WEST DES MOINES, IOWA - June 24, 2010 -"How do you use technology in the classroom?" That was the question posed to Clinton, Iowa fourth grade teacher Emily Starr which led to her creation of a web-based interactive curriculum tool, now used by tens of thousands of elementary students. StarrMatica Learning Systems, LLC's success in creation of white board reading and math curriculum content for classroom education, has led to its honor as Farm Bureau's Renew Rural Iowa Entrepreneur award.
The use of interactive white boards is a fast-growing field with one in seven classrooms worldwide estimated to use them by the 2011 school year. "A lot of teachers are getting interactive white boards, but once the boards are installed, they're expected to develop PowerPoint-type presentations to use the white boards. There simply isn't enough time for them to do that. My company provides teachers with a huge library of digital content which they can easily pick up and use with the boards immediately," says Starr. Since its inception just five years ago, StarrMatica has created content for 43 reading and math topics for students in grades 3-6 and is currently expanding to include K-2.
Starr, the founder, president and software developer for StarrMatica, is one busy entrepreneur. Students, parents, teachers and her community are grateful to have StarrMatica remain Iowa-based. Rob Cousins, Clinton County Farm Bureau president, says StarrMatica is impressive. "What a great product that was developed right here in Clinton County and you know, that's exactly what Iowa needs -- entrepreneurs with great ideas and a zest to pursue them," says Cousins.
"Sales have increased 270 percent in the past six months alone for StarrMatica and the company has received a number of testimonials and endorsements, which spreads the word even further. The success is a testament to the great business plan, hard work and talent that Emily puts into this business," says Ann Hutchinson, director of Eastern Iowa Small Business Development Center.
Providing business planning is just part of the expert help available through Farm Bureau's Renew Rural Iowa program. For more information about Renew Rural Iowa or upcoming VentureNet Iowa business mentoring seminars, call 800-254-9670 or log on to the IFBF website at www.iowafarmbureau.com.