Teachers & Educators

TalkingPoints

Enabling parent-teacher engagement via a multilingual communication platform

Team Lead

Heejae Lim

Hear the Pitch


The Problem

Research shows that parent engagement is a critical part of a student’s academic success. Unfortunately, in underserved or marginalized communities, families face multiple barriers to actively engaging in their child’s education. Differences in educational background, language barriers, and overwhelming work schedules can cause mutual misunderstandings between parents and teachers, making it challenging to work together to support their students.

The Solution

To bridge these barriers, TalkingPoints’ intelligent messaging app uses machine learning and natural language processing to provide personalized coaching for parents and teachers. TalkingPoints’ multilingual app connects parents and teachers so they can build trusting relationships—without language, tech, or cultural barriers.

A parent can message their child’s teacher in their own language, and TalkingPoints will suggest some actionable steps they can take to help their child. Teachers go through coaching modules that help them engage with parents and students. The app personalizes educational content for parents and teachers alike, enabling them to work together to best support their students.

Market Opportunity

  • In the US alone, there are 40 million low-income, minority students who are falling behind by two years compared to their peers.
  • On average in OECD countries, 63 percent of first-generation immigrant students and 38 percent of second-generation immigrant students speak a language at home that is different from the language taught in their schools.

Organization Highlights

  • With no marketing budget, expanded to 250,000 users through word of mouth in three years
  • Entrepreneurship networks: Echoing Green, Stanford Social Innovation, Ashoka Changemaker, Uncharted, Bluhm-Helfand Social Innovation Fellowship
  • Awards: General Motors Prize for Advanced Technologies, Save the Children Prize for Breakthrough Innovations for Children
  • Media: NBC, Forbes, Education Week, Recode, TechCrunch, and more

Existing Partnerships

TalkingPoints currently partners with:

  • More than 50 school districts in the US, e.g. NYC Department of Education
  • Nonprofit organizations and education networks
  • MIT Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) for an impact evaluation study

Organization Goals

TalkingPoints seeks to achieve the following goals:

  • Double the 2019 budget to account for new team members and increased activity
  • Launch pilots internationally and eventually expand operations beyond the US
  • Reach 3 million lives in the US and 7 million internationally in five years

Partnership Goals

To reach the goals mentioned above, TalkingPoints seeks partnerships to:

  • Launch international pilots
  • Acquire pro-bono services in marketing, PR, and design
  • Connect to donors to meet fundraising goals

Stats

Since 2014, TalkingPoints has impacted 250,000 families across North America.

Solver Team

Organization Type:
Nonprofit

Headquarters:
San Francisco, CA, USA

Stage:
Growth

Working in:
Canada, USA, Uruguay

Employees:
6

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