SEED SPOT is profiling SEED SPOT alumni that are part of InvestSW’s Venture Madness. Venture Madness is the premier investment competition in the Southwest and the top 64 companies compete for investment dollars. We are proud to support our alumni that are participating in the competition and the growing startup ecosystem in Arizona. As part of the competition, the world gets to help select the companies that advance. We sat down for a quick chat with Jaime Martinez the founder of Schola. Let’s learn a bit more about this SEED SPOT alumnus participating in Venture Madness!
Venture Name: Schola
What is Schola’s Mission?
To advance educational outcomes for all students through innovation, imagination, and collaboration.
Tell us a bit about why you started Schola?
I’ve spent seven years working in the education industry, beginning my career as a teacher and working my way up to a Marketing Director role. After a brief time as a national consultant focusing on school marketing, I decided to start my own consulting agency. Throughout these seven years, I have strived to solve one single problem: school fit.
During my first year as a teacher, I realized that some of my students did not belong in a traditional pedagogical setting. Not only that, but I also learned of the inherent, institutionalized barriers keeping schools from promoting choice; these barriers also keep parents from understanding their choices and school funding in general.
Our solution has evolved from our experiences in working with over 60 schools along with thousands of parents and students across the country. After seven years, we understand that our solution had to be all-inclusive in that it has to benefit both schools and parents. Schools need a way to market themselves and promote what makes them unique, while parents and students have to learn what options are available and what exactly they have to offer.
What do the next 12 months look like for you?
In the next 12 months we will:
– February – Release the Schola platform to match students to their ideal schools in AZ
– March-May – Participate in the Boston-based Learn Launch Ed-Tech accelerator
– April – Have 50 paying schools on ScholaMatch and generate $25,000.00 MRR
– April – Begin scaling nationally
– May – Begin development of our second SaaS product Schoolfax
– June- Begin development of our Augmented Reality Kindergarten placement game (PlacementPal)
– June-December – Integrate machine learning to our matching platform
– January & February – Release Schoolfax, PlacementPal, and aggressively market Schola across school choice states
– 2018 Goal is to grow by 30 schools a month to have 600 schools by the end of Q4 and generate $300,000.00 in MRR
What is one piece of advice would you share with a future entrepreneur?
You’re here once, fail big and don’t hold back.
How can the SEED SPOT community help you succeed?
Continued mentor support, opportunities to interact with potential investors, and continued education on how to increase our social impact across the country.
As part of the Venture Madness competition the world gets to vote on the companies that proceed in the competition!
Be sure to vote for Jaime and team to help them progress to the next round of Venture Madness: bit.ly/scholaventuremadness