Boost Academy Closes $600,000 Seed Round, Launches Innovative Math Tutoring Platform
Boost Academy, Inc., developer of an interactive math tutoring platform for the iPad, today announced that it has successfully closed a $600,000 seed round of financing.
The company plans to use the funds to conduct an expanded product launch of its platform in advance of the 2015 fall semester for middle and high school students. The upcoming back-to-school marketing push follows a highly successful soft launch of Boost Academy’s platform, which began in September 2014 and is ongoing. Additional uses of the funds include increasing product development, amplifying sales and marketing activities and improving the consumer experience. The current funding event represents Boost Academy’s final seed round; two previous rounds helped launch the start-up and totaled nearly $1 million. The company is also working toward securing a major round of venture capital from institutional investors as part of a strategic plan to establish Boost Academy as the innovative leader in the nascent field of interactive tutoring on mobile devices.
“We’ve developed a remarkable system for one-on-one, interactive math tutoring over the iPad,” said Boost Academy President & CEO Craig K. Collins. “These funds will help us gain a foothold in the educational technology market and will enable our team to continue developing and marketing a unique solution that promises to disrupt and then streamline the $13 billion U.S. tutoring market.”
Boost Academy’s technology is a game changer in that it eliminates many of the frustrations and inefficiencies found in the traditional tutoring experience – finding an available tutor, matching tutor expertise with the student’s subject, scheduling, driving, meeting, paying, conducting reference checks, and making provisions for student safety. The company’s platform seamlessly integrates and automates all these activities. Parents can go to the Boost Academy website or app, select a date, time and math subject, and the company will have a tutoring session scheduled and confirmed with a subject-certified tutor, often within minutes.
“While our technology is indeed remarkable,” adds Collins, “it’s the bigger picture that our executive team, staff, tutors and investors are truly excited and passionate about. Our mission is to help students succeed in math. And to-date, Boost Academy students overwhelmingly report significant improvement in comprehension, confidence and grades. Our customer satisfaction metrics are through the roof. Students and parents tell us that our platform is both intuitive and highly effective. STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education is becoming more central to an individual’s success in high school, college and career. A solid foundation in math is essential for such success. Boost Academy is committed to showing that with a regular regimen of one-on-one tutoring, a deep understanding of such subjects as algebra, geometry, statistics and calculus is possible for almost anyone. Research shows that a majority of students who embark on STEM studies encounter bouts of frustration so extreme that they simply hit a wall and give up. We think we can help change that dynamic.”
Boost Academy was founded by Josh Roach, the company’s Chief Technology Officer, who most recently led the team at Mitek Systems that developed the ability to deposit a check into a bank account by taking a picture of it from any mobile device. An expert in mobile technology, Roach and a team of talented developers created the company’s platform. That came after Roach had contemplated ways that recent advances in mobile computing combined with the ubiquity of powerful tablets could be leveraged to leapfrog today’s web- and PC-based tutoring systems that have frequently been clumsy and difficult to navigate.
“The Boost Academy development process engaged dozens of math teachers, tutors, parents and students,” said Roach. “We gained deep insights into how math was taught, how it was best learned and the numerous roadblocks and inefficiencies both tutors and students faced. Our goals were essentially twofold: Make math tutoring available anytime, anywhere, and create a math-tutoring experience that was overwhelmingly positive and better than traditional face-to-face tutoring. With hundreds of happy parents and students on our system, I’m convinced we succeeded.”
The bulk of Boost Academy’s current Seed Round came through a group of investors led by Tom Ladt, a successful executive and entrepreneur with a background in leading start-ups and high growth companies. Ladt will join Boost Academy as a member of the company’s Board of Directors.
“My investment team and I immediately fell in love with Boost Academy,” said Ladt. “We like the company’s mission, its management team, its proprietary technology and its potential for growth. We think the company’s future is bright and that it could become a game-changer in the field of education technology.”
Renee T. Bryan
About Boost Academy
Boost Academy™ offers students one-on-one math tutoring over the iPad®. The company’s patent-protected platform provides a rich, fully interactive learning environment for students who are able to conveniently connect with their own subject-certified, personal tutor. Once the student and tutor each log into the Boost Academy app, they speak to each other in real time. The app converts the iPad into a two-way, real-time whiteboard. Students and tutors work through problems together as though they’re in the same room using a single whiteboard. Tutors can work with students to review homework, solve problems and prepare for upcoming tests. Each session is recorded for playback and easy review.