Co-founders of Tutorez, Alejandro Carbonell and Vittorio Calcagno, are in Oakland working with Devlabs to incubate their software company. Tutorez connects tutors with learners to schedule in-person tutoring sessions.

“We came to Devlabs to replicate the early traction we achieved in Panama, recruiting individual tutors to use the platform,” said Alejandro. “The market there is young and we were able to recruit paying users quickly, but we found that the market here is more mature and the same methods will not work.”

“I encouraged Alejandro and Vittorio to get out of the building, to get into discovery mode and begin meeting with potential clients to find out what their pains,” said Ruben Hernandez, partner at Devlabs. “It’s only by meeting with clients that they can understand what value Tutorez really offers.”

“Many startup companies come to Silicon Valley thinking they are here to raise money,” said Ruben. “We try to show them that they have to focus on the customer first. I introduced them to schools and tutors who have the domain expertise that they need to understand what to build and how much it will cost.”

Alejandro and Vittorio decided that they needed a new approach to the US market. Instead of selling directly to customers, they have pivoted to a business to business model (B2B), selling to schools and tutoring companies. “We had to change our mindset about what our product is,” said Vittorio Calgagno, co-founder and CTO of Tutorez.

“We are going to continue talking to more potential clients and start testing some of our hypotheses,” said Alejandro.