the basis of questionnaires that assess their personality traits and learning styles.

Schools that use the program have boosted enrollment in honors and advanced-placement courses by 33 percent and reduced dropout rates in the ninth and 10th grades. A fifth of New York City public high schools use our software, and 650,000 students use our system nationwide--more than 800,000 will by the end of the year.