Launching today from the YCombinator Class of 2011, Tutorspree is a online marketplace for K-12 tutors along the lines of accommodations network Airbnb, but specific to tutoring (yes I’ve made this comparison before). Founded by Aaron Harris, Josh Abrams and Ryan Bednar, the startup is disruptive in the sense that the tutoring space up until now has been monopolized by agencies like Sylvan and Huntington Learning Center or risky alternative Craigslist.
Tutoring is a business that is aching for change: Agency strongholds make tutor comparison difficult and Craigslist is a whole ‘nother can of worms trustwise. So Tutorspree tries to combine the easy accessibility of the Internet with the quality vetting of an agency, at reduced cost. All you need to do as a parent to find a tutor is type in your location into the Tutorspree search box, and you’ll get a listing replete with photos, credentials and price. Prospective tutors can sign up with the “sign up as a tutor” link at the top of the site.
Harris tells us that the quality control at an affordable price is Tutorspree’s competitive advantage, and the screening process favors people who have experience teaching kids in front of a classroom. Currently there are about 160 tutors signed up, with another 100 or so that haven’t yet passed muster.
Tutorspree also takes less of a cut from each lesson (50% initially and then less at each subsequent lesson) than traditional tutoring operations, so it is able to retain top talent. “We’re hoping to make a system where everybody wins,” Harris says.
Currently you can find Tutorspree in four cities, San Francisco, Washington, New York and Los Angeles and integrated with one highschool, (Harris wouldn’t tell us which one). Harris says the company is planning on expanding to more cities, ramping up the tutorbase and integrating with more schools in the near future.
The first hundred of you interested in trying it out can get a 25% discount on your first lesson by signing up through this link.