Success means… happiness.
Three adjectives that deserve me are... decisive, Energetic, Positive.
You can’t run a business without… a team.
In the next 10 years I will be… in public office.
What is Clark?
Clark is business software for your tutoring business. Clark is the only educator first platform, and it has helped thousands of tutors in the last year improve their internal operations, allowing them to tutor more hours and stress less. Tutoring more hours means more revenue for hard working educators and more educational hours in the ecosystem for students. Everyone wins!
Clark was founded by Megan O’Connor after being inspired by her mom, a public school teacher, who as a single mom tutored on the side (and still does to this day!) to make ends meet.
How did you come up with your business idea? What inspired you?
I came up with my business idea for Clark after coming to the realization that tutors are an underserved population when it comes to software solutions. I discovered this after doing a deep dive into the tutoring industry and indexing all the current edtech products in the space, only to find that not a single product was made for the tutor in mind. “How could an educator be expected to do great work for students falling behind if they don’t have tools to support them?” I thought. That’s when I knew I had to build Clark. I was inspired to look at tutoring with an entrepreneurial lense by my mother - a public school teacher and tutor. It was in helping my mom that I discovered there were no software solutions out there for her - so I built it.
What were you doing before this? How did it prepare you for the entrepreneurial life?
Before getting into the startup world, I worked at education nonprofits. I always say that working at a nonprofit is like training with weights on. You’re constantly being asked to do more with less. They are essentially startups without the venture funding or micro kitchens. My experience in the social good/ development /fundraising world made me scrappy. I have lots of experience hacking together non-technical solutions and getting jobs done with little time and resources. My background also made it clear that I could only found a company that solves a real problem for everyday people.
What is your greatest fear? How do you manage it?
Fear embodies me nearly every day. My greatest fear is honestly that I won’t learn how to get comfortable living with fear. What I am doing pushes me out of my comfort zone consistently. The contracts we take on, the problems we try to solve, the product we try to build – none of it is easy and none are things I’ve done before. Inversely, success is figuring it out as I go. Always being out of my comfort zone these days means success is living and working in that space – being able to put the pieces together and build something – despite any fear.
If you were a book, what would your title be and why? “Don’t Let the Smile Fool You” would be the title of my book because while I have a positive attitude and a large smile most of the time, but I’m also extremely decisive, opinionated and a good negotiator. I have found that being labeled a “happy person” leads people to assume I’m not good at or can even be intense at business. This leaves people surprised when they find out.