Female Startup Spotlight: Toot App

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A couple of weeks ago, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Hermione Way announced that she’ll be investing in female-founded startups. Now that she just made her first investment, we decided to team up with her and put a spotlight on the companies.

Finding tutors in your area? There’s an app for that! Sophia Parsa has been working on Toot for almost a year now with three co-founders. Based in Silicon Beach, Los Angeles, she’s currently raising money and expanding to other cities soon, as she told Fillmore.

Sophia Parsa

Sophia Parsa

Can you describe what Toot is and how you came up with the idea? 

Toot is a mobile app, launched in Los Angeles, that allows you to connect with tutors of various skills in your area instantly for in-person lessons.

In May of 2013,   I was a senior at Loyola Marymount University, struggling to find last minute help during finals week.  My regular tutor had a wife going into labor, leaving me with no visible options and the fear of failing my final exam! It was 10 PM the night before the exam…I emailed my professor asking to be excused from the test. My professor connected me to a previous student of his. I immediately emailed Joe, and within the hour, he was able to meet me on campus. and I want you to know I passed my final exam!

Joe explained that he likes to tutor in his spare time to make extra cash. With his demanding class schedule, he wasn’t able to hold a full time job and tutoring allowed him to be his own boss.  It was at that moment that the idea of “toot” hit me.  Believe it or not, there are students everyday who find themselves in the same situation. In need of help but not knowing where to get it. My peers always asked me to connect them with tutors knowing it was a big part of my schools and personal life. This was an innovative way to connect students and tutors on short notice with a new app…. “toot!”

Currently we are available only in LA and have a little under a 200 tutors and 400 students.

Have you received any other funding yet? Any plans to raise more money?

Yes, we raised a pre-seed round of 100K and currently raising 200K.

What are your plans with Toot for the future? 

By the end of next year we hope to be launched in a total of six new cities and in two years we hope to launch in our first international city.

While a lot of women complain that it’s hard out there for female founders, others say it’s actually an advantage. Which side are you on?

As long as you have the right team behind a great idea, it should not matter whether you are female or male. You are a founder.

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Berichtet als freie Silicon Valley-Korrespondentin über Technologie und Wirtschaft und betreibt seit 2014 das Portal Fillmore.

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