|New York – Here’s a new kind of expert network for you – one focused on sourcing admissions professionals to help your kids get into the right schools. Meet Aristotle Circle, Inc., an expert network that connects parents with education experts, which recently raised $450,000 in a Series A round of financing.
There are over forty different expert networks out there, including specialists in geographies like China or Brazil, or sectors like healthcare or technology. Founded by a former equity analyst who was familiar with expert networks, Aristotle Circle exports the business model to a very different marketplace.
Founded in August 2009, the NY based company offers a network of 200 education experts and claims 500 clients in 26 states and 7 countries. The firm has received local press attention for its services in helping hyper-competitive New Yorkers prepare their 4 year olds for admissions to the elite NY private schools. Along with experts, the company offers a study guide for the standardized tests given to pre-schoolers.
Founder and CEO Suzanne Rheault started her career as an equity analyst at Morgan Stanley, and then spent eight years as an equity analyst at the Capital Group. A mother of two, she got the idea for her startup during her frustration over the process of applying to Manhattan private schools for her children.
Used to drawing on expert networks at work, she found few admissions consultants and those that were available charged exorbitant fees for an inflexible set of services. Her concept was to make it easier for parents to tap into experts, modeling her new business on the expert networks she knew as an institutional investor.
Aristotle Circle’s fees, which top out at $450, are considerable lower than the fees that expert networks typically charge, but the company claims that it became profitable November 2009, four months after launch. The company will use the capital raised to accelerate technology and product development and expand services and marketing in both pre-K to 12th grade and college domestic and international markets.
Too bad Aristotle Circle wasn’t around in 1999, when Jack Grubman changed his rating on AT&T from ‘neutral’ to ‘buy’ so that his boss at Salomon Smith Barney, Sandy Weill, would help his kids get into the 92nd Street Y’s nursery school. If Grubman had used an expert network instead of manipulating his equity research, perhaps there would have been no Global Research Settlement and Eliot would still be a DA pursuing organized crime…