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After a long and tiring day at work, you come home and realize that you promised your children to help them with their homework. Instead of a cozy movie night with the family, this evening will be spent on mathematics and Dutch grammar. Does this storyline sound familiar to you? If so, then you might want to consider booking a personal tutor for your child at Nimbles. After winning the TedX Amsterdam Women Startup Award last year, the Dutch startup has now raised €400.000 through anonymous investors to develop its online tutoring platform. Nimbles is currently operating in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague and the company will use the funds to expand throughout the Netherlands.
A tutoring platform again? Yes, and here’s why:
When we search Google for homework tutors, we get over 2 million results. Do we really need another tutoring platform? Danique Wiltink, co-founder of Nimbles together with Adine Tjeenk Willink, explains why: “What is unique about our platform, is that parents can choose the tutor. We do not match them with a tutor, but they can search in our database, by filtering on different aspects, such as the experience level of the tutor, his expertise, but also on the experience he has with learning disabilities. In addition, parents can filter on price, as the tutors determine their own rates.”
The startup is not afraid to reject tutors that are not professional or motivated enough. In fact, only 15 percent of the tutors that sign up, pass the strict selection: “We want fresh and active tutors. We had many tutors that were just looking for a fast and easy way to earn money. Others took weeks to reply to our e-mails. We need to be sure that our tutors are really motivated”. Besides the motivational aspects, Nimbles also looks at didactic skills: “If a tutor does not make any eye contact, it could be a reason for us to not accept him on our platform”.
The Nimbles Academy
Wiltink worked in a homework institute for six years, and she noticed that the quality of the tutors was often very poor. “Many institutes recruit tutors without screening, and without offering them any assistance. The quality of the tutors is of utmost importance”. As part of the screening, all potential tutors must follow a training program at the Nimbles Academy. “This is a way for tutors to get acquainted with the platform and our brand, but we also teach them how to conduct an intake, or what good ways there are to make tutor appointments”.
Nimbles sees itself as more than just a platform for homework supervision. It offers what they call “preventive assistance”. The idea is that we should not wait until a child fails for his exams, and the parents have to desperately ring the bell. Instead, they want to offer a service to pupils that need a little extra. Wiltink: “Many parents complain about big school classes, and little personal attention for their kids. Unfortunately, there is not always enough time and space for teachers to answer all the pupil’s questions individually. Parents often lack the time or knowledge to assist the children with their schoolwork. Nimbles fills that gap by offering that extra assistance”.