Source: Philadelphia Business Journal By Dan Norton
A Yale University business student’s SAT prep company recently established a presence in King of Prussia, Pa., and it’s apparently so effective that it got on the TV show Shark Tank.
Shaan Patel‘s 2400 Expert SAT Prep raises a high school student’s SAT score 368 points after a six-week course, Patel said. This is his first time seeking venture capital, and he can’t talk about the results of Shark Tank until after his episode airs on Jan. 29.
“It can be really life changing,” Patel said. “Students can get into colleges they never would have thought possible.”
The course costs $17 per hour and amounts to about $1,000 from start to finish. Students spend 10 hours week prepping — some with an instructor who scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT, some with a proctor on the weekends, familiarizing themselves with the structure of the test.
One of the ways Patel’s company keeps prices down is by not leasing off-space. For example, 2400 Expert SAT Prep operates at the Intelligent Office in King of Prussia with a noncommittal agreement.
2400 Expert SAT Prep, referring to the perfect SAT score, has three-full time staff based in Las Vegas, as well as about 30 part-time instructors and proctors across its 15 markets in the United States. The class is accompanied by a McGraw-Hill textbook.
“Back when I was in high school, I raised my own score from average to perfect,” he said. “Only about 3,000 students of the 15 million who’ve taken the SAT have done that. This is the only program created by a student who got a perfect score.”
Patel decided to audition for Shark Tank back in April 2015, when he waited in line in New York for nine hours to make a one-minute pitch. Some paperwork and few more audition rounds later, Patel soon found himself pitching to the sharks — specifically Mark Cuban,Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner and Robert Herjavec.
“Going to business school showed me what companies can do to accelerate their growth,” Patel said. “I wanted to turn my small company into a national brand.”
Regardless of how Patel did on the show, the Shark Tank effect should certainly give his company a promotional boon. The reality program is one of ABC’s most popular, and even pitches that fail spectacularly often end up doing well without the sharks’ investment.
2400 Expert SAT Prep will join the likes of Scholly and PiperWai as Greater Philadelphia startups who made the show.