Scott Lee ’14SEAS started his first company PeerTutor – which connected more than 6,000 English tutors and students – in high school. He went on to major in engineering at Columbia, serve two years in the Korean army, and work at J.P. Morgan as an analyst…but Lee had been bitten by the startup bug, and soon found himself coming back to his passion for entrepreneurship in educational technology.
He started Gooroo so that more families could have access to high quality tutors at affordable prices. The company has grown to have 1,000 New York City tutors in its network and has facilitated more than 3,500 tutoring sessions. With its success, Gooroo has opened a round of late seed funding and has its sights set on expanding to Boston and San Francisco.
Gooroo is an app available on Android, iOS and the web that allows students to instantly find and book sessions with tutors. Users are able to search by criteria such as subject, location, availability, and tutor rating, and then meet their tutor for an in-person session. All tutors are background-checked and personally vetted by Gooroo (and a large percentage have attended Columbia!).
In addition to being the easiest way to find a tutor, Gooroo offers competitive pricing; they are able to do this by taking less commission from tutors than the industry standard. As for the tutors, Gooroo embraces the “gig economy” by enabling college students or others with flexible schedules to put their knowledge to use and earn income.
Gooroo has a strong dedication to education that extends even beyond its tutoring services. The company has partnered with the Department of Education to instruct middle school students in the Bronx and with senior centers to teach a range of classes. For each tutoring session, Gooroo donates a book to children in Africa as another way to give back.