This week’s blog is from Dave Shpigler, founder of Intelligent Pathways and first runner up in this year’s FastPitch competition. Dave is a hands-on kind of guy…so much so that when he sees a problem, he starts devising solutions. Read on as Dave teaches us the value of parenthood, listening, learning and the excitement of being an entrepreneur!FYI – – The Creative Coast’s blogspot is Savannah’s sounding board for local thinkers, innovators, wanderers and wonderers. Guest bloggers share their thoughts, opinions and creative noodling from all over the map…
I came up with the idea for Intelligent Pathway from working with my own children. As a father of 7 children, I’ve spent a lot of time working with my kids on reading and math from a young age…and thought I had it all figured out.
Then, my youngest taught me otherwise.
Although I used the same approach with her that I had with my older children, it became clear that she simply learned differently. I realized that she wasn’t the problem – the educational approach I was using was.
Using the same approach for different learners simply doesn’t work. Furthermore, if one approach didn’t work for all of my kids that had the same father, mother, and household, what did it mean for so many other children learning in different households with different access to resources and in different parts of the country? There had to be a better way.
Living in New York at the time, I began doing extensive research on the concept and decided this was something worth pursuing. I decided to move to Georgia partially due to lifestyle issues and partially because research indicated it was a good place to start a business.
Locating in suburban Atlanta in the summer of 2015, I began work on the effort to launch Intelligent Pathway. During customer discovery, I had the opportunity to speak with 148 parents, teachers, and administrators to better understand the issue at hand.
A father of three that I spoke with captured the concept best when he told me, “The great thing about online learning is how advanced it is … the biggest problem is that it is not personalized.”
Looking at the products on the market today, it was clear that the overwhelming majority featured static content – content that didn’t adjust to the learner. Even programs that claimed to be adaptive were limited in scope. We needed a more dynamic approach.
Fast Pitch 2016
Having laid the foundation for initial product development and building a team to pursue the opportunity, it was now time to present what we had been working on to the outside world. FastPitch, a program sponsored by The Creative Coast, provided us with the opportunity to present our idea and get feedback.
A three-minute pitch session followed by three minutes of Q&A doesn’t provide for a lot of details, but it did force me to focus on the essence of the work we had done. The staff at The Creative Coast was extremely supportive of our efforts and the event itself gave us an opportunity to learn about exciting work being developed by other start-ups in the region.
The added bonus came when I learned we had finished as first runner up!
Going forward, the team at Intelligent Pathway is very excited about the work we’re doing. We now have a team of eight talented people that bring to bear tremendous expertise in technology, education, marketing, and business strategy.
We expect to release our initial alpha prototype this month and are also working on coding the front end of our commercial solution so we can be ready for live customers later this year. We’ve also been working with IBM on leveraging their cognitive analytics software so we can bring to market the most capable technology platform possible.
And that’s our story. Exciting things are ahead!