FAQ: Why Insperion, dba Graphr Applications? We recently launched an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign in which our goal was to raise the $15,000 we need to professionally develop our app from our families, friends, and the generous public. Turns out – and we learned this the hard way – that the generous public needs incentives we couldn’t provide, and thus we only raised (circa) $2400. With this money, we filed for a utility patent in late October, began working with an offshore development team on coding key features of our app, and registered as an LLC in November. We did this for two reasons: (a) to provide a legal platform for our future ideas and (b) allow investors [like you] to seamlessly become part of our team.
“ Imagine your first day of sophomore year – all the way back in high school. In fact, imagine any first day of school that you can remember. From as far back as middle school, no matter how much you shopped and adhered to the school supplies list, there has always been that one item you had to go back for, because some teacher somewhere couldn’t make up their mind which color folder, which size binder, which calculator they wanted to use in their classroom. Such was the case with us this year – we’re all in Pre-AP Chemistry, and both Betsy & Pawan are taking AP Biology. Did we mention Algebra II, AP Statistics, oh, and Geometry? That’s 4 different calculators right there – per student, all because College Board requires their instructors, in lieu of a multi-purpose, adaptable calculator, to train students on the most course-relevant device out there. In this day & age, we knew there had to be a better way – why spend upwards of $200, as a student / school, per calculator… when apparently all the hype is about pursuing a STEM career? And thus, Graphr was born. ”
" Graphr is a patent-pending, versatile calculator app that prevents cheating and enables student logic analysis in order to boost STEM course performance and career opportunities. "
“ In other words, our business seeks to make it easier for our peers to pursue and succeed in higher-level STEM courses, financially and otherwise: current hardware calculators are expensive, bulky, battery-draining -- and worst of all, not course specific. Furthermore, teachers today ban the use of mobile devices during tests / quizzes in fearing cheating through the Internet or other applications. So, we've created the world's first anti-cheating calculator...! ”
How We Can Help Boost STEM Careers The Target Audience In the United States alone, 15.8 million public & private school students will be enrolled in grades 9 through 12 starting fall 2014, as well as an estimated 21 million college students 68% of those students will lose their interest in math / science by 8 th grade, and 84% will opt out of AP Courses in STEM fields after 10 th grade. -US Department of Education, 2013 The Root Causes As a direct result of harder course material requiring higher levels of math skills in statistical analysis, -Supplementary course materials, such as Princeton AP Study Guides, not to mention electronic textbooks, are the #1 deterrent for students pursuing STEM careers. -Electronic equipment, especially costly TI calculators and their long-term maintenance costs (batteries, bulky backpack space) are the biggest financial drain on students / their families.
How We Can Help Boost STEM Careers Current Alternatives There are tons of cheap hardware graphing / multi-function calculators on the market today, but the problem is that course material nationally relies on proven brands, like Texas Instruments, and thus students without said branded devices are unlikely to be assisted by their instructor in terms of finding functions and calculator hot keys and thus are already at a disadvantage. Also, these hardware calculators may still be bulky and non- adaptable in an age of smart phones and ever thinner devices. They are also battery-draining. Current mobile apps are either too expensive or too basic, and are generally discouraged / even banned in classrooms because a teacher cannot monitor the student’s screen. They are obviously not allowed on all tests & quizzes! Our Solution Our app seeks to solve all these problems and more in one innovative package of features. To counter student cheating during a test / quiz while using our app, background algorithms actively search for CPU fluctuation that indicate whether our app is the primary running application on the device, and notify the teacher via classroom code if the student is thought to be straying away from the app a.k.a. cheating / being off-task. Teachers can also curate the app so that certain calculator functions are unavailable as needed on certain tests / quizzes (in a parabolas graphing test, graphing can be turned off for devices connected to the classroom via WiFi. See following sides for tech-features.
Behind The Scenes – Proprietary Features When working with our developer to produce a prototype GUI, our first concern was the integration of our anti-cheating algorithm over the three major platforms – Android, iOS, and Windows 8 Mobile. Thus, we focused not on design elements but the code, and so the following pictures are in no ways final as color / icon schemes will be changed. For some features, we consulted our teachers and peers on what they would find beneficial in an application like this. We also have a partnership with our school’s division of Mu Alpha Theta in order to promote STEM and AP course selections.
Anti-Cheating (Flagship Feature) Our flagship feature aims to build teacher / admin trust in using calculator apps during exams. As previously mentioned, we can accomplish this through the use of ground-breaking algorithms that prevent cheating by accurately identifying background-app-switching / CPU usage. If alerted, the app notifies the teacher account in control of the classroom via immediate text messaging, and also locks the student's access to the calculator unless voided by the teacher.
Curated, Multi-Platform Functionality Easily switch between calculator modes (scientific, four- function, graphing, and engineering) via an immersive and easy-to-use GUI. Among other things, the app offers 2D & 3D Graphing and slide-able, on-screen keyboards for full-screen / zoom display options. For as little as a $0.99 USD in-app purchase, receive a themed- pack of calculator skins (by country, sports, and other personal interests). Purchase all packs with a bundle discount for just $1.99 USD. Initial release for Android 4.0 Ice-Cream Sandwich & iOS 6, follow-up in Windows Mobile App store. In “Test Mode,” teachers can disable certain app features (calculator modes) based on the subject-matter of the exam. Say, for example, a test on graphing quadratics; the teacher simply disables all calculator modes involved in graphing to prevent the student from accessing them for the duration of the test.
Active Grading Sense Technology Our app will allow the teacher / test administrator to view the student's processing logic - so no need to rewrite complex formulas / matrices on a separate sheet of paper just to show your work. It all goes to the teacher via electronic answer sheet, simply by one click of the button (students hits SEND once finished with a particular problem, and if registered to a classroom in Exam Mode, the app will automatically insert the student's calculations onto the server's individual student.txt file)
Instant Results Unlike any of our competitor's, we offer instant grading so that as student's complete their calculator- supported answers, the classroom server will automatically send not only their work (see Active Grading Sense) but also a tally of the student's % correct, based on a custom-made answer key view-able and editable only by the teacher. Teachers can also easily set the % weight of each question / sub- question as they deem necessary via their log-in credentials.
Projections Revenue Forecasts for Fiscal Year 1, Marketing + Scaling Strategy, Investment Breakdown
Assumptions Cash Inflow* 30% of Sales on Credit 15 Days Average Collection Periods Cash Outflow* 10% Purchases on Credit 15 Days Average Payment Delays *Fiscal Year 1 denotes 1 year after initial Graphr app release on Android & iOS. It is also important to note that our Customer Acquisition costs will depend on the size of the district / bureaucratic efficiency of the region in implementing new educational resources.
Annual Expenses Annual Allotment (%) Annual Allotment ($ Monthly) Marketing10$16,042 Salaries (After Costs)8.6$8,334 Office Amenities3%$3,208 Please also refer to the list of districts we have thus far contacted and / or listed as plausible Year 1 customer candidates. This list, and more, is attached in the Word Document below. Click to open Fiscal Year 1 Candidate-Mandate!
Planned Use of Investments & Resources How we’ll use your $18,000 US investment: -$14,250: App Development -2,750: Continuation of Patent Filing, LLC status maintenance -$1,000: Marketing (Media + Website), Travel Expenses in terms of Customer Acquisition
Customer Problem (Recap) Our product is valuable in today's market because current calculator apps are prohibited in classrooms as students can easily exit the app and find answers on the Internet. Thus, any right-minded teacher bans such activity. In addition, expensive (and bulky) hardware competitors like Texas Instruments and Casio do not address the multi- functionality necessary for different classes, while Graphr can be tailored for a variety of STEM courses.
Products & Services (Recap) Some key, proprietary features are as follows. For a more detailed listing, please review Page 2 of our Pitch Deck: (a) Multi-Platform / Function, (b) Anti-cheating (teacher is notified if the app detects alternate CPU priorities other than itself when Test Mode is enabled), (c) course-based applications (classroom admin can restrict certain functions of the calculator as necessary per exam), and (d) instant student-logic analysis and grading.
Target Market (Bulk Customers) Our target markets are high school and even higher education (college) students, especially those pursuing STEM courses in which the use of a calculator is required or recommended. In the United States alone, 15.8 million public & private school students will be enrolled in grades 9 through 12 from fall 2014, as well as an estimated 21 million college students. After establishing an exponential regional and then domestic base, we want to go global by 2021.
Target Audience (Beneficiaries) Our optimal customers are high school and even college students, especially those pursuing STEM courses in which the use of a calculator is required or recommended. This app can even be applied to middle school students, as they require basic calculators starting from 7th grade. We are targeting this domestic and even global population in order to help both them and their teachers, as our app saves the students and schools both money & time, and makes it easier to learn / teach.
Sales & Marketing Strategy (Business Model) Our market will have to major bases: a majority of [public] school districts that will buy the app in bulk, and a minority [private] individual students looking for ways to make their STEM classes easier. For the school districts / provincial boards of education (our ideal customers) we plan on travelling to their board meetings and presenting to them there, whilst heavy social media marketing for student individuals. We expect 35% growth per year for 10 years after initial launch in '15.
Competitors (recap) We have many competitors in both the digital and hardware calculator space (Texas Instruments, Casio...). However, while they sport a loyal customer base and reliable products, those products are almost 5 times as expensive as our alternative solution and cannot offer the same ultra-portability, easy navigation GUI / versatility, and most differentially, our anti- cheating features & instant student logic analysis. Graphr is simply the better buy.
Our Competitive Advantage & I.P. We have a utility patent-pending on the proprietary features of our app, which include the: anti-cheating algorithms, student logic analysis systems, and even the custom tailoring of our multi-function calculators as per exam requirements. All these ideas are under development (Pitch Deck), so we have first mover advantage. No similar products exist as of now, and our app's price point / costs are about five times less expensive to T.I. (our largest competitor).
FAQ: Are you willing to consider licensing with Texas Instruments or other competitors, even Edmodo? We have contacted relevant departments for both Casio, Panasonic, and Texas Instruments in terms of licensing our product (the app itself) to proven customers. The problem here is that these companies, including Texas Instruments, don’t have contracts with districts or even schools for their calculators. Instead, they sell them in teacher kits (each calculator is still sold at a market price between $70 - $130) coupled with lesson plans on third party distributor websites. Many of these divisions were unwilling to return our call as well, and so we need not only your money, as an investor, but also your contacts, connections, and expertise!
Interested in investing? Get in touch with us through social media @GraphrApp or contact us via our website(s). You can also email us directly at email@example.com !firstname.lastname@example.org