Youth, Skills, & the Workforce of the Future


The Ultimate Learning Accelerator

Transforming after-school learning through tech-enabled centers

Team Lead

James Centenera

Basic Information

Our Solution

The Ultimate Learning Accelerator

Our solution's stage of development:


Our solution:

TULA is transforming after-school learning to help every child improve their academic performance, develop their character traits and 21st century skills. We deploy tech-enabled centers near public schools and deliver personalized learning experiences using innovative project-based learning. We extend learning by providing educational games that can be used at home.

Our pitch:

The problem:

Education happens at home and at school. However, for most children in the developing world, their schools remain poorly equipped and managed, delivering low learning outcomes. Facilities are inadequate. Teachers are poorly trained, and absenteeism is high. As a result, learning is left to chance and few meet minimum standards of education, including basic literacy and numeracy. And at home, the situation isn't much better as their parents are busy working multiple jobs, working away from home, or are non-existent. We cannot quickly transform their quality of schooling due to political issues. But we can transform what happens after-school.

Why our solution will solve the problem:

By providing strong coaches and enabling them to deliver great learning, students obtain opportunities to learn. We have proven this over the last two years, as hundreds of students have shown significant improvements in firstly their mindset and behaviors, and then their skills and knowledge. Parents and children recognize this and appreciate TULA with many direct testimonies. This is because our learning centers provide the only high-quality learning experiences that these children have, and combined with strong mentors and adaptive personalized learning, enrich their education significantly.

Target Outcomes

Our target outcomes:

TULA is a social enterprise only needing minimal regular fees from parents in order to fund its operations. Where other tutorials’ cheapest price for one month is easily in the thousands, TULA’s prices offer the same for twice the duration of time with a more progressive and tech-based approach. TULA also provides subsidies for public school students since their parents belong to our lower-income bracket. We offset the cost of this through our sponsorship program. Some of our learners who cannot afford to continue on with TULA have memberships that are paid for by donors.

How we will measure our progress:

  • Outcome: Run 4 profitable centers by the end of 2017.
    Measurement Plan: Track enrollment numbers, Monitor number of partnerships with schools
  • Outcome: Deploy 50 new centers in underprivileged areas within the next 2 years both in the Philippines and in other countries
    Measurement Plan: Number of possible new sites identified, Amount of funding received to meet expansion targets, Number of partner schools in identified areas
  • Outcome: 50,000 downloads of our free application
    Measurement Plan: Track downloads from Appstore and Google Playstore Feedback and ratings from users

The populations we will benefit initially:

  • Child
  • Low-income economies (< $1005 GNI)
  • Primary
  • Male
  • Female

The regions we will benefit initially:

  • Middle East and North Africa

The technologies we employ:

  • Consumer-facing software (mobile applications, cloud services)

Why our solution is unique:

We have changed the way after-school programs help students learn. Where others use traditional learning models like rote learning or memorization, TULA combined the best practices of Singapore, Japan, Australia and the US to design a curriculum that builds one’s practical Mathematics and spoken English. Furthermore, learners go through special "Missions" where they explore real world problems to help them develop character traits, attitudes and 21st century skills like critical thinking, organizational skills, and social skills. TULA also uses technology for many of its processes and teaching techniques and has developed an app of its own to support student learning.

Why our solution is human-centered:

When TULA started developing its app for Math and English, enrolled learners are asked to test out the beta version before or after their sessions. TULA has also conducted a pilot run with the students of San Antonio Village Elementary School. This app does not need an internet connection and thus can be used even by those to whom internet is not always readily available. The utilization of technology in this way is TULA’s initiative towards extending learning to the home as well as showing kids that it can be fun by gamifying homework.

How people will access our solution:

Our main avenue will be through our physical centers that will be located near local public schools and high-need areas. As the students come to our centers, they will be given access to our technology and our applications to support their learning. While we will make the app publicly available and for free, we hope that our learners and their parents realize that the application, together with the actual lessons inside our centers and with our coaches, are the things that can truly help their child reach their full potential.

Technology-Readiness Level:

6-8 (Demonstration)
Business Plan

Our organization:


How we will sustain our team financially:

  • All funding to date is provided by our co-founders.
  • Fees for after-school services from private school students, and subsidized public school students bring in nearly enough revenue to cover their operational costs, and will soon start covering some central team development and overhead costs as well.
  • Our plan to scale is to bring on small investors to invest in individual centers. And bring on larger scale investors to scale up entire business. In order to scale, we would need to increase our annual budget from $100,000 to more than $200,000.

The factors limiting our success:

  • Market demand - In the Philippines, the after-school services are not as popular as compared to other countries. 
  • Willingness to invest time and money in education services - Given our target market, we realize that a lot are still unable to invest their resources for additional education. We hope to offset this by improving our scholarship program and by making the application easy for all.
  • Ability to scale consistently with high-quality coaches for every center - Recruiting top graduates to teach is a limiting factor that we plan to address by strengthening our brand and coach development programs.

How long we have been working on our solution:

2 years

How long it will take to develop a pilot:

We have already developed a pilot.

How long it will take to scale beyond our pilot:

12-18 months

Our expected annual budget:


How much of our budget we've secured to date:


Partnership Needs

We're looking for partners in these fields:

  • Future of Work
  • 21st Century Skills
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Primary Education
  • Teacher Training

Why we're applying to Solve:

We are applying to Solve because it will help us grow and reach our vision. We have succeeded thus far by innovating based on leading practices globally. We wish to continue learning from others and applying their insights to our markets. This includes mentors who have gone through what we are going through. We also wish to find more partners to help us achieve our goals. Applying to solve can help us expand from 4 centers, to 50, to hundreds of centers in different countries equipping thousands of students with workskills for the future.

Our current partners:

As of today, we do not have official partnerships with institutions apart from the local public schools that we have been serving for the past 2 years.

Solution Team

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