My Top 2 Startup Ideas

“Follow Me” to College

1) No matter how many workshops, reminders and flyers teachers create to inform students about upcoming deadlines related to the college application process, students will ignore them because they are unappealing, procrastinate because they are too busy or completely forget the info. The college application process is hard enough to navigate through, especially if you are a first-generation student who has limited resources at your school and at home and simply too overwhelmed with assignments and extracurricular activities to remember all the steps. The solution is to have students create fun and engaging videos, vines, GIFS and pictures to post on social media with deadlines and important tips about applying to college. This program will take the form of a club and partner with a nonprofit for support. A chapter will be created on different school sites and students will have the opportunity to compete for grand prizes (most viewed vine, most shared GIF, etc.)

2) I worked in college access for many years and would facilitate the traditional college workshop. I would’ve loved to be able to deliver content to students in a form they find appealing and relevant. I still volunteer my time to help guide students through the application process and would like to pilot something like this with students at a school site.

3) The critical voices in my head are saying that it might be difficult to find teachers, who are already overworked and underpaid, willing to take on an additional club responsibility. Some parents might be concerned about their children having a strong presence on social media.

4) In my widest dreams, this organization goes national, posts go viral reaching millions of students and these strategies are embedded into traditional college access provider workshops and services. The outcome is an increase in college-going rates across the country.

5) As far as I know, there are no current programs that have students create content about the college application process and use social media to disseminate this information. However, indirect competitors are other programs or clubs on campus that might be more established and appealing to students (i.e. sports, journalism, drama and robotics).

My Virtual Tutor

1) Many students struggle with homework completion because they find it difficult to find help after school is over. Some of these students can find help through an after-school program but even then the ratio between teachers and students is still too high. Others go straight home and don’t have access to an adult who can help explain some of these difficult concepts. The solution is to create an online platform where students can chat with live tutors who can explain difficult concepts and provide homework assistance and answer questions. This service would be available to students from 4th grade — 12th grade. This platform will be housed within a nonprofit organization with a hybrid approach model, which will include a fee-for-service component.

2) I currently work with an after-school program and provide academic and enrichment services to students from Kinder through 5th grade. I help a group of 15 students with homework for one hour everyday. The students have different homework assignments and struggle with different subjects so it is very difficult for me to help all 15 students at the same time. We have iPads for all the students in our program and it would be so helpful to have students use the iPads, go online and get homework help.

3) The critical voices in my head are worried about online safety and monitoring minors’ activity. I also worry about the type of information students will receive and how to ensure it is coming from a credible source.

4) In my wildest dreams, I own and a manage an online tutoring platform and contract with large districts to institute a blended learning program that can be used during school, for students who need intervention services and need to catch up. The platform would also provide accelerated courses for advanced students and career and college planning tools to help students think about connecting their learning to professions.

5) After doing a bit of research, I found that Chegg.com provides a similar service but only for high school and college students. There is also another online platform managed by the UCLA Engineering School but its focus is helping students with math and connecting them to engineering or STEM careers. The Chegg site charges for its services and UCLA’s mentoring service is free. The unique opportunity for the service I’m suggesting is that it will help students in elementary, middle and high school. The platform will be housed in a nonprofit organization and will charge a fee for some of the services it provides. This will make it affordable for schools to partner with this organization and easier for students to get access to free