"It's been a really exciting ride as a startup and I can't wait to see where our next adventure will take us," said JeanCarl Bisson, co-founder and web developer at Sleek-geek, Inc.
A 2007 graduate of San Francisco State inComputer Science, Bisson met two Oakland teachers in 2012 at the AT&T Mobile Education Hackathon in Palo Alto and together they've designed and built a prototype of Read With Me App, a digital reading assessment tool for teachers.
Less than 24 hours later, they won first place.
Since then they have launched a web version, native iOS app, and on Edmodo and Chalkable. The iOS app gives teachers the ability to record the student reading and play audio back for the student to listen to and self-reflect on misread words.
"I'm really excited to have the Sleek-geek team participate in our accelerator program," said Edward Avila, co-founder and CEO of Manos Accelerator, a mentorship-driven accelerator program that provides "hands-on" education, business resources, infrastructure, capital, and guidance for promising startup companies led by Latinos, moving them onto a fast track to success. "They have real insight to problems in the education system and they are developing solutions to solve these problems."
Manos Accelerator, a venture project of Google for Entrepreneurs, targets Latino entrepreneurs generally under-represented in early-stage ventures.
"Our mission with Google for Entrepreneurs is to grow entrepreneurial communities and equip them with the resources and technology they need to tackle big ideas and build great companies," said Mary Grove, director of Global Entrepreneurship Outreach at Google.
Over 75 teams from around the world applied for the three month program. Sleek-geek was one of only seven teams to be selected. The others include:
- Blyve (San Jose, CA): Blyve is a real-time marketing platform that brings customer closer to the brands they love via interactive and engaging live events.
- BoomZip (Raleigh, NC): BoomZip provides companies with the solution to analyze and manage their cloud utilization in a fast, easy, low cost, and secure way.
- Hemheist (Phoenix, AZ): Hemheist.com is an eCommerce site that sells women's new and vintage clothing and accessories. Don't fear the unexpected. Mix that vintage designer blazer with a steal of a mini dress.
- HostSpot (Mexico City, Mexico): HostSpot provides insights that help businesses optimize the performance of their customer engagement, marketing, merchandising and operations. It does for the brick and mortar stores what Google analytics does for the online world. They are the 1st place co-winners of the 2013 AngelHack in Silicon Valley.
- Interesante (Menlo Park, CA): Get the most interesante (interesting) news, images, products, people and video delivered to your mobile in real time based on your interests, needs and wants.
- Qritiqr (Mexico City, Mexico) is a crowd mystery shopping network providing insights about services, products and market opportunities in real time.
Participants of the program will be mentored by fellow Latino advisors, will be taught the skills of a successful entrepreneur, have access to free office space in downtown San Jose, and most importantly, connections to investors.
"This is what a young startup looks forward to," Bisson said. "We can't wait to move to the next step so we can see our dream come true with easy to use tools in the classroom saving teachers time and improving how students learn."