Scottsdale tutoring company joins growing online industry

Scottsdale-based AvidBrain has signed up more than 1,600 tutors in less than a year. (Photo courtesy of AvidBrain)

SCOTTSDALE — From biology to bowling, officials with Scottsdale-based tutoring company AvidBrain said they offer lessons for a variety of subjects.

Co-founder Keith Rezendes launched the company in January and said potential tutors have flocked to the company.

The company has signed up more than 1,600 tutors. Users can search for tutors by geographic location and subject, and they can filter by price. The tutors range from $10 to $150, according to the site.

Analysts predict the online tutoring industry in the U.S. will grow annually by 5.2 percent, and it generates about $132 million in revenue nationwide, according to research firm IBISWorld.

IBISWorld attributed the industry’s expansion to the growing number of people who have access to the Internet and the fact people like to conduct services online. The analysis also noted that the Great Recession played a role: Many people who lost their jobs returned to school to develop their skills – or learn new ones.

Rezendes, a former college professor, said he created AvidBrain to provide more opportunities to get one-on-one help.

Tutors are available for anyone who wants to learn any given subject.

“We have a lot of range – from game programming, game playing, Yiddish, anything you can teach as a skill, we have it in our system,” Rezendes said.

The company encourages tutors to collaborate and allows referrals for students who may gain more insight from other instructors.

Tutor Tamara Allen said the opportunity to work together makes AvidBrain a refreshing company.

AvidBrain officials said the company also sets itself apart from other tutoring agencies because it pays employees on a transaction basis.

New hires set their own price for lessons and take 70 percent of the fees charged.

Over time, employees can earn up to 90 percent income, Rezendes said.

A degree is not required – and not necessary for those offering their expertise for say, World of Warcraft or roller skating – but all applicants undergo a background check, Rezendes said.

Jake Stoll, the company’s director of operations, said the company has about 400 active users of their services. They’re looking for tutors to meet demands, he said.