Case Study: Braintrust Tutors

Pencil Spaces Team
March 13, 2024


Braintrust Tutoring is a multi-milion dollar tutoring business founded by Mara Koffmann and Jen Mendelsohn in 2020. Braintrust's inception was driven by Mara and Jen's firsthand experiences navigating the educational landscape. Mara, a tutoring entrepreneur with a background in special and general education, understood the struggles faced by students with diverse learning needs. Meanwhile, Jen, an experienced leader in enterprise tech was navigating a byzantine education system to address her daughter's dyslexia needs. 

Brainstrust has been using Pencil Spaces for over 1.5 years to deliver thousands of tutoring hours a week to over 50 school districts, across 17 states. In the CEO and Co-Founder’s words, Braintrust invested in Pencil Spaces because it “offers such a robust set of tools that make it easier for teachers to create a really great learning experience for their students".


Founded during COVID, Braintrust began its business providing remote tutoring sessions to address learning loss in schools and continues to provide 80%+ of its sessions virtually. To facilitate its growth, Braintrust built an internal system to manage administrative work like matching tutors with students, scheduling sessions and tracking attendance. However, Braintrust continued to feel that Zoom virtual classrooms were not up to the task of providing interactive and engaging lessons.

Problem Statement:

As Braintrust expanded its operations, the team encountered a key challenge: finding a platform capable of  facilitating effective tutoring sessions. Traditional video conferencing tools lacked the interactivity and instructional tools necessary for engaging and impactful learning experiences, particularly for special needs students. Braintrust sought a solution that would enable hands-on, collaborative learning environments while streamlining administrative tasks for tutors. In addition, Briantrust required a platform that was able to integrate seamlessly with their home-grown administrative software.


After a search spanning six months, Braintrust found Pencil Spaces. Pencil Spaces offered a range of collaborative features and integrated teaching tools, providing the interactive and engaging learning environment Braintrust desired. For example, the platform's unique web viewer enables teachers to seamlessly bring content from across the web into classes in an interactive manner. And integreated apps like the UFLI Blending Board and Google Docs eliminate the distraction of multiple tabs and screensharing.

In addition to a suprioer remote classroom experience, Pencil Spaces' API allowed Braintrust to directly integrate the new platform with their existing ones. This made sure adding Pencil Spaces didn’t add administrative work. With direct integration, scheduled sessions are automatically attached to the right Spaces with the right content.

Finally, Braintrust has also continued to invest in Pencils Spaces because of the unparalleled customer service and support. 24/7 customer support, staffed by real humans ensures that Braintrust's expanding community of over 2,000 tutors receives prompt assistance and guidance as they navigate the platform — empowering the effective utilization of Pencil Spaces' features to enahnce the tutoring experience. And, close communication with the Pencil Spaces’ technical team has made integration, scaling and feature rollout easier than with other providers who are hands-off. 

Results Callout Box:

1. Increased Engagement: Engagement in sessions increased after implementing Pencil Spaces.

2. Efficiency Gains: By leveraging Pencil Spaces' API, Braintrust automated administrative tasks, such as meeting room generation and scheduling.

3. Tutor Support: Pencil Spaces provides 24/7 human support so tutors can receive guidance in getting the most out of the platform 


Through their partnership with Pencil Spaces, Braintrust has successfully addressed the challenges associated with traditional tutoring platforms. The platform's collaborative features, integrated tools, and real-time support have empowered Braintrust to provide high-quality tutoring services tailored to the diverse needs of their students. And, the API integrations and deep customer support have empowered Braintrust to scale those services. Moving forward, Braintrust is poised to leverage more of Pencil Spaces’ features by integrating analytics to further automate engagement and attendance tracking.

Pencil Spaces Team
March 13, 2024

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