InstaEdu’s Brother-Sister Team Puts Tutoring Online, On Demand

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great students at other schools out there that are great teachers,” Alison says. “There’s no reason to exclude them.”

However, expanding the talent pool will mean more screening, Since InstaEdu is hiring adults to work with minors (at least for the most part—some students seeking help are adults), so they need to verify that the tutors are who they say they are. To do it, the company relies on Facebook Connect to confirm what schools the students go to, and relies on the schools themselves to vet their students. “We haven’t had any issues to date,” she says.

Three months after launch, the two-man team has added four employees, including co-founder and CTO Joey Shurtleff. In May, the company raised $1.1 million in seed funding, led by The Social+Capital Partnership.

Though the company has only been in beta for four months, they’ve gotten a lot of feedback from students and tutors. The most common comment is that students want to be able to work regularly with tutors they enjoy, not just whoever answers a query at a given moment. And tutors want to be able to set their own hours, so it’s less about waiting for a ping then having a regular schedule. “Right now, it feels kind of random,” Alison says. But InstaEdu will roll out new features to address both problems soon.

“We’re still constantly working on making tech and connections work as effectively as possible,” Alison says, “We’ve made a lot of progress. But still a long way to go.”

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