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Alumnus offers the Uber of tutoring

Photo by Cicely Rubottom

With students struggling in class and so much information available on the internet, students can grow frustrated not being able to find or receive personalized help when they need it the most. Even with a professor and teaching assistant, some students are unable to receive help due to scheduling conflicts, often leaving questions unanswered.

Photo provided by Jacob Hallman

Jacob Hallman, co-founder of StudyGate, a new online tutoring platform dedicated to quick help, had similar problems. While attending ORU as a music composition major, Hallman found himself wanting to ask questions among 600 other students.

“It wasn’t really practical to raise your hand. You just kind of had to wait until they had the separate module,” said Hallman.

By the time he got to a discussion group, Hallman often forgot his questions, before he could have them answered. It was then that his passion for helping students began to override even his love for music.

Out of his frustration, Hallman came up with the idea of StudyGate, a 24/7 online tutoring company available for students who want to connect with qualified tutors and study with their classmates online.

“StudyGate, for me, was a response to that,” said Hallman. “How can I help others that really want to learn and might not have the tools to connect with the people best equipped to help them when they need it most?”

Hallman co-founded the company alongside Daniel Zhao who shared the same zeal

Daniel Zhao | Photo provided by Hallman

for helping students. Zhao also crafted SimpleTense—a similar platform geared toward helping Chinese students—which helped pave the way for StudyGate.

Hallman said his primary source of traffic comes from college students, but explains that the program also provides help for students in all grades.

StudyGate offers thousands of tutors from a wide variety of disciplines including engineering, Adobe software, computer technology, music and many more.

The program is free to sign up and the feature to study with other classmates is also free.

Hallman described StudyGate as “the Uber of tutoring services.”

“So many times in school, you get an A if you get the right answer, not if you ask the right questions in class,” said Hallman. “So I want to assist the students with that opportunity to understand the answer and then be able to ask good follow up questions later when they’re sitting in class.”

With StudyGate, students only have to pay the hourly fee set by the tutors themselves. If a student only spends 15 minutes with a tutor, that is all they will have to pay. It is a pay-as-you-go system. The fee varies among tutors, but the average rate is around $15-20 an hour. 

“The biggest thing that inspires StudyGate is efficiency,” Hallman said.