Kelly Te

Like many Singaporean kids, Kelly Te benefited from tuition classes during her school-going years and saw her grades go from F’s to A’s.

Inspired by her experience, she started MySavvyTutor in 2018. The platform matched school-going students with tutors from all over the world and facilitated one-to-one learning in virtual classrooms.

However, the services it offered were so comprehensive that it soon caught the attention of corporate clients.

“We didn’t realise that the same platform can also be used by corporations to digitise their training materials and conduct virtual training for their staff anywhere in the world,” she explains.

Emboldened by its potential, Kelly decided to expand the company’s offerings and execute a rebrand. Now, the newly-launched Knovo not only pairs learners with instructors, but also has a growing suite of online tools –from virtual classrooms to enterprise management systems and matching algorithms–to enable classes to be held seamlessly online.

From beginning to end

Knovo is now a tech company as it covers end-to-end solutions including booking, scheduling, delivery and payment of classes.

“Traditional tuition agencies focus on local tutor and tutee matching, but these things are done offline. Knovo provides tools that helps educators find work, and that helps educational enterprises manage their resources and marketing their business at scale,” says Kelly.

She adds that at present, 60 per cent of the users are from Singapore, and that even though they now have tertiary and corporate clients, their biggest group of users are from the K-12 sector. K-12 is an American expression that indicates the range of years of publicly supported primary and secondary education found in the United States.

The prices for the classes aren’t fixed–educators have full autonomy over how much their offerings cost.

“This way, learners can choose what suits their needs, and educators can hold free classes if they’d like to ‘give back’.

Learners only need to pay for the classes they have enrolled in. Educators and/or enterprises that are just starting their online teaching ventures are entitled to a free subscription where Knovo only takes a commission after a successful class is completed.

A love for EdTech

But just how does Knovo connect learners and educators from all the world when there are many different standards of qualification?

“Our business model is uniquely positioned–matches are done via our in-house algorithm that takes into a learner’s preferred curriculum system and the qualifications of the educators in our database. A learner will be able to review the educators before embarking on a learning journey with them,” says Kelly.

But even with the rebrand, she ‘ just getting started. As it is, she is particularly passionate about the EdTech space.

“What excites me most about EdTech is the ability to make quality education accessible. And education is not only the key to competitiveness, but also powers the economy.”

“EdTech doesn’t just lower costs, but engages learners in innovative ways. It has the ability to equalise standards and enable the democratisation of education for everyone and anyone,” she lets on.

Inspired by her entrepreneurship? Kelly has some advice for those looking to start something of their own.

“Don’t be afraid to dream big and always make success a personal responsibility. Pick yourself up when challenges come your way, and have laser-like focus on your goal so you know that the process is just a jouney to achieve it.”