Clark, an app aiming to “turn every educator into an entrepreneur,” launches with $1 million in funding

Its hard to be a tutor. For one thing, many educators dont have time for extracurricular teaching, even while they might need to bolster their paychecks. Most schools prohibit teachers from tutoring children in the school systems in which they work, too, making it difficult to connect with families needing help. There are some solutions, like Wyzant, a 12-year-old, privately heldcompany in Chicago that now connects parents with hundreds of thousands of tutors. But Wyzant also takes a 40 percent fee, notesMegan OConnor, the founder of Clark, a new app that aims to both make it easier for educators to start and manage a tutoring business and to put more money in their pocketsin the process. OConnorwas working at the venture firm Human Ventures in New York, where Clark is based, when the idea first took hold early last year. She struck on it after helping her mother, who is a public school teacher in California and tutors on the side to make ends meet. I was trying to help her automate things and I was just listening to some of the friction points she was wrestling with and the gap in solutions that are out there, and [Clark] just developed over time, OConnor says. The service first took form as an SMS service to facilitate communication between students and their tutors. Thats thanks largely to Clarks technical co-founder and chief product officer,Sam Gimbel, who previously founded a text message-based startup. Yetthe platform has since evolved to handle every aspect of a tutors business, from drumming up students, to managing scheduling and payments, to making it dead simple to communicate with parents. (Assomeone whose children take lessons that I dont attend, I can attest to the need for this feature in particular. Without enough information, itschallengingto reinforce what a kid needs to be doing in between sessions.)

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