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Joshua Beach, a master’s degree student studying the mathematics of finance, recently founded Tutonic, an online tutoring service, with two others.

Master's student Joshua Beach wants to find you the tutor you've been looking for.

Beach, a Graduate School of Arts and Sciences student studying the mathematics of finance, recently founded Tutonic, an online tutoring service, with Kyle Cromer and Bill Fan. The online database launched three months ago after the start-up was able to secure $700,000 in investments from Chinese backers. There are currently about 300 tutors using the site.

The site allows tutors to create profiles advertising their services, including educational background and experience in their chosen field.

Students looking for tutors, in turn, can search through the site's database and find ones that match their criteria.

Beach and his co-founders said that they saw the tutoring industry as one on the rise, yet bogged down by outdated business methods.

"Most tutors rely on word-of-mouth referrals and outdated means of going to a coffee shop and tacking up a piece of paper," Beach said.

He noted that traditional tutoring agencies were inflating their prices and reaping the benefits, taking the incentive away from the independent tutor.

As an alternative, Beach used his background in data-driven analytics—he holds a master's in statistics from Yale— to create a site where students can find the tutor that's the best fit for them.

"The agencies weren't using any technology and my roots are in this data driven, data analytics background," he said, "So I'm thinking there's room to bring a web platform that could handle the scheduling, booking and billing. But the better part is if you could use data driven algorithms to help match and pair people up."

Tutonic allows potential clients to rank their learning styles and the material they need help in, then uses this information in an algorithm that Cromer said "weighs attributes" to match the client based on his or her specific needs with a tutor who indicates a corresponding strength with certain material and a certain teaching style.

Looking to the future and Tutonic's potential for expansion, Cromer agreed with Beach's vision for Tutonic as one where "someone in Shanghai could get tutored by someone at Yale." | @ColumbiaSpec

Tutoring startup