Where do you go for 3000 level chemistry tutoring? After realizing there’s no way you can make it to you Professor’s office hours, many college students find there are few options for helpful resources in upper-level collegiate courses. In comes Samyr Qureshi and his startup Knack, an online-to-offline app that connects college students with peers that are willing to tutor them. Similar to Uber, Knack has tutors connect with customers at their discretion, face-to-face and on campus. Not only providing accessible advanced tutoring to students but also enabling students to earn money by tutoring others.
Launching at the University of Florida incubator, the “Gator Hatchery” in Spring 2016, Knack quickly expanded to UCF where they became the first and only official tutoring service offered through SGA. This fall they have launched at four additional campuses: FSU, USF, NC State and NC Chapel Hill. The company is working on constantly adding new campus while also focused on finishing the Android and Web-based versions of their app.
After expanding from Gainesville the company faced a decision on where they would choose to launch and grow their operations from, narrowing it down to San Francisco and Tampa. “It’s no secret that San Francisco is the mecca of startups – there is an unquantifiable benefit to being immersed in that ecosystem at the right time,” said Qureshi. “However, we also strongly believe that in the early stages, there’s a huge benefit to keeping focus and building your product in a less crowded/competitive environment. In the short-term, it made more sense to keep our costs low, recruit talent in a less saturated city, and to be near our users to better our offering.”
It’s no secret technology has made being a student in 2016 as convenient as it has ever been, Knack’s goal is to provide a tutoring program that utilizes the convenience of an app while providing legitimate peer to peer tutoring services. To contrast, most available tutoring apps are only focused on e-tutoring. Having someone tutor you through an IM chat is not only an in-effective way to learn but also leaves little room for student feedback. Knack tutors have a rating system similar to Uber or Lyft so students can make sure that their tutor know’s what they are talking about before they decide to meet up. As college’s continue to enroll thousands of new students a semester, teaching services outside of the classroom become more and more necessary and Knack’s mission is to be that go-to tutoring solution on every college campus, while holding true to their core values of being in-person, peer-to-peer, and course-specific.