Evaluados is an educational platform that helps teachers obtain immediate feedback on the topics they teach.
Product / Service Offering: Web and mobile educational platform that leads teachers to follow-up on the learning of the classroom.
Co-founder Interviewed: María Agustina Ibañez
Other Key Management Team Members: Alejandro Parise
This article is part of our Women Entrepreneurs Spotlight Series featuring female entrepreneurs and their companies. We hope these founders’ interviews will inspire and motivate you as you undertake your own entrepreneurial journey.
Tell us a little about yourself with a focus on what motivates you?
I’m an enthusiastic and optimistic woman; an admirer of new experiences! That’s why one of my biggest motivations is to encourage myself to do different things and learn from every experience.
When did you establish your company and where did the idea originate?
The idea was born in 2015 at a Startup Weekend event. As students, we realized that teachers are not always able to provide immediate feedback on the topics shared in class. Major efforts were focused on virtualizing the content of class, for example, e-learning. But little has been done in the use of technologies to ensure an understanding of the concepts given. That’s why we developed Evaluados.
Evaluados is a member of Start-Up Chile’s program Gen17.
What need or needs does your company seek to fill for its customers?
We know that education is changing and teachers have to adapt and design new learning experiences. Another reality is that not all students assimilate concepts in the same way. Evaluados is a tool that contributes to this change. It creates new stages of learning and transforms the cell phone into an ally for education.
What is the one thing that sets your company apart from its competitors?
We are focused not only on the data that Evaluados can provide, but also in the collaborative interaction that it can create. We customize the platform for each institution and give them a guide for best practices depending on their use.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while getting your company up and running, and how did you overcome it?
Working for education is a huge challenge. It is a difficult area to propose innovation and solutions with technology. Getting teachers use to working with cell phones or any device inside the classroom was our first wall. But, as we became more familiar, it got easier to find the correct teachers and institutions that accept and adapt to new learning experiences.
Are there resources you have utilized that other founders might find compelling or useful?
We used platforms like LeanKit to organize our project and workflow, Fabric.io to visualize metrics and jivochat as support chat for users.
What steps have you taken to secure funding for your company and what, if anything, would you do differently if you had to start over?
Thankfully we won the Startup Weekend event, so we had the support of mentors and coworking offices which saved us some operating expenses. Even so, we were responsible for development and other costs. While we were working on the software, we had financial help from a public fund and an award from Banco Nación. This let us finish everything and enabled us to focus on commercialization.
Have there been any questions you have had as an entrepreneur of a fledgling startup that you had a particularly hard time finding the answers to?
At first it was really hard to find the correct answer to every question that we had. One problem was where to investigate the numbers, the statistics and the data. We did not know where to look and it was difficult to focus on searching for one thing. But over time, with more experience we could delve into what we needed and ask the right questions. I think it is essential to be curious and, above all, patient.
What challenges, if any, are you grappling with?
Now we are looking forward to Chile. A new country to incorporate Evaluados’ use in the classroom. It is a challenge because we do not know many teachers or managers in the area of innovation of educational institutions. So if you know someone who would like to add a new dynamic in the classroom, your contact will help us a lot!
What is the most helpful tip or “hack” you’ve ever learned, stumbled across, or been given?
One disadvantage is not having a programmer on the team. Our first challenge was developing the platform. We did not have much of an idea about software, cost or how much time work like that took. Something very important for us was to seek help. Do not be embarrassed talking with mentors or experienced people because they can really give you a hand and save you from making big mistakes.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your company?
Nowadays teachers use Evaluados through the platform, but we have started to see other scenarios, such as incorporating virtual reality in order to continue generating new learning experiences. We know that education is changing and we want to be the tool that contributes to that change.
Advice to women entrepreneurs…
I invite them to be encouraged! It’s all I can say. I reached where I am today because I keep moving and I dared to do different things. I am only 21 years old, but I proved myself and showed that if you propose things, you can get to what and where you want, however difficult it may be! So regardless of if we are women…. the only thing that matters is your goals and how you manage to reach for them.
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