$49
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Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Oct 6 2015
Roger BraunBy Roger Braun
First created
Roger BraunBy Roger Braun
First created
$49
pledged of $30,000 goal
1
backer
0seconds to go
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Oct 6 2015

About

MailScholar is the ultimate software as a service communication platform that brings schools into the 21st century.

MailScholar is built to address the most critical challenges facing our public and private schools today: Fostering better engagement with student parents, building a supportive community, and raising funds so our children don’t lose out (because of lack of equipment, volunteers, or money to fund that special after-school program). 

Many of today’s parents live an extremely busy lifestyle and so their communication and interaction with their child’s school is very limited. If they want to find out what is going on they usually have to wait for a parent-teacher conference, receive a paper flyer from the school announcing an event, or view the school’s facebook page (if the school even has one).

What if parents could use an App that gives them notices from their child’s teacher? 

What if the App also told them about upcoming school events, school sports scores, needs for volunteers, and more?

How much better will a child do in school if the parent is in-the-know and even gets a direct message from the teacher asking him or her to spend extra time with the child on a specific homework assignment?

MailScholar does all these things and more!

MailScholar is accessed via the internet. So it doesn’t matter what type of computers the school uses. It works for everyone that has internet access. 

To use MailScholar the principal signs the school up and is the Administrator over the sub-accounts (teachers). The Principle can monitor all communications and post to all accounts from his/her account. This facilitates sending out mass communications of unexpected early release due to bad weather, calls to action in attending a school event to parents, reminders to have students prepare for State Testing, and more.

The Principle adds the teachers emails to the school account and then each teacher is given their own login and dashboard.

Parents can connect with MailScholar in by either email subscription or App (MailScholar apps exist for both iOS and Android). If they download the app then the teacher can give out the same code for them to connect with his or her individual class.

Email Service Provider – MailScholar sends out emails from the user dashboard using the super Easy-To-Use WYSIWYG editor. Templates come predesigned in with a generic school theme so the teacher or principle on the go can just type their message over the place-holder text.

Social Media Posting – MailScholar offers the ability to post to facebook, twitter, or both. The principle can post to the school page as can teachers. 

Parent Teacher Conference Scheduler – MailScholar offers the ability to for a teacher to block out his or her available time on their own personalized dashboard calendar and then provide access to parents via email/MailScholar App to book their appointment. 

Turn-Key Fundraising – MailScholar has built in fundraising templates that also allow you to integrate with GoFundMe.com, PayPal.com, and more. 

Newsletter Creator – Extremely Easy-To-Use newsletter creator which allows the teacher or admin to add images, type text, and send as an email. 

Unique Communications Dashboard – Teachers can send messages to parents via email, MailScholar app, or SMS Text messaging all from one area to post from.

MailScholar is in the process of adding a translation widget into the communication dashboard. 

This will not be a part of the initial release but is planned in the immediate near future. Many students speak the native language the country that they are going to school in while their parents do not. MailScholar will offer the feature of parents opting-in to their native language and the communication sent to them via MailScholar will come to them translated via email, text message, or App Communication. This will foster more involvement with the school and their child's education and school activities. 

Our consultant, Gail Basham, who has 30 years of education experience with English as a second language students, let us know at this project's outset what a HUGE benefit this will be to children who are attending school and their host country is their secondary language. Mom and Dad don't speak their host countries language and so if that student is suffering then it's very difficult to communicate that to the parents (until now - with MailScholar).

MailScholar is 90% complete.

The software was built on a staging website and is now in the process of being migrated over to the live website. We still need to integrate MailScholar with a 3rd party email delivery service (mandrill api), tweak the WYSIWYG editor Add Picture to pull images from the user's computer, and integrate the School's MailScholar platform with the parents' Android and iOS MailScholar Applications.

The school side of Mailscholar (SAAS platform that Prinicples' sign their school's up to and assign to their teachers) has been built and is ready to go.    MailScholar SAAS currently sends emails, text messages, and posts to facebook/twitter. 

Now all we need to finish the project is the development of the iOS and Android apps. The remaining 10%.

The good news is that the apps are pretty straightforward and mostly push/pull content and data from the MailScholar platform which has already been built. We just need funds to finish that part and then make it available in Apple Store (free to parents) and Google Play (free to parents) before Beta testing and our main launch.

We've built MailScholar to a point where it is almost ready for market. To finish the job we need funds to develop the Apps that will complete the project. We're hoping that you share the same passion for education that we have and see the awesome potential this platform has to offer. Also, not just for North America but for the rest of the world as well.

We've been working hard over the last few months to make sure that the platform has all the key features that most schools need to dramatically improve relationships with parents and teachers by better communication. We have a lot of additional features that we want to add but first we need to get the project launched and underway.

It's not just about raising money. We want to involve you and the rest of the Kickstarter community - because although we have lots of ideas about how to improve education through better communication and involvement, we know you're going to surprise us with your ideas as well. We want to hear from you about the features that you'd love to see. We believe this technology will revolutionize the way schools and parents interact with each other and we’re hoping you’ll join us in being a part of that.

MailScholar is the ultimate start-up. We're going "all-in" on developing our technology so that it is super easy to use and sells itself. We plan on using the Kickstarter funds to finish paying for the technology development and launch. On the other side of the spectrum we've been networking with educators and sales professionals to develop a quick way to grab some foundation accounts which will let us hire full time staff. The more subscriptions to MailScholar that we sell results in more money to grow (hire more staff, bring IT/Development In-House, and grow the technology).

The MailScholar project comes with three different type of awards. Philanthropist, Founder, and Subscriptions. If you donate more than the previous reward, you also get that previous reward (example: if you donate $50 as a Founder you'll also get the Philanthropist reward as well).

Chances are you're browsing the MailScholar Kickstarter campaign because you want to help education. Different countries have different tax laws (so always contact the professional in these matters in your country to see if this applies). If you donate to the MailScholar kickstart campaign at a level that gives you a year-long or more subscription to MailScholar and you donate that subscription to your favorite school (then if the school so chooses, they can give you a voucher which you can claim on your taxes for a tax credit). This works for businesses and individuals in the United States. 

 April 2015 (Completed)

  • Registered MailScholar, Inc as a corporation in the State of Arizona
  • Began design mock-ups of the MailScholar SAAS platform

May 2015 (Completed)

  • Registered the MailScholar trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office
  • Hired an application development firm to create MailScholar based on my software design document

June 2015 (Completed)

  • Worked on collaborating with my team in the initial build
  • I built the MailScholar.com website

July 2015 (Completed)

  • Worked with the team on final changes before doing Quality Assurance testing on the MailScholar platform
  • Worked with team on bug changes and modifications

August 2015 (Completed)

  • Gave final approval to migrate MailScholar from the staging server to the live server
  • Created the MailScholar Android and iOS app designs and sent to the developer for completion

September 2015 (Next Phase of Project)

  • Launching kickstarter campaign to raise funding to finish the MailScholar parent apps and finalize the product for mainstream launch
  • Further QA testing in the new live environment and final tweaks

October 2015 

  • App Development for MailScholar Parent editions
  • Revisions, testing, and feedback for the development team

November 2015

  • App Development Completion
  • QA Testing between MailScholar School SAAS and parents apps
  • Synch up email delivery system with 3rd party delivery service

December 2015

  • Push the MailScholar Apps to the App stores for parents to download
  • Begin sales campaign with select schools both public, private, and charter to sign up with MailScholar
  • Assist new clients in getting MailScholar set up (even though it is built to be extremely easy and intuitive)

January 2016

  • MailScholar does full mainstream launch.
  • Deliver the Kickstarter subscriptionrewards to all backers who donated to a MailScholar subscription

Roger Braun - CEO - Inventor of MailScholar Software As A Service platform and responsible for creative direction of the development team. 5-years experience directing internet marketing and IT projects in the Health & Wellness and Travel & Leisure industries. Leader, entrepreneur, and education enthusiast.

Heather Braun - Secretary - Heather is a corporate officer for MailScholar, Inc. She is also a Montessori School teacher for Grades K - 1. As a school teacher, Heather has had a large amount of input into how to make the application "teacher friendly."

Gail Basham - Consultant - Gail has a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education and Teaching from Northern Arizona University. She has over 30 years of teaching experience with secondary language children grades K-8. Gail has seen first hand the issues that schools face with communication issues between schools, parents, and the children. She's also had major input into some of the current and future features of the MailScholar platform.

$47,000 – We’d like to move the operation to a Business Office from the Home Office. This would pay for a one-year lease, insurance, supplies/equipment, and utilities.

$55,000 - This additional money would help us book flights, hotels, food, and entrance fees to attend education conferences nationwide to make schools aware of MailScholar and sign them on.

$75,000 – We’d like to hire a full-time sales tech support person to assist customers.

$100,000 - We'd like to hire a full-time sales rep who also works off of commission in addition to salary.

$200,000 - We can hire additional people to accelerate MailScholar's growth.

 

Risks and challenges

Risks.

MailScholar is a pretty robust platform. It was built using Yii jQuery and Twitter Bootstrap. The overall platform is very stable and scalable. The core platform is already operating leaving just the app development. The apps are grabbing their data from the core platform so coding the Apps is pretty straight forward. The only risk there is a possible delay in App creation/launch based on our development firm's time table. They do have other clients but we've already block out the projected time.

Changes to the platform.

Our mission is to provide the world's best communications platform that connects schools with parents and students. This means we'll always be adding more features and improving the core platform and app. Our goal is to add multiple languages to the platform as soon as it is feasible. We will first do it in a development environment to make sure that our addition does not cause issues with the live code. By making MailScholar multi-lingual it means that this platform can be used throughout the world! Our initial markets outside of North America include Europe, Russia, China, Japan, and India.

Defining "mutli-lingual." This means the the apps and core SAAS platform would be in the school's language of choice (e.g., Spanish, French, German, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, Russian, Arabic, and more).

Technical Support.

As mentioned earlier in the presentation with the "Sling-shot growth model," we plan on adding technical support personnel as soon as we have enough subscribers to cover payroll. In lieu of initial technical support (because we're running so lean) we plan to have a host of video tutorials, a support forum, and a technical support ticker system using the free open source osTicket IT Support Desk Ticketing System.

Sales.

Sales with MailScholar is a bit interesting. We plan to tackle it three different ways:
1) Go after a State contract in a known educational leader state (which would cover hundreds and thousands of schools at once). Once other State's see what the leader State is doing they'll be more likely to sign up with us.
2) Go after prominent private and charter schools who could really benefit from the platform's turn-key fundraising templates and the software itself.
3) Go after individual schools one at a time until the positive word gets out.

So for the first Quarter 2016, we'll be finding out what works for us best out of the three methods. We also plan to attend regional, state, and federal education conferences to make schools aware of us and our services.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    PHILANTHROPIST: You’re a person who seeks to promote the welfare of others, especially by the generous donation of money to great causes. By donating $10 or more you can brag to your friends that you just helped fund a start-up that is going to revolutionize communications with schools and parents. You also get a really cool “I helped Fund MailScholar” sticker.

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    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    FOUNDER: Welcome to the Founders club. Your name and a link to your organisation or website is added to http://mailscholar.com/founders and you get a spot in our Founders Wall.This has incredible value since the MailScholar domain will have tons of .edu schools linking back to it. Because we are an education based software/website we will not be able to honor this gift for adult content (xxx) websites. You will also receive a Philanthropist level: MailScholar Sticker.

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    Pledge $149 or more About $149

    1 YEAR SUBSCRIPTION (1-Principle; 10 Teachers - MailScholar Subscription Plan) + STICKER + FOUNDER'S CLUB. Be among the first to use MailScholar and use this amazing software service for a year. Reward is transferable to a school of your choice (if you are donating and not a school).

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $209 or more About $209

    1 YEAR SUBSCRIPTION (1-Principle; 20 Teachers - MailScholar Subscription Plan) + STICKER + FOUNDER'S CLUB. Be among the first to use MailScholar and use this amazing software service for a year. Reward is transferable to a school of your choice (if you are donating and not a school).

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $269 or more About $269

    1 YEAR SUBSCRIPTION (1-Principle; 30 Teachers - MailScholar Subscription Plan) + STICKER + FOUNDER'S CLUB. Be among the first to use MailScholar and use this amazing software service for a year. Reward is transferable to a school of your choice (if you are donating and not a school).

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $329 or more About $329

    1 YEAR SUBSCRIPTION (1-Principle; 40 Teachers - MailScholar Subscription Plan) + STICKER + FOUNDER'S CLUB. Be among the first to use MailScholar and use this amazing software service for a year. Reward is transferable to a school of your choice (if you are donating and not a school).

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    2 YEAR SUBSCRIPTION (Select one from any of the MailScholar Subscription plans for number of teachers) + STICKER + FOUNDER'S CLUB. Reward is transferable to a school of your choice (if you are donating and not a school).

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    3 YEAR SUBSCRIPTION (Select one from any of the MailScholar Subscription plans for number of teachers) + STICKER + FOUNDER'S CLUB. Reward is transferable to a school of your choice (if you are donating and not a school).

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    Pledge $3,250 or more About $3,250

    5 Year (Select one from any of the MailScholar Subscription plans for number of teachers) + STICKER + FOUNDER'S CLUB + Skype meeting with MailScholar’s CEO to talk about your initial thoughts of the MailScholar and additional features that you’d love to see. Reward is transferable to a school of your choice (if you are donating and not a school).

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Funding period

- (30 days)