"When we started a year ago, our team knew nothing about entrepreneurship — and we had no connections who could help. Clarity instantly connected us with some of the world’s most talented lawyers, marketers, developers, and fundraising experts. This cross-functional feedback loop has been invaluable." — Alec Whitters
Founder of Higher Learning Technologies — a mobile platform that’s working to revolutionize the test prep industry.
- Healthcare, Higher Education, Mobile
- Cedar Rapids, Iowa
- Clarity Member Since:
- June 2012
- Call Data:
- $750 spent; 15 calls
- Advice Sought:
- legal, engineering, marketing, fundraising
access to instant network of top experts, regular business checkpoints, cross-functional feedback, preparation for aggressive (and unplanned) growth
"Clarity helped us understand out how to cross-functionally scale our business in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible — the most valuable realization being that we need to hire an in-house tech team. We’re not technical people, so help from these experts was an invaluable complement to our skillsets."
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Alec spent his entire life thinking he’d become a doctor. Along the way, he decided to become a dentist and enrolled in dental school. About 7 years in, his plans pulled a 180.
"I realized this was my parents’ dream. Not mine. The realization hit when I went to Nairobi, Kenya and visited the largest slum in the world. I was blown away by how many smartphones I saw. That put a thought in my mind — that smartphones are incredibly powerful devices that will change the world."
Alec discovered his calling when studying for his licensure exams.
"We had to buy tons of note cards, and it was incredibly disorganized. I realized that smartphones presented a much more efficient solution. I searched for study apps and found some, but they weren’t ideal for what I needed. I got the idea to make a mobile app to help dental students. Through a long path, I was able to create a crude product. People started going crazy over it. We had users in 40 countries within the first few months. I took a year off school, assembled a team, and then we made a nursing app. We’re now running in 70 countries, and investors are swarming us."
Life Before Clarity
Alec has a clear mission and vision for his company but had no idea where to start.
"I didn’t have the tools or resources around me. I didn’t come from a tech background. I had an idea, and I wanted to execute. I had no idea where to get started."
He knew, however, that there was a problem to be solved.
"Even though we don’t have the best technical solutions, we really understand the problem these students are having. We’ve been there. Where alternative solutions are coming from people in the crowds, where we have a competitive edge is that we are our target market. We’ve experienced the problem first hand."
For Alec, entrepreneurship was a brand new and unexpected path.
"We didn’t know what steps to take."
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Clarity Is Alec’s Feedback Loop
Alec and his team relied on Clarity to get started and begin the process of scaling his business. Clarity is helping him the core legal and product foundations to expand.
"At the beginning, I had everyone on the team use Clarity. We didn’t know anything about entrepreneurship, so advice from experts was mission-critical. The other day, we had 3,500 downloads — out of nowhere. As these growth spurts happen, Clarity is there to help make sure that we’re scaling efficiently and legally. The platform helps us understand our blind spots."
Alec leveraged Clarity to navigate through and form his company’s technical strategy.
"We were at a time when we weren’t sure what to do with our technical solutions because we didn’t have the background or expertise. Our Clarity calls helped us realize that we need to bring on an in-house team. A lot of calls have been technically related — before starting my company, I was training to be a dentist."
It’s too early for Alec to quantify the ROI he’s seen, but he’s confident that Clarity is invaluable to his long-term goals.
"Where Clarity adds value is to the long -term. I think a small change in direction, after two or three months, can ultimately put you in a completely different spot. I think some of the changes we’ve decided to make will make a significant impact in our long term growth — especially the decision to hire a tech team."
David Sifry — Entrepreneur
funding advice and feedback arguing the need to bring development in house
Gal Smolar — Corporate Tech Lawyer
International copyright by country
Rob Kenedi — Mobile & Product Leadership
Technical feasibility of ideas; cost of development resources
Dan Waldschmidt — Business Strategist
Guidance on initial seed funding; how to develop strong customer bonds
Greg Forst — Digital Marketing Director
Marketing strategy and implementation
"We are already cashflow positive in just 6 months thanks to Clarity and now want to use the platform to find an investor who can help us continue our explosive growth. To grow as an entrepreneur, you need to grow your network to ensure that you have a consistent and honest feedback loop. Clarity made this process a reality for us in a way that saved us time and allowed us to focus our energy on scaling our product."