Alumni create startup tutoring company

Andrea Vizcaino/Staff Writer

Johnny Betancourt started private tutoring sessions, teaching organic chemistry to earn some extra cash while in school. Years later, the University alum has a start-up company in his hands: Clutch Tutoring.

Once word got out about his private tutoring and how helpful it was, the demand for private tutoring sessions started adding up. This is when Betancourt came up with the idea of putting all the students into groups so he would be able to reach a bigger amount of students and teach it all at once. This is the concept behind Clutch, which caters to FIU students and coursework exclusively.

“The reason why what we do works is because we cater to what the students are learning in the classrooms,” said Marcio Souza, CEO and physics tutor. “The closer we are to what exactly it is they are learning in the classrooms, the more relevant the content and the more the students here at FIU are interested in the program and learn from it.”

Jessica Justiz, a recent graduate with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, at one point needed help with her physics and organic chemistry classes.

“I definitely would not have passed physics without them and they helped me get a 100 on my first orgo exam,” she said. “They are very helpful and just help in making sense of everything.”

Clutch Tutoring was created and is managed by FIU alumni. After Betancourt and Souza teamed up, they started to recruit other tutors who were able to teach other subjects. The subjects they teach include calculus, biology, statistics and even MCAT test prep.

Michael Blanco, a senior biochemistry major, used Clutch when he needed help in chemistry class. He credits his tutor, Jules Bruno, for passing the class at all.

“Jules knows chemistry so well— it’s as if he invented the subject,” he said. “Without Jules, I would have failed chem.”

Clutch recently received recognition from Techstars, a start-up accelerator company that helps find sponsors for them.

Souza explains how they expanded at FIU and how they plan to expand to other schools.

They started off within FIU, adding more tutors into their program who taught different subjects. Students then started to migrate from one tutor and subject to the other to learn more.

To spread the program to other schools, Clutch is creating video tutorials. If students outside FIU enjoyed and learned from those videos, then then will be able to expand their reach to more universities.

“We tutor, not teach, making it less painful, being funny and personal as possible,” Souza said. “It’s part of our company culture, we are all kids from FIU. Let’s be serious, but yet again, not too serious.”

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