College Kids Need Help.

Spending a weekend back at college sounds like the premise to schlocky comedy. But at the Denver Startup Weekend at DU, we got serious. Working with a team of students, I developed TotalTutor, a reputation-based app that allowed students to quickly connect with student tutors.

Born from a problem.

The students in my group were frustrated. They knew they could use help in one subject or another, but were unsure of how to find it on campus. Should they trust a phone number on a bulletin board? Ask friends? Get a professor to refer someone? The students didn’t feel comfortable broadcasting their problems, but didn’t feel confident enough to source a good tutor. From this premise, we developed TotalTutor, an app that could help students connect with other more knowledgeable students at their campus.

Keeping it Simple.

We went through a number of ideas. Message boards, a direct PM system, a GPS-based homing system for finding people on campus… In the end, we settled on a simple, searchable directory platform, customizable to each institution.

We envisioned a basic searchable directory structure that could be skinned and customized (fields, concentrations, grade levels) for each institution. Tutors could create a profile with their specialties and grade level. Seekers could easily search and filter, making it easy for Mary to find an Engineering tutor for here Junior Robotics project, or Kyle to find a Philosophy tutor who can explain 100 level Rationalism. Seekers connect with tutors, then can rate them based on their experience, giving others a reputation metric for their experience.

In an effort to keep the experience simple and private, the app connects seeker and tutor via email, and lets them define their relationship from there.

Four Simple Steps to Book a Tutor


Students are able to search by discipline and focus, as well as by grade level


Search results show names, grade, and discipline, as well as a reputation-based score.


Tapping a result brings up a profile with more information, including the tutor’s specialties. Large buttons at the top and bottom allow the student to contact this tutor directly.


Hitting the contact button passes the user to a pre-filled email, and lets the seeker and tutor start a dialogue via email.

Ready for More?

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