When we last heard from Mathew Pregasen, ’18 SEAS, and Anuke Ganegoda, ’18 CC, co-founders of Parsegon, back in early 2016, they had just released an app that allowed students and professors to easily and efficiently notate mathematical equations from their laptops or mobile devices. The technology’s potential impact was great enough to secure them a first-place victory in last year’s Columbia Venture Competition #StartupChallenge.
However, the startup has undergone some significant changes over the past year — we recently caught up with Pregasen to learn a little more about the company’s progress to date, and where they’re headed.
“Towards the end of summer we had many paths available to us, but we decided that we should focus on building the best possible technology for students and teachers,” he explained. “Our primary product allows teachers to create online math homework much more efficiently than any other contemporary model, plus it allows students to respond with questions while showing all of their work.” Parsegon’s product is currently available to middle school and undergraduate educators, but Pregasen emphasized that it is being developed specifically with high school-level programs in mind.
This specialized approach has led to several new features in Parsegon’s product. For instance, the company is working on a variant of speech-to-text technology that would enable students to voice questions out loud. This will be especially helpful for students who have difficulty typing. The Parsegon team is also working on an algorithm that automatically generates original, textbook-style math problems — and their solutions.
Parsegon has also made a number of significant changes in terms of its internal structure and business model. Back in 2016, the team consisted mainly of programmers and developers — today, the company has doubled in size and brought on a sales team to help get the product in the hands of educators and institutions across the country.
If you’re a teacher or a professor and are interested in taking your classroom technology to the next level (or if you know an educator who may be interested), contact Parsegon today. You can try out their product free for the first semester!