Tutoring company uses peer education

(Left to right) CEO Gautam Bhargava, software engineer Tanuj Girish and Chief Product Officer Patrick Dayton co-founded the tutoring service Peeyr. Photo courtesy of Peeyr.

Interested tutors can now find opportunities at an education company which is working with the Venture Development Center at UTD to connect peer tutors at low cost.

Peeyr, which was started by co-founders, CEO Gautam Bhargava and Chief Product Officer Patrick Dayton and have helped over 100 students so far.

Bhargava and Dayton come from entirely different backgrounds and have put their experiences and interest in education together to make the company what it is today.

“We think that students prefer to learn from someone that can connect with them and from personal experience, and the main reason we started this company, it’s always been with people we connect with and relate to and we think that those people are usually your peers,” Bhargava said.

Bhargava’s inspiration for the app came from his experience in public school. He was from a high-income family but went to a low-income school due to the busing system.

“I realized how bad the education system was at the middle school level. It’s because low-income students are uninspired to use education as a tool to elevate their life and on the flip side, high-income students get to utilize those resources and do get to utilize them because they have support from their parents and peers who are more than likely educated,” Bhargava said. “Plus, the low-income students face other challenges with having to food on the table or having bad situations.”

Because of this, he decided to improve the education system by creating a peer education platform in order to improve the quality of education for those in low-income families and attending low-income schools.

“I felt that there was this huge imbalance in the system and wanted to connect the super-smart and inspired students with those who aren’t maybe as inspired and have many resources,” Bhargava said.

His goal was to create a platform where people could book tutors in under a minute while knowing that they are using a safe and trustworthy space.

Dayton, having come from a small town, graduated from an ivy league university and completed his degree in mechanical engineering and business at MIT. He later joined Peeyr in June 2016. 

“I saw what they were doing and I knew I wanted to be a part of it. So I quit my job at the oil and gas company I was working at the time, and joined the team,” Dayton said.

Peeyr runs on the idea that people are able to learn better when they are taught by their peers and the reason that Bhargava believes their company is successful.

“The basis behind the model is that students learn better from someone who can connect with them,” Bhargava said.

Peeyr is open to all although Bhargava said their target audience is high school students with tutors who are in college. It is a simple site where after registering people can pick their tutor and meeting location within minutes.

In August 2016, Bhargava and Dayton had created the first version of Peeyr when they found VDC’s services through the DFW StartUp Facebook page. Bhargava and Dayton applied to create a venture between Peeyr and the VDC and were selected. In the following month, the VDC took Peeyr under their wing as a part of their incubation start-up program.

Bhargava and Dayton are currently using the VDC’s resources to help them with networking, funding and helping them get Peeyr to reach a wider network.

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