Marcio Souza is the CEO of Clutch Prep, a Miami, FL startup that makes online video tutorials. Clutch Prep helps college students actually understand concepts taught in their classes and score higher on tests by offering high quality, in-depth and textbook specific supplemental videos.
BusinessInterviews.com: How did you come up with the concept behind Clutch Prep?
Marcio: My co-founder Johnny Betancourt and I were both individually tutoring students and four years ago, we recognized that we were both highly successful private tutors. We expanded this business to group tutoring and even after moving to a larger office, we still could not keep up with the demand. From there, we turned to recording our sessions, which really sparked the beginning of Clutch. Now, we host textbook-specific videos online and are trying to scale nationwide.
BusinessInterviews.com: Where does your passion for education come from?
Marcio: My family has really driven my passion for education. I was raised by a teacher and a lawyer, so for me, it was a norm to be learning something new and exciting every single day. For example, I started learning physics at the age of 9 and by the time I reached my college years, I was able to tutor some of the hardest courses out there. Oftentimes, I was even able to tutor subjects without having taken that course. Learning is often made too complex and with my experiences, I want to change that.
BusinessInterviews.com: What’s one marketing strategy that’s worked well for you so far?
Marcio: In our marketing efforts, we have been very successful in reaching out to students over Facebook and Twitter. We’ve found that students tend to group themselves online into communities and that gives us plenty of opportunities to reach a lot of students at once.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you share which aspect you’re most excited about when it comes to participating in the Techstars Chicago accelerator program?
Marcio: We have been most appreciative of the mentorship we have received in the program so far. It’s not every day that you have the opportunity to talk to executives with any company you want in your industry. Our mentors have given us great insight and as a result we’ve been able to see our business in a new light.
BusinessInterviews.com: What influenced your decision to make your videos available for free this summer after previously charging for them?
Marcio: Our current primary goals are to grow as quickly as possible and to learn as much as possible. By making our videos available for free, we have been able to sustain much greater growth and we have already done over 30 user interviews to improve our product. It’s more important to have thousands of happy users than to earn a relatively small amount of revenue at this stage.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you tell us a bit about your plans to start scaling your offering to reach more students throughout the US in the coming months?
Marcio: We have already hired 6 student brand managers at large campuses in the United States and hope to have 20-25 in the next month or two. We currently have users in 400 colleges and universities in the nation, so now the challenge will be to grow our presence at those schools.
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