Complementary Skills — Same Values
Finding your Co-founder
Tutoring: It’s a common side hustle for teachers in search of extra income. And while it’s a lucrative business, for already overworked educators it can be laborious to manage your time, payments, and even finding students in the first place. Megan O’Connor witnessed this firsthand when her mom, a public school teacher in California, needed help managing her thriving tutoring practice. There’s where the idea for Clark first began.
Once Megan looked further, she realized there was a huge market need for this type of service (tutoring demand increased 28 percent from 2015 to 2016 alone). The private tutoring market was projected to surpass $102.8 billion by the end of next year. But as we all know, it takes much more than just a good idea to get an impactful business off the ground. That’s where the people come in.
When we met Megan, we knew she had to be part of the Human Ventures family. She was an operational and execution superstar, and having come from the nonprofit world, she knew the importance of building advocacy and evangelism for an idea — often on a limited budget.
One of the things we do best at Human Ventures is putting high-performing founding teams together. So when we met Megan and learned a little bit about her idea for what would later become Clark, we knew her vision would only be amplified by having a talented product visionary by her side. That’s where Sam Gimbel comes in. Sam is equally passionate about education innovation and the future of work, and is a product development expert. Not only had he built successful product and engineering teams he also had experience teaching product management — which is invaluable for an early team needing to grow fast. We knew between Megan and Sam, there were complementary skills and synergistic values that together would make a strong founding team.
And our thesis proved correct. Megan and Sam set out to build Clark — a virtual assistant for tutors that turns every “educator into an entrepreneur.” Clark streamlines the process of running a full tutoring business with automated scheduling, payments, and progress reports for students and their parents. This gives teachers more time to tutor and less time doing busywork. Megan and Sam are building a better work solution for the growing gig economy and a pathway to success for hard-working educator.
We were all excited for Clark when the company caught the eyes of the producers creating Planet of the Apps, Apple’s new series about apps and their builders. Megan and Sam were selected out of thousands to appear on the new series and pitch their idea to celebrity advisors (Jessica Alba, Gary Vaynerchuk, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Will.i.am) and potential investors from Lightspeed Venture Partners. For those of you unfamiliar with television production, the ability to keep up with a rigorous shooting schedule while also running an early-stage startup, is no easy task. But (spoiler alert) Megan and Sam did it, and today we are thrilled to announce that Lightspeed led Clark’s next round of funding and joins the Human Ventures family of co-investors.
The experience was a new one for both of them and it showed their resolve as co-founders. It was inspiring to watch how they led their team with a united voice while navigating this unique process. Congratulations to Megan, Sam and their team at Clark.
Tune in to view their episode, titled “Nothing but Hustle”, on Apple Music and see Megan and Sam’s hard work and vision come to light.