BIT Startup of the Week: Intellifunda

By Blacks In Tech 0 Comments

We’ve all heard that everyone learns differently. To some the learning process is an arduous and difficult one. Some say they learn better by doing, while others seem to pick things up just by talking about it. Whatever your learning “style” is, we can all agree that if there was a tool that made learning easier and a lot more fun we’d be all for it.

Intellifunda, a company that designs mobile tutoring applications is working to help alleviate the angst associated with practicing and mastering subject matter.

Q: Who Founded your company?

A: Maria T. Earle, Ed.D. is the sole founder of the company. 

Q: Give us a brief summary of your background in tech. 

A: I have a bachelors in electrical engineering, masters in software engineering, have worked as a programmer in the software industry for over 15 years and am currently serving as the SCRUM Engager for my company. In addition, I have a doctorate in education and I have taught middle school through research university where my emphasis was on integration of meaningful technology into the curriculum. I know how to leverage my programming expertise to design products that help learners master learning content.

Q: Tell us about your company, what does your company do or make?

Intellifunda is a company that designs mobile tutoring application programs. 

Q: What problem does your company aim to solve?

A: Intellifunda aims to take the drudgery and anxiety associated with practicing subject matter to make it easy, engaging and effective.

Q: How does the current version of your product solve that problem?

A: Intellifunda applications aren’t just ordinary tutoring applications. In addition to skills building and help obtaining subject matter mastery, there is a motivational component to our tutoring products. 

Q: What is your company’s mission?

A: Our mission is to transform a learner’s disdain and fear of practicing into increased love and excitement. We do this by providing a product that is differentiated and “within reach” of a learner’s aptitude and in addition addresses a learner’s attitude with a motivational tutoring avatar we call miPAT®. In addition, we monitor the learner’s struggles and successes and “as you get smarter, we get smarter, it’s a winning cycle® “.

Q: What has been your biggest challenge as a startup founder?

A: My greatest challenge has been fear of failure.

Q: Did you ever feel like giving up?

A: This fear, at times, has been overwhelming and I felt like giving up. However, the times I felt like giving up was when I listened to my illusions. Illusions often brought on when I thought about how the public might view me if I failed and one might question why I took on such venture. After-all, most know Tech Founders as mid-twenty- something, white, men. I am mid-fifty-something, black, woman.

Q: What lessons did you learn from that challenge?

A: The lesson I learned from experiencing fear of failure is to not rely on my strength, only. I reflect on my ancestors and their struggle and the amazing miracles they performed. In addition, I think about the talented people who have been sent my way to work with me on this amazing product.

 

Q: What is your biggest victory?

A: I am extremely proud of having this opportunity as a mid-50-something black women to start an EdTech company. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to successfully complete a varied educational and work background and perhaps most importantly, truly blessed for those who have been sent my way to help me on this journey.

I am also humbled by the stories I hear from adults after hearing about out premiere product, MathFunda. MathFunda will help learners master math practice. These adults go on to share their childhood stories about struggles, fear and shame they experienced in math class. Typical replies are: “I wish I had this product when I was in school” or “When will it be available, my child needs it now!”.

One such adult admitted getting sweaty palms just at the thought of practicing math. Such comments provide me a vote of confidence that I am building a worthwhile product that will help reduce the fear and anxiety associated with practicing math.

Q: If you could only give one piece of advice to an aspiring tech startup founder, what would it be?

A: Surround yourself with constructive supporters and have strong opinions, but consider what these supporters have to say and stay flexible.

Q: Has your company received funding? If so, what type of funding? From who?

A: At this point in time, Intellifunda is 100% bootstrapped.

Q: How can users find more info on your company? 

A: To find out more about our premier application, MathFunda, visit our website at https://www.intellifunda.com. This site provides step by step instructions on how to use our MathFunda application, and more.

We are beta-testing MathFunda Fall, 2016. To gain deeper insight into MathFunda, we invite you to join our Beta- Tester list. Sign up here: https://www.intellifunda.com/beta-tester-.html

Q: How can people contact/follow you/your company?

A: People can contact or follow us at the following

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Blacks In Technology’s Startup of the Week focuses on spotlighting and promoting Tech based startup companies founded by PoC or have PoC in top leadership positions. Want your startup company featured as our SoW? Submit your company now by completing the following form.

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Blacks In Tech

Blacks In Technology is a professional platform for PoC in technology. BIT serves to increase the visibility and participation of PoC in tech through community, media, mentorship, and stewardship. Blacks In Technology (BIT)® is "Stomping the Divide" by establishing a blueprint of world class technical excellence and innovation by providing resources, guidance and issuing a challenge to our members to surpass the high mark and establish new standards of global innovation. “Stomping the Divide”