Ryan Rodriguez, our CEO and founder, was a mobile in-home tutor in Orange County for years. He ended up taking a pay cut to work at a restaurant due to the driving time, gas, and scheduling headache. All four years in Business School at UCI, he was looking for an idea to build a team and enter the Business Plan Competition. In one of his Finance classes at UCI, his teacher used an HD Camera to capture video as he wrote out finance problems by hand. That video was displayed on a giant drop-down screen and he liked learning with the perfect view of the teacher writing by hand. Then, one day, he saw his father using a new stand in his car to hold his phone during navigation. It could hold the phone steady, bend any way and attach to a variety of surfaces. That is when he had his vision - he could combine the abilities of the phone and the phone stand to replicate his Finance teacher’s teaching method to tutor through a mobile app.
He saw the opportunity to make tutoring mainstream since many smart and capable people that he knew worked at minimum wage jobs and had never tried to tutor. He believed that if he made the tutoring exchange effortless that more of those smart and capable people would tutor for money - similar to how Uber made it so more people started to drive for money. In the same way, he believed that more students who otherwise wouldn’t bother to get help would see no reason not to post their question for $1 or $2 to see if they get an answer. This was the vision of a better future that kept Ryan motivated.
In December of 2015 after reaching out to his entire network on Facebook and asking each individual personally if they knew anyone that could build a mobile app, he found his co-founder, David Kanda. They met at Chik-fil-A and discussed Ryan’s vision of a better future and David was on board right away since he was a tutor himself and completely understood all of Ryan’s observations. They then began building a team and working on what was then called TutorSpace. They planned a lot of ideas and features for the application, some of which will be included in Schoolr’s first release. However, the Antrepreneur Center at UCI advised them to focus on developing the core features for a minimum viable product (MVP) for students and tutors to enjoy this one-of-a-kind platform.
Schoolr has many new feature ideas in the works, including messaging and live video chat with tutors on a pay-by-minute basis. They believe that students should have the opportunity to decide whether they want a live session or a video response to help them through their current struggle. Everyone at Schoolr is very excited to share what they have spent the past two years building for the world and hope they hope that you find it useful. If you do, please leave helpful feedback on how they can improve and spread the word!!