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Education company founded by UW students honored by Forbes

Founders of Kadama, the education app, were showed up on Forbes' "30 under 30" list for education.

SEATTLE — Some University of Washington graduates are working to educate the future, and they just got recognized by Forbes for their success. 

Kadama is branded as the largest education social media company ever.

The brand’s millions of followers on social media platforms like TikTok have racked up more than half a billion views. 

Kadama is addressing the increasingly complicated education system that’s attempting to keep students educated and engaged during a pandemic. 

The need for additional support like tutoring has skyrocketed, and that’s where Kadama picks up the slack.  It’s a virtual learning application that aimed at making learning fun. 

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The app connects students needing assistance with tutors that are verified with a background check.  Students register and post a message about what they need help in and how much they would like to spend per hour. 

Tutors respond based on expertise and availability. It’s that simple. 

Amin Shaykho is one of the three founders and says their experience as struggling students is what made this app so relevant right now. 

“Some students are freaking out because they have a big test coming up. So, that’s when they can rely on Kadama to quickly connect them with a tutor who can assist.  From mathematics to biologic coding to English, Kadama connects people who want to learn with experts who can teach them,” he explained.

Shaykho said most of the tutors are also students and they find that common ground helps with the tutoring.

“Many of our topic experts are students looking to work to help pay for school, and we find that being closer in age helps form a bond quickly,” Shaykho said. 

A unique twist to the service is that it’s live 24/7. 

Shaykho said, “We’ve had students say they needed help with something like chemistry in the middle of the night, and we’re able to quickly connect with a tutor who is online and willing to jump in.”  Amin shares a modest Bellevue office with the UW Huskies and co-founders Marwan El-Rukby, 21, and Dani Shaykho, 19.  

Marketing for Kadama is certainly unique: a reverse engineering approach that lets the online audience discover them organically. 

The trio leveraged social media to build their brand and release “life-hack” style videos that they say form a relationship with viewers. Eventually, they might consider giving the app a try.  

Kadama has consistently been ranked high in the app store (reaching no. 2) and is a free download on iOS and Android.  

The team at Kadama was recently honored by Forbes in the “30 under 30” list for education and for a special category honoring the youngest founders who are “making an impact from an early age.” 

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