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    Date submitted
  • 09-Jan-2016



StudyTree is a mobile platform designed to connect students and tutors. StudyTree creates a network of university tutors and students. It changes the tutoring environment in a way that makes it easy and convenient for students to get the help they need. Students using StudyTree create study sessions by utilizing geo-location, selecting a subject, setting the amount of time for the session, and reviewing tutors. Geo-location allows students to specify an exact meeting location. Tutors are then notified once the student selects a class and sets the amount of time requested for the study session. Both parties are able instant message to setup a meeting. Once they meet up and the tutor is ready to begin, the student starts the session via the application.

To evaluate performance, students and tutors create reviews. A user’s numeric rating is depicted on a 1 to 5 star scale. Both users can use the star scale, along with anonymous written reviews in order to assess capabilities. Reviews are required upon completion of a study session. Users are required to select a star value from 1 to 5, indicating their level of satisfaction.

A university can signup with StudyTree and use our website to on-board their own tutors. These university managed tutors can leverage StudyTree to connect with students. From our website, university administrators can view analytic and manage their tutors.

For the first time, universities can provide tutoring without having to setup a physical tutoring center with static hours of operations. Students that set up study sessions with university managed tutors are not charged a fee because their university handles payment of their tutors. Not only is this cost efficient, it allows universities access to data that has never before been available such as who their best tutors are, what classes students are struggling with, what time students need help etc. Since big data is crucial in guiding important decision, StudyTree is an optimal technology solution for forward looking universities.

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

Our users can be broken down to the university/institution, the student requesting tutoring services, and the actual tutor. Despite having a solid mix of users, the purchasing decision is made solely by the institution. We know that institutions need what we are building because the current methodology is inefficient. Institutions need a better way to manage their tutoring services and reach the students that are at risk of failing. We provide them with a solution to this problem.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

The problems we are solving for the university: an outdated academic support system which leads to student retention. We know this is a problem because academic support systems haven't effectively changed in 100 years. And it is clear that retention is a big issue for universities because it is a clear indicator of students not being able to continue their education. At-risk students have difficulty scheduling study time for exams. Using data generated from the institutions LMS and StudyTree, we can accurately predict the amount of time the student must study to be successful. These are the national average retention rates across different types of colleges/universities: Private liberal arts colleges: 69.6. Public research universities: 72.9% Private universities: 80.4% National average for all schools: 65.7% When you take this average retention rate across different types of institutions. Then you think about the average cost of tuition per institution. This amounts to an enormous amount of financial loss to the institution.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

Currently, institution use different schedulers to help manage their tutors and there is no formal way to create a study group. Study groups can only be formed if students take course with friends. . Some institutions also use programs that can identify students that are performing poorly. However, we are the only group that identifies at-risk students, schedules them with a tutor that fits their needs, and arranges academic support based on that student's schedule. We also provide the university with a host of analytics so that they can track the performance of their new system. Thus, creating the most streamlined system on the market. Other mobile solutions take out the institution itself and simply act as an “uber for tutors.” However, this becomes an extremely dangerous because it takes power away from the institution to manage how academic support is being administered. We are able to foster a relationship on both sides to make sure that the students are receiving the help that they need, while the institution is collecting as much information as possible. What we believe will drive our success is our focus on being more predictive. We want to know how we take in and retain information. Giving us the ability to predictively create a schedule for an at-risk student in order to increase their chance of success.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

The two founders have known each other for 6 months and met through a mutual connection. They became a team because of their different specialties. Ethan who had been working on this project for almost 2 years was very technology facing and realized that he needed a strong business lead. This is where Reggie came in as a co-founder and gave StudyTree the balance that it needed. The relationship has grown well, and although this is their first time working together, we have made strong progress with the company. This team is the one to bring the company to life because as focused as we are on the product, we understand that startups fail due to the weaknesses of the team. Because of this, the founders are constantly working to improve internal processes through a culture of respectful transparency, by having direct and honest feedback. This allows us to create high value to our users, as we continue to refine our product and vision for the future of StudyTree. As we continue to build our team and find those that have a passion for our mission and talent in their field, we strive to keep the company and the product equally weighted.