Former teacher, Dan Carroll and two college buddies with serious data
crunching chops wanted to make it significantly easier for schools to
use applications by funneling student information data (call it the
class roster) into applications, no matter how the school stored that
data. (Leonard and TechCrunch like to say they built a Twilio-like REST API for Student Information Systems.)
launched a month ago with four schools Dan knew from his teaching days;
now the team is up to 70 schools and about 15 partners. Dan estimates
that Clever’s API covers about 60% of all SIS; the rest is in the works.
One particularly, ahem, clever move: Clever is free for schools. That means smart administrators who want to try out
new tools should have no hesitation about using Clever’s software. Who
foots the bill? Other product companies who get a foot in the school door because of the Clever connection. For now those partners include the likes
of MasteryConnect, Goalbook and Schoolzilla. When vendors make a sale and use Clever to grab the school data, they have to give a slice of the revenue they earn from school licenses to Clever. (That means if you have a free app, Clever gets its share of
Dan could have called his company “Grease”--as it looks like a
slick way to reduce the hassles of trying new software. But which would
you rather put your money on?