Startup Battlefield Mena 2018: Synkers (Runner Up)


I need a private tutor for your exam tomorrow the private centers are closed need to meet your tutor tomorrow at 4 p.m. you have to commute for an hour most countries and especially here in the Middle East we complement in-school education with after-school tutoring private tutoring is a standard for success one out of three students struggle to find a tutor and it take on average four to five hours to find someone who’s qualified accessible and available thinkers is your solution thinkers is a peer-to-peer platform that connect students to highly qualified private tutors and three simple steps all you do once you open the app is pick a course select a pre-vetted tutor based on your preferences and directly book a session move to demo please if you’re looking to prep for your GMAT let’s say or to learn a new language download sinkers up search for your course for instance math grade 9 select the shooter based on your preferences number of our suitors proximity select a preferred date and time then choose your payment method cash or credit card as soon as you confirm your booking with your tutor you can instantly chat with your tutor and share your location the material and decide whether you’d like to meet in person or online via sinkers platform back to slides please at sinkers we build our online tutoring system from scratch with no cheering whiteboarding and video functionalities once the session is done a student reads the tutor and as soon as the session is done after that and he received a progress report we’ve automated at synchro’s our HR process in a way that I need can apply on the application they submit their document their interviews our machine learning algorithm are helping our HR team to pre-select our candidates thinkers would recommend you the best shooter because we have an algorithm that favors our jurors based on several criteria like proximity education background number of hours tutored we use our graph database to connect students tutors and their interactions to show personalized recommendations in real-time educational centers like my tutor Beirut etc lab personalization and flexibility and have known easy access to online Dartford which is quite unusual in the 21st century both online tutoring platform like check teach me now and educational centers like flexibility and fail to invest in their tutor based on their performance at sinkers we match students with peer tutors who have been in their shoes and have the same educational background as for our tutors we reward them based on the number of hours they teach we provide them with internship opportunities with training and cash bonuses sinkers will cater for the MENA market and will be in Arabic the MENA market is around 1.1 billion dollar globally the private tutoring market is worth a hundred and thirty eight billion and is going to double in the next four years we launched sinkers in September 2016 we expanded to Dubai in 2018 till date we have 25,000 students over 500 vetted jurors and completed 29,000 of tutoring in September 2016 we completed 40 hours in September 2017 400 hours in September 2018 four thousand hours were completed on sinkers in less than one year we were able to increase our revenue by 90 percent we’ve also established a strategic partnership with the Ministry of Education and Dubai which allowed us to sign a couple of em OU’s with two schools and three universities these institutions are endorsing sinkers and onboarding thousands of their students on the platform our business model is quite simple we charge our tutors a 20% Commission per transaction we’re also going to charge the institutions universities and schools $1,000 per month in exchange for analytics about their students tutoring activities who’s behind sinkers a team of four passionate people hi I’m Audrey I founded my first startup at 19 and have six years of experience and operation and business development as for the synchro’s team they have extensive experience in marketing HR product and software development thinkers is looking to build the largest self-regulated community of knowledge exchange to make education accessible to odd if you’d like to contribute to this community and make a change contact us today thank you all right judges a big Ronnie want to start can you hear me about your current recruitment process and how much effort does it take to actually train and validate and verify all the tutors it seems to me like you’re very kind of heavy but delicate process to recruit tutors first of all it’s very simple because we apply we post a job on the University portal we receive approximately twenty to thirty CVS per day in less than 24 hours as soon as we receive application they know that they have to download sinkers app to apply so we automated the whole process it’s done on the application they have to submit their documents CV their transcript they need a minimum of an 85 over 100 to be able to teach the course and then also they submit their interview on the application once done our algorithm pre select the top candidates and our HR team thoroughly pre-screened them all selected one and I would like to mention also that we established a partnership with the British Council who are training all of our tutors thank you why the name sinkers it comes from two words synchronization and thinkers so we’re sinking the thinker’s okay cool and from an analytics platform perspective and I understand data when you’re charging $1,000 to the institution’s what are the kind of things that you’re sharing with them why would they be interested in paying that amount of money so we’ve already signed five my use and we’re already testing it with the universities in terms of data what we share with them as a number of our is a number of students who are consuming private tutoring per major per course who are the brilliant tutors and their universities for instance that are teaching and like that that have a good insight about where is the gap where is the need and every time they revise their curriculum foreign for instance they have to look at this data to adapt it and it happened to us at AU be the the gene wanted to know more about what’s going on and their market it’s great that you’re connecting students with mentors after a connection is made for the first time what stops them from connecting offline and that instead of the mentor getting 20% taking the full 100 so on the other students side we introduced a new feature called prepaid packages at a discounted rate and parents school students and university students are loving it because they buy a bundle of hours ahead of time at a discounted rate then on the tutor side because it’s a market place there is a competition you have to build your profile we show the number of hours tutored how many your reviews and also our algorithm favors the one who will score high and our retention rate is at 50% currently returning users yeah I wanted to ask the same question because I built a marketplace so I know that there is yes there’s always a slippage so people would just take the the job and go offline or take the tutor profile and just recruit them offline so I I wanted to know what’s your strategy to fight that so is other than what you mentioned is there anything else you’re going to do or planning on doing sure so an example because also we signed a MoU news with the universities they were willing to reward their best shooters because all our tutors are brilliant University students most of them 90% of them so they care about paying their tuition and the university will contribute to that and reward their top jurors by providing free credits by free credits two to three credits free at the University second as I’ve mentioned we partnered with the Minister with the British Council so they only get a certificate that they’re trained once they complete over a hundred hours on the application okay my question to you is when you think about building this is a global platform how what was the biggest challenge in taking it to Dubai and how are you going to create this big vision of this peer-to-peer platform how are you going to do that what’s the biggest challenge how will you overcome it when we expanded to Dubai honestly our challenge was mainly to be able to adapt not to a new culture but they have several curriculum and not just a Lebanon we have a couple there they have almost worldwide curricula so we thought it was a challenge to recruit tutors the first thing that we did we approached top universities and as soon as we did that within three weeks our supply were recruited more than 200 to 300 tutors in less than three weeks and because we establish a strategic partnership with Dubai future accelerator khd a and the Ministry of Education in Dubai it has opened a lot of doors to us but in terms of scalability if you’d like to expand to other markets how it works is on the supply side which means the tutor they apply we apply or just post a job at the University and free of charge receive application on the demand side which means the client we have three strategic pillars social media targeted social media Facebook and Instagram we have strategic partnership like the Ministry of Education the schools the institutions and the third one we hire brand ambassadors who represent our brand and refer their friends thank you all right give it up for seekers [Applause]

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