Startup Spotlight: TutorCloud connects students and tutors online
TutorCloud, formerly Ignition Tutoring, virtually connects students with tutors via Skype, instant message, phone, and text message. The company launched in October 2010 and seeks to make the process of picking an online tutor both efficient and fun.
Tutors on the site are listed by subjects offered — learning to speak Urdu to trigonometry — and hour rate, usually in the range of $20 to $40 per hour. It’s important to note that you pay for the time you need — this is a cool feature of TutorCloud, since a lot of sites and in-person sessions expect users to pay for a full hour, even if they don’t need that much tutoring.
Potential tutors also include a picture of themselves and a blurb about their credentials. They’re required to have at least five reviews or references which can be from former teachers, friends, or even parents. Many of the tutors’ bios boast enrollment at prestigious universities as Stanford, Cornell, Harvard, Yale and Columbia.
Tutoring — whether in real life or in the cloud, is a good business to be in. A recent report by Global Industry Analysts Inc. projects the private tutoring market will be worth over $100 billion by 2017 (source).
But with thousands of private tutors available in the real world and through websites online such as the ubiquitous Tutor.com and ever present Craigslist, is the market for tutor middle men becoming saturated?