Bezos's comments give a rare glimpse into his interest in the auto industry. Amazon recently invested in two self-driving start-ups.Technologyread more
While investing often seems like a contrarian game where going against the flow feels like the better bet, the reality is that investors who bought the most-favored stocks...Hedge Fundsread more
"We are now embarking on a new Long March, and we must start all over again!" Xi Jinping said.Marketsread more
The launch comes as Apple's laptops have been criticized for a keyboard design that users say breaks easily and results in key presses resulting in doubled-up characters or...Tech Driversread more
Craig Irwin of Roth Capital Partners said Apple tried to buy Tesla six years ago for a higher price than where the stock now trades.Technologyread more
The White House has threatened to slap tariffs on apparel and footwear, leading retailers to speak out about how this would hurt business.Retailread more
Connecticut state Sen. Alex Bergstein's divorce case with her husband, Morgan Stanley managing director Seth Bergstein, has exposed her new romantic relationship with her...Politicsread more
Stock pickers are having their best year in a decade, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.Marketsread more
Comcast is working on a device to monitor people's health at home, as well as some media and communications services, according to people familiar with the plans.Technologyread more
As shopping has shifted online and styles have evolved, Ascena has been grappling with sagging sales and a large debt-load. Looking to stem the losses, Ascena is turning to...Retailread more
Microsoft is starting to distribute the first of two major Windows 10 updates for 2019. This version has some useful additions.Technologyread more
Chuck Cohn, CEO of St. Louis-based Varsity Tutors, just went to Silicon Valley and did what many start-up CEOs based there often fail to do: score an investment round from top-tier venture capitalists.
And Cohn says he did it in short order, securing $50 million from Mark Zuckerberg's Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Technology Crossover Ventures and Learn Capital after meeting with just 10 potential investors.
The 32-year-old Cohn has now raised $107 million.
Cohn got the money, one of his investors says, by doing something usually associated with Silicon Valley but doing it far from America's technology capital: growing a company for close to a decade using his own capital and a small team.
"This was not Stanford, not Silicon Valley, where leaving (a prestigious university or a good job) to start your own company is a badge of honor," said Technology Crossover Ventures partner Woody Marshall, who led his firm's early investments in Netflix, Spotify and Airbnb. "This was in St. Louis."
It also helped Cohn's cause that Varsity Tutors is attacking a retail market that Marshall says is worth $15 billion annually and is about to be upended by the internet.
"They're taking an analog process and putting it online. An instant tutoring session is a new construct," Marshall said.
Cohn got the idea for the company when he had a bad experience with a tutor while in high school: He was struggling in French but got a tutor who spoke almost no English.
The legacy tutoring business has required students to go to a physical retail location — and only after securing an appointment.
The experience was inconvenient, expensive and one-size-fits-all, Cohn said in an interview.
He started Varsity Tutors in 2007 while still a student at Washington University in St. Louis. After he handed out flyers on campus and in coffee shops, demand took off immediately from students who needed help fast.
The company now has 500 employees.
"Our original business model was similar to Netflix's early DVD-by-mail business — you go to our website and request a tutor to come to your home," said Cohn.
Now, the tutoring is done online.
To date, the company has provided 100,000 students with more than 3 million hours of instruction, according to Cohn.
Varsity Tutors' newest offering, called Instant Tutoring, aims to connect students with one of its 40,000 on-demand tutors in more 150 subjects in as little as 15 seconds.
But Cohn's path from student to well-funded entrepreneur hasn't been a straight line.
The early growth of the company happened while he was still taking college classes and interviewing for a job at the now-defunct investment bank Bear Stearns.
The work, "80 to 100 hours a week," he said, almost overwhelmed him.
"I ended up having a small breakdown and freaking out for a couple of hours about how I would handle it all," he said.
Then in the summer of 2011 came a key moment when he decided to quit his job as "a junior VC" and devote himself full time to his own company.
"The spouse of one of my 10 full-time employees said, 'My wife gives 100 percent working for this company. Why don't you?'" Cohn recalled.
"That's when it struck me that I was letting my fear get in the way of making the leap. I had become the primary thing holding back the business."