Q&A with Xavier Xicay, President and CEO of Tuatara Corp.
Founders: Xavier R. Xicay, and William L. Hoover, MD
Founded: December 2010
Product stage: Launched Open Beta in September 1st.
LinkedIn company page: /tuatara-corporation
Company Twitter: @gilapad
ETT: What does Tuatara offer?
XX: We just released our GilaPad platform this week. GilaPad is a uniquely integrated cloud-based digital content hub with proprietary technology that allows users to search, view and integrate content from e-textbooks, and popular websites such as Wikipedia, YouTube and more. All of this is done right within GilaPad.
Here’s how the easy-to-use plug-ins add videos from YouTube directly into the notepad:
GilaPad literally puts the pen in the hand of the users with curation capabilities such as highlighting, flagging, text editing and much more. When users combine content from many sources with their notepads, it’s all done using simple drag and drop functionality and even a one-touch button to go back to the original source, whether it be an e-textbook or a Wikipedia article.
Working hand-in-hand with e-textbooks, content from popular websites, and soon, user-created materials such as PDFs, PowerPoints, videos and more, note-taking is more dynamic and efficient than ever with GilaPad! See it in action here:
ETT: What kind of funding have you secured?
XX: $3.7M series A round.
ETT: You have brought your company through some intense development, tell us about your steps so far.
XX: We have been busy rolling out our product and building relationships with content providers: A year ago, in September 2012, we started a beta test with McGraw Hill. Shortly after that, we signed a distribution agreement with them, and are in the final stages of signing another major publisher in the country. Furthermore, we launched a private beta of GilaPad throughout the summer and received great feedback from users eager for more! We are also preparing to launch a beta-version of our mobile web-app.
The open beta of our product, our blog and Marketplace were unveiled this week. Students can expect more e-textbooks and plugins to be made available in GilaPad’s marketplace soon. We are also implementing new functionality to our existing technology to perfect the user experience.
ETT: What are the next milestones for your company?
XX: Right now, we are in the middle of creating very innovative ways to bring users a state of the art, inexpensive and convenient technology that will allow them to take advantage of the vast amounts of information becoming available every day. The next milestone for us is to give our users the tools to become their own authors, and take advantage of our very powerful integration capabilities.
ETT: What makes your product unique in the marketplace from your closest competitors?
XX: Our primary concern is not to create the best e-textbook platform, like Coursemart, Inkling, Kno and other e-book competitors, but rather, to perfect a content-centric platform, which allows users to access and integrate content from various sources without any restrictions.
There are many companies that compete with some of the functionality of GilaPad, such as Kno and Chegg with e-textbooks, Evernote with note taking, Google docs with collaboration tools, DropBox as a cloud-based content repository, but none that competes with the entirety of what GilaPad offers.
ETT: Who are your buyers and who are your users?
XX: Buyers are institutions, students and publishers. Users are any content creator, regardless of their profession.
ETT: What is your primary target market?
XX: Our marketing is geared towards students in Boston. We are looking for content creators and what better place to start than by targeting students in the area!
ETT: How many users do you have right now?
XX: 650 and counting!
ETT: Tell us about your team.
XX: We are a Boston-based company with 14 full time employees.
ETT: Who is on your advisory board?
ETT: Which platforms and devices does your product work on?
XX: Every single device with an internet connection, although we are currently perfecting our mobile solutions (i.e tablets and smart phones).
ETT: What is your vision for your place in EdTech?
XX: Our vision is to work with other digital content innovators to bring students intuitive, inexpensive and convenient solutions that will help them get the most from the vast amounts of information becoming available every day.
ETT: Why are you passionate about your company’s mission?
XX: As a student, I witnessed many of my peers, including myself, struggling to keep track of all the content needed to succeed in class. To most, it was very overwhelming, and unfortunately we needed to use many tools to accomplish very little. The entire learning process was too disconnected, and I knew there had to be a more effective solution.
ETT: What keeps you up at night?
XX: Creating a game-changing product line. Always trying to stay ahead of the curve and striving to make the impossible, possible.
ETT: What is the primary thing your startup needs right now?
XX: Additional funding to ramp up development and our marketing strategies.
Many thanks to Xavier for talking with us here at EdTechTimes. To learn more about Tuatara Corporation and to directly access GilaPad click on the logo below:
Laurisa Neuwirth is a shameless evangelist on behalf of the Greater Boston innovation economy. With a diverse background including software development, philanthropy and human capital, Laurisa blogs about technology disruptions in industries that are critical to our local economy. You can follow her @LaurisaNeuwirth.