Hey! I’m so glad you’re here! I thought for my first blog, I’d introduce myself, tell you about our story, and give you some insight on how we grew SEED.
My name is Emilia Herman and I live in Tampa, FL with my husband Zac. We’re both originally from the New Jersey/ New York area, love spending time with our families, and are relatively new to this whole crazy (& incredibly exciting) entrepreneurial world. Let me start from the beginning.
We met at The University of Tampa in 2014, where I was majoring in Education, and he was majoring in Management Information Systems. He’s very much a tech guy and I’m very much.. not. I’m a quick learner, though, and love to incorporate technology into my daily routines to make life easier. Never did we think our educational backgrounds would come together the way that they did.
I’m a planner. My whole life, I’ve thrived off of having a plan and being organized. Teaching as a profession made sense for me, since I loved to write, loved children, and felt super comfortable in an educational setting. After college, I immediately started teaching at Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School. My dream school. The education students received there was rigorous and broad, and teachers were committed to getting the best out of their students each day. I also felt like I had the freedom to build a curriculum that allowed for room to build student character and prepare them for the ‘real world,’ to the best of my ability. For me, it was more important that they left my classroom each day with a positive attitude and felt prepared to take on the rest of their day, than it was that they memorized a dialogue from To Kill A Mockingbird. They’re tenth graders, after all, and being kind humans with the skills and resources to succeed is the goal.
Speaking of resources, as I mentioned earlier, technology hasn’t always been my ‘thing.’ Because of that, I started to realize there were processes in my day to day routines at school that weren’t quite as efficient as they could have been. My whole life I’ve been a pen and paper chick, and got pretty comfortable doing things the old fashioned way.
How it Happened
One day, I came home and started to express my frustration to my techy husband. I told him I wanted to incorporate technology into my classroom more frequently and effectively, but was worried about the distraction student devices might cause. Specifically, I wanted to increase efficiency when it came to administrative tasks that took what seemed like forever in a quick 90- minute class. I remember by the time I was done taking attendance and writing hall passes, the actual time left for instruction was limited. Not only that, I didn’t feel like I had an accurate sense of exactly how much time students were spending in and out of class during instruction.
Zac figured there had to be an app for the problem I was describing. Because, well, isn’t there an app for just about everything? Turns out there wasn’t.
In Zac’s professional (and personal) world, efficiency is everything. There’s always a quicker, more practical way to do daily tasks. I could see him cringe every time I would explain to him some of my daily processes at school.
So, after spending a few hours looking for solutions, and not being incredibly enthusiastic about any of them, we, as probably many entrepreneurs before us, said “let’s do it ourselves.”
With those words, we started writing everything down. What the app would look like, how it would function, who we wanted to reach out to first, etc. etc. etc. It ended up being a long night.
After a few weeks of collaborating and putting our thoughts together, we realized this little idea would require big time work. And with that realization, we also recognized that neither of us had experience growing or scaling a business and that we’d need some guidance. For us, that guidance came from The University of Tampa, where we earned our Master’s in Entrepreneurship.
Through UT, we were able to organize our business, make invaluable connections with successful entrepreneurs, and challenge ourselves amongst other aspiring business owners. While we might not have been the most experienced going into the program, there wasn’t a single opportunity we came across that we said no to. By this, I mean we threw ourselves into as many conversations, competitions, and presentations as we could.
So, with the guidance, education, and resources we put together, that little idea we had on the couch one day after work, ultimately turned into SEED Classroom.
SEED automates the attendance taking and hall pass request processes in schools. Students' whereabouts are live updated in the background, giving teachers and administrators a clear understanding of how much time each student is spending in the classroom during instruction. We operate as a B2B SaaS company, and provide our services to schools on a per user per year basis.
We’re just getting started! With a recent round of funding complete, we were able to get started on developing the newest version of SEED. This version is expected to be complete by the end of March 2022, and we’ll be set to launch for the 2022-23 school year!
We’re starting with hall passes and attendance, but SEED’s goal is to ultimately develop as many efficient solutions in schools as possible. Teaching, and education in general, is a profession often described as traditional. At SEED, we’re prepared to modernize the traditional classroom into an efficient space where time and resources are valued.