Tutoring Startup Peeyr Takes Top Prize at McKinney Contest
Jed Rollins (left) and Gautam Bhargava (right), founded Peeyr to offer tutoring to lower income students. [Photo courtesy of Robin Woodall]
BY JULIA FALCON • JUN 30, 2016
CITY’S FIRST STARTUP COMPETITION NAMES WINNERS
Tutoring startup Peeyr snagged the $3,500 grand prize at the Innovate McKinney Local Startup Competition grand finale event on Tuesday.
Judges selected the McKinney-based startup from a group of five finalists in the inaugural competition hosted by The WERX Foundation and McKinney Chamber of Commerce.
The contest was designed to foster future business growth in the city.
“We recognize that entrepreneurial spirit is the backbone of our economy.”
“We recognize that entrepreneurial spirit is the backbone of our economy,” said Lisa Hermes, president of the McKinney Chamber of Commerce, in a release. “It is innovative creativity that produces ideas that transform our world and leads to businesses that help our economy thrive. We were excited to be able to foster and celebrate that through this event.”
High school dropouts Gautam Bhargava and Jed Rollins founded Peeyr to make tutoring more accessible to lower income students.
“I noticed my classmates who have less money were struggling, I wanted to help tutor them regardless of their income,” said Bhargava, who serves as Peeyr’s CEO. “Students can choose any time they are available for a session.”
The online booking system allows students to filter a tutor by location and topic of help needed.
“There are certain tutors to help with certain topics,” Bhargava said. “The coolest thing about this is how affordable it is.”
Balanced Media Technology came in second place with its video game package that seeks to help in the fight against cancer and curing diseases.
“This program works on real-world problems,” Balanced Media Technology team member Jason Leary said. “We want people to interact with the virtual reality medium.”
Learnatronics rounded out the winners in third place with a circuit board and electronic training package that’s distributed to classrooms across the state.
The company aims to help teach robotics to students of all ages said Learnatronics co-owner and Chief Operating Officer Erin Kate “Katie” Walker.
“We have basic circuits and memory games,” Walker said. “We use sound and circuit lights on our boards. There is an instruction manual that comes with the boards to help.”
“With the money we won, we want to give our solution to every student in McKinney.”
Other finalists who were given special mentions were Divergent Innovation, a child safety mobile app, and Healthbloks, an online patient health care portal.
As for what the creators are going to do next with the money they won, Bhargava said he wants to spread the word about his business.
“With the money we won, we want to give our solution to every student in McKinney,” Bhargava said. “By marketing and getting ambassadors in high schools, we will spread word of our business.”