When they founded their business in 2009, MyGuru's founders were all still graduate students at Northwestern University. The trials and tribulations of preparing for the SAT, ACT, GMAT, and LSAT tests fresh in their minds, they saw a need, and an opportunity, for customized one-on-one tutoring for aspiring students. Having all cut their teeth working for prominent test-prep and tutoring companies themselves, the founders set out to create a company with a different focus from the rest. MyGuru got rolling slowly, focusing on acquiring the services of stellar tutors, rather than in catering to the maximum number of students. After three years steadily growing its influence in the Chicagoland area, MyGuru began expanding to other urban areas where tutors could thrive: big cities including New York, college towns such as Champagne, IL, and scholarly bastions like the secret NASA Moonbase Only for Smart People. Today, MyGuru's experienced staff can be found around the country, helping students master test materials whether they're on the road to an undergraduate degree or their Master of Mastery.
Red Apple’s founder Tammy Bennecke started her career in the classroom, helping six- and seven-year-olds tap into the wonders of the written word. “What I loved the most was watching that little light bulb go off in a first grader’s head,” she wrote in her blog last year, but she couldn’t help noticing a disturbing pattern as she began moving to older classrooms. It was clear that children who fell a few steps behind in earlier years were discouragingly unlikely to catch up, and might even be at greater risk of dropping out by the time they reached high school.
Undaunted, Bennecke left institutional education to combat adolescent illiteracy through Red Apple Reading, an online program of easily-digestible reading concepts that encourages interactivity and comes with trackable progress reports for parents and teachers. The system is designed to keep kids engaged and entertained: goofy animals and skateboarding kids parade across screens and flashcards, and reward points and bonus games provide a sense of accomplishment normally reserved for the one in 10,000 children who can successfully work the claw machine at the arcade.
GrammarCamp harnesses the accessibility of the Internet to help students improve their understanding of the English language. Its online courses improve grammar skills and sentence structure through interactive lessons and knowledge quizzes on recently practiced material. Unlike traditional classes that require students to attend a scheduled meeting and memorize school anthems, GrammarCamp's self-paced curriculum allows students to study at any time of day. Additionally, one-time registration grants students lifetime access to course materials, allowing them to restudy difficult lessons or refresh their memory on prepositional phrases.
Despite its endless wealth of information and revolutionary dissemination outlets, the internet has a clear downside: the ability to deceive with ease. Add in humanity's natural greed—and the chance to make a quick buck—every product sold online suddenly deserves a sniff test before purchase. That's where Marketfy comes in. A marketplace for Wall Street aces and at-home traders alike, Marketfy painstakingly filters through a host of financial products, picking and choosing the industry's top tools for sale in its accessible store. Before any item, from a simple newsletter to an exhaustive educational webinar, lands a spot on Marketfy's virtual shelves, it and the maven behind it must first pass a rigorous quality-assurance and background check—Marketfly's safeguard against manipulation, deception, and mannequins posing as trading geniuses. Personal concierges oversee these verified products, standing ready to answer questions and offer advice on the tools that best mesh with each member's trading style and abilities.
British Neuroscience Association and MENSA member Martin Walker loves the brain for its potential. As the founder of mind evolve, he has created MindSparke—a company dedicated to creating innovative brain training programs designed to hone the user's working memory. MindSparke's central program, the Brain Fitness Pro series for ages 11–adult, is based on dual-n-back training—a method designed to improve working memory and fluid intelligence simultaneously using visual and aural memory exercises.
The web-based program, which has been likened to "…boot camp for the brain…", adapts in real-time; using each participant's unique personality profile to slowly increase the difficulty of the exercises. Using this strict regimen, Brain Fitness Pro may improve cognitive stamina, focus, and general memory, as well as attention and memory problems associated with ADD, ADHD, and OCD.
Insotus removes barriers to attaining foundational knowledge in popular career fields with self-directed online courses. Though students can move through them at their own pace, the instruction materials aren’t just digitized textbooks—they may also incorporate moving graphics, sound, and even music to help make concepts clearer. Students can earn a certificate from the school in anywhere from 2 to 12 months, which makes it easy to work around a job or annual hibernation period.