Entrepreneurs Interviews, December 2017
For the October Boston EdTech Meetup, the organizing group decided to try something new! The Boston EdTech Foundation specifically invited a few entrepreneurs to participate in the October’s event. The goal of the Meetup was to allow entrepreneurs to engage with the EdTech community in order to get feedback and suggestions on their ideas or products or any other business/technical challenges.
Nearly 50 people showed up at the Education First office in Boston - each one of them was eager to help out the 7 entrepreneurs with their EdTech ideas. What ensued was an eclectic discussion, each of the startup company teams took back with them some actionable ideas.
Over the course of the next 2 months, we will showcase these startup companies on our blog and newsletter by conducting interviews that will provide a glimpse of their individual journeys.
Everyone has an equal right to education – and it looks like MentorWorks is striving to make this happen! MentorWorks is a local Boston based company which works closely with students in making sure that their education dreams are achieved, regardless of their financial status.
Karthik, CEO of MentorWorks, was previously working as an Associate Professor of Finance at the Northeastern University. His expertise in Finance and his experience with students from diverse backgrounds gave rise to the idea of MentorWorks – a platform through which under-served students can build their skillsets, have access to great mentors and build a path towards a successful career.
MentorWorks provides financial assistance to deserving students, especially ones who are from low income backgrounds, through Income Sharing Agreements (ISAs). The pool of funds for the ISAs are invested into by accredited investors and corporations. While students gain visibility and mentorship opportunities, employers benefit from having access early on, to students with diverse skillsets – thus making this a highly beneficial relationship to both students and investors. MentorWorks is indeed a one of its kind financing model that combines career networking and mentoring with ISA financing.
MentorWorks on Vimeo
At the October 2017 Meetup, MentorWorks got an unflinching support from the audience. The various questions that came Karthik’s way during the Meetup made him believe that the audience saw a huge potential in the concept. This confidence helped Karthik and his team reinforce and validate a lot of ideas which they were thinking about. A highly engaging conversation around the topic of scaling up yielded a fantastic result! MentorWorks found itself a seed investor and a technology advisor in a fellow attendee, Rich Thornett. Karthik wholeheartedly admits that the Boston EdTech Meetup provided him with a tangible benefit, while also providing different perspectives on building out a technology platform and methods around fundraising.
MentorWorks students and mentors meet in Boston
Besides financing many low-income students (majority of whom are from minority background), MentorWorks is also licensing their mentoring software to Brandeis University - International Business School and to Cambridge College. As they address their growth challenges, Karthik firms believes that MentorWorks is treading on the right path!
"If students succeed, so do we!" - Karthik K
More information on MentorWorks can be found on their website: www.mentorworks.io