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As the internet continues to change the face of education as we know it, parents are using technology to ensure their child can access the tools they need to succeed. While information is available, much of it is scattered across the web, meaning studying can take on a new level of frustration during final exams, or when studying for SATs.
Eric Wang saw this first hand as he watched his parents at work in their after school learning center. The center catered towards parent working in and around Silicon Valley. Rather than merely observe, Eric dove into the challenge the center presented — becoming the company’s CEO in 2014.
After 10 years working directly with both parents and their children attending the center, he noticed a common pain point arose in many of their discussions. Specifically, a lack of centralized educational information to help parents and students make the best decisions for their future.
Eric had an idea: what if all of this information was in one place, built by the community itself? Thus, the idea for ScholarPost was born.
Knowledge is Power
Right now information about educational pathways is scattered across the internet. From scholarship sites, to application tracks, SAT prep sites, and more–Finding the right information can be a struggle. “ScholarPost exists to connects all these ideas into one place. How can each parent effectively support their kids at each step of their educational career? How will a student efficiently navigate through the craziness of the American education system,” Wang asks.
Getting accepted into one’s top, or even second choice university is becoming more difficult by the day. Without the foundation in place built by a solid educational, students may struggle later in life. Wang noted that over 70% of the students who were rejected by Stanford had a perfect 2400 on their SATs.
ScholarPost has a vision to become the largest global educational platform consisting of people willing to share that information. Whether this is from personal lived experience, or advice from others. This allows children and young adults to better plan their academic path throughout every stage of their life, without having to traverse through pages of information that isn’t relevant to their particular situation.
That being said, ScholarPost won’t only be useful for children, with its community coming together to also support parents by connecting them with information as to what sort of extracurricular or achievement programs are available to their child based on their own unique interests and talents. For the younger crowd, ScholarPost will offer Junior High and freshman High School students the ability to learn about extracurriculars that will supplement their college applications.
If you’ve already gotten a Bachelor’s, never fear. ScholarPost also offers support to those looking to get into graduate school, or to those hoping to boost their professional connections and hit the ground running after graduation.
Too many students aren’t realizing their potential because they didn’t know what they wanted to do when they were younger. With ScholarPost, there will be no more students saying, “I would have done that if I had known about it back then,”
— Eric Wang, CEO & Founder, ScholarPost.
Building Blocks for Success
Creating the ScholarPost community wasn’t all A’s at first. Wang first utilized his connections from his family’s business to gain interest in the project and beta users. Drawing from his experience as an immigrant navigating the US educational system also helped Eric address the pain points college applicants feel when their first language isn’t English, or that may be making use of the 2012 Dream Act signed into law by President Obama.
With 1.8 million immigrants in the United States who are or may become eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, Eric’s personal experience will enable these young adults to better succeed in their educational goals.
When first starting out, Eric looked to parents, students, alumni, and those passionate about enacting change in educational spaces. Together with a strong founding team, they set to work creating the first iteration of ScholarPost. However, this quickly hit a snag — finding a technical co-founder.
“Determined to bring ScholarPost to fruition, I decided to go on Yelp and found my first WordPress developer to help us build a scalable web application. I thought it was a cheap way to get my idea off the ground, not knowing about what WordPress actually was,” said Wang.
Fortunately for Eric, a friend quickly told him WordPress is primarily a blogging platform and not well-suited to scaling applications. His friend mentioned a small development company he knew with a full-stack dev working in PHP. As Eric started to learn more about development and programming, he was optimistic about the future of ScholarPost.
That optimism would soon be tempered.
Earning an ‘A’ with ScholarPost
Nine months passed while Eric began working with a one-man team consisting of a PHP developer doing front-end, back end, production managing, and outsourcing of all things ScholarPost. The end product didn’t match what Eric had envisioned.
I had a whole community of parents ready to go, a passionate team waiting to put their skills into action, and no website.
Deciding to give higher-level developer shops a call quickly led to a series of closed doors. After calling shops in Portland, LA, and New York–Eric found that no-one was interested in helping a boostrapped project get off the ground if it wasn’t venture backed. Before he could finish the word, “Bootstrapped,” most of these project development houses hung up on him.
As crunch-time loomed, Eric began frantically searching for his next option. After googling, “How much to clone Uber,” he found an article that mentioned Gigster. Seconds later, he was discussing his project with a sales engineer on the Gigster site.
After sending over the specifications of ScholarPost (which were distilled into “Quora for education”) Eric was sent over a contract and matched with a Product Manager (PM) to help him through every step of the development process.
His PM not only took the time to answer his beginner-level questions, she suggested building ScholarPost’s development infrastructure in Node.js, because the engineer she recruited was able to build a stellar product with it faster than working with PHP. Node.js is also a more popular language amongst today’s developer community and she knew this would make sure Eric would always have a lot of options and support as the product grows and he needs more developers.
Working with Gigster has been an amazing experience so far because I know that they care about ScholarPost, and the vision that comes with it. With a company like Gigster behind me, I finally have the opportunity to make ScholarPost’s mission a reality.
ScholarPost is now in the later stages of development, with its Product Manager and Gigster acting as its technical co-founders. This gives Eric a chance to transform his idea into a tangible product, while helping American students and families nationwide carve a path toward a successful education.
Once ScholarPost’s tech build has been completed Eric will shift into high gear onboarding new users to get their feedback and begin solving their problems (send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know the biggest issue you’re facing in education right now if you’re interested).
Do you have a dream just like Eric? Use Gigster to turn your dreams into reality.