One local company is garnering national attention for their software product, ScheduleSmart. Capture Education’s tool is out to reform the way students in grades K-12 schedule their classes.
“We take information about an individual’s learning style, interest, aptitude, career interests [and] intelligence type and we use that data to project courses and pathways that the students will be successful in,” Capture Education Founder Mike Neubig says.
Instead of a student viewing an extensive list of classes or a teacher recommending a class that isn’t challenging enough, ScheduleSmart uses data to create a balanced schedule for a student that is tailored to their individual needs.
“Every individual’s unique qualities should drive their opportunity,” Neubig says. “My goal is really to change the way that students are placed and the information that’s used to judge what they are capable of.”
The software builds a balanced schedule for teachers and students alike using an algorithm, making the traditionally manually-driven process of scheduling data driven.
Guidance counselors, school administrators and curriculum coordinators are using the product to schedule over 130,00 students nationwide, with a projected growth to 250,000 users in 2014.
ScheduleSmart is an add-on to already existing student information systems.
“[Schools] inherently have a scheduling system but it’s very manually driven,” Neubig says. Many of the systems are also outdated.
“Technological changes are not easy in schools and there’s a lot of reasons for that,” Neubig says. Capture Education’s main challenge is building awareness that ScheduleSmart technology can make the process easier.
The software is already compatible with Pearson Education product, PowerSchool, ProgressBook, and New York City’s Starrs. Capture Education plans to add more plug-ins to integrate with more systems, scaling their product.
Neubig started selling the software about three years ago after spending 15 yeas as a guidance counselor in Westerville and additional time doing national consulting work. In both his roles, he helped schools solve scheduling issues and use data to place their students. He hired a programmer to commercialize the idea he was manually helping schools with, and thus ScheduleSmart was born.
Neubig says Capture Education bootstrapped from the beginning before a recent wave of funding. The company earned recognition as a Pearson ISV Partner. As the biggest student information system in the world, Pearson endorses and co-markets ScheduleSmart.
“It validated there was a market for it,” Neubig says of the partnership.
Capture Education recently closed $1.2 million in Series A investments from the Ohio-based North Coast and Ohio Tech Angel Funds, along with investments from many Central Ohio-based venture capitalists. The company is also working to close another $700,000 from the Innovation Ohio Loan Fund for software development.
Capture Education plans to add 18 jobs over the next three years, expanding outside the walls of their current space at [email protected].
For more information, visit capture-education.com.