I’m Amanda, the founder of Fiveable. I taught AP histories in Oakland for five years and then sort of ended up on the startup path by accident. I had a few former students reach out to me for support in preparing for the AP US History exam and even though I was across the country, I started live streaming practice essays and mini-lectures for them. The word got out and within two months, I had over 2,000 students attending my streams on Friday and Saturday nights.
Over the last year and a half, I have been navigating the startup world through traditional accelerators and completely out of the box ideas to build a new platform for students and teachers to collaborate and engage with interactive content. You can read my whole story in this EdSurge profile.
At first, it was a solo journey, but I quickly needed more support in every area from development to marketing. I decided to take a non-traditional approach to building the founding team and launched the Fiveable House, where a group of strangers would live and work together to build Fiveable in the early days. It was like Real World for startups. I posted this article about the origin story of Fiveable and put out a call for content creators, leaders, and anyone crazy passionate enough to join me in my journey.
My search for teammates led me to Tan and Austin through a Reddit post and Claire through a Craigslist ad (#lol). The band was officially together by January of 2018 and since then, we have been on a rollercoaster of startup highs and lows. We started in Philadelphia for a few months and then moved to Madison, WI to join the gener8tor program, which led us to our new home in Milwaukee, where we have been for the last month. We made some waves early in the Milwaukee startup scene when celebrity guest judge Marcus Lemonis personally awarded Fiveable an additional prize at Summerfest Tech.
Although living and working together sounds intense, I think it has been the secret sauce that gives us an edge. We exist in a daily creative whirlwind that has us whiteboarding at 1am, moving from idea to new feature in days, and the strong relationships we have with each other will be critical as we move into the next stage. Since we launched the house, we have built a community of nearly 200 students and teachers that create content and live stream with us and we have over 27k accounts created to date.
There is nothing about startups that ever feel certain. We are constantly making decisions when we can’t be sure of the right path, but we take in the data and always move forward. Heading into this school year, we’re launching new subjects, on-boarding 10x as many live streamers, and plan to reach 500k accounts. With these ambitious goals, we had maybe our best flash of an idea yet. What if we recreated the Fiveable House?
Introducing… the Fiveable Fellow House!
Starting this fall, a team of four will join the Fiveable Fellowship to work closely with the leadership team in developing software, digital learning strategies, community engagement, and new media content. The fellows are required to live and work together in a house based in Milwaukee, WI.
Just like the first time, I’m putting out another call for passionate, talented, and creative people who are just as fired up about this mission as we are. The ideal candidates are either in the tail end of their undergraduate program or within a few years of graduating. They have some experience in one of the fellowship positions and are interested in developing new skills in a fast-paced, highly creative environment. They are proven leaders, excellent communicators, and are ready to walk through walls to build Fiveable.
There are four fellowship positions that each work in tandem with a lead team member to strategize and execute tasks each week. This is a unique opportunity to join an early-stage startup and work closely with the founders to develop a range of professional skills. After a full semester of the fellowship, fellows may be offered full-time positions or may extend their fellowship for an additional semester.
Here’s a quick look at each fellowship position, but more information can be found here.
Software Development Fellowship
works with the Chief Technology Officer
The software and development fellow will work closely with the Chief Technology Officer to brainstorm, plan, and develop new technologies that make the lives of Fiveable students, teachers, and streamers better. We will meet as a whole on a project by project basis, plan out the granular tasks of each project, and head into sprint-mode until completion, and repeat. In this role you’ll be working with React, React-Native, Firebase, Node, Redux, Material-UI, and more. You’ll be more than just a cog in a development machine. You’ll be a part of the decision making, which will give you experience as an architect and developer. This fellowship is a stepping stone to your dream career, possibly with Fiveable!
Digital Learning Fellowship
Works with the CEO & founder
The education fellow will work closely with the founder to develop a thoughtful learning experience for students and teachers. The primary focus will be to manage a robust calendar of live streams hosted by high quality streamers. As we scale to include more subjects and more streamers, the fellow will play a critical role in developing systems and processes to recruit, on-board, engage, and develop streamers. This includes managing monthly summits for streamers to build community and share best practices across disciplines. The fellow will also work with the streamers to manage and organize the growing database of resources to create seamless experiences for students and teachers as they search for materials. Finally, the education fellow will work to strengthen connections between Fiveable and school networks by creating new partnerships and supporting feedback loops within the pilot program. This fellowship is an opportunity to gain experience in digital learning and education technology while also developing skills in teaching, event planning, and content management
Community Engagement Fellowship
works with the Chief Growth Officer
Community is the heart and soul of Fiveable. The Community Engagement Fellow will help cultivate an audience that is eager to learn and connect passionate students to dedicated teachers who are masters of their craft. The fellow will also develop a modern platform where users can discuss and engage on a variety of topics inside Fiveable. In addition, you will help facilitate and moderate discussions by developing dynamic systems and processes for each. Finally, customer happiness is crucial to Fiveable’s success. You will help improve upon our current phone, live chat, and email support systems to ensure optimal response rates and times are achieved. This fellowship is an opportunity to gain experience in community management and education technology while also developing skills in networking, event planning, and customer success.
New Media Fellowship
works with the Chief Creative Officer
Fiveable uses social media and digital strategies to engage students and teachers through enriching and entertaining content. Alongside the Chief Creative Officer, the New Media Fellow will develop the Fiveable brand across social media channels to build awareness and authority in the education space. Using data and social listening tools, you will help create a robust content calendar that aligns with current brand goals. You will help to track reports across all social channels while helping to manage a team of social and video interns in the creation of new content. Finally, you will create publicity opportunities for Fiveable by building relationships with press and media influencers.This fellowship is an opportunity to gain experience in content creation and education technology while also developing skills in networking, and marketing strategy.
Here’s some quick facts:
- Applications are rolling until the team is finalized.
- Fellows are required to live in the fellow house in Milwaukee, WI for the duration of the program.
- The fall fellowship is from September 1, 2019 to January 1, 2020 with the opportunity to extend into the spring fellowship.
- Fellows may be hired as full-time employees during or after the program.
Compensation and benefits include:
- Rent and utilities covered for the house plus Netflix & Hulu!
- Groceries for the house and monthly outings with the team
- Weekly team dinners at Fiveable HQ
- Monthly stipend and end of semester bonuses
As of today, applications to join the team are officially open. I encourage you to read through the details and to apply if you just got excited thinking about this opportunity.