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Arlingtonian Builds App for Student Success

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

Local students could soon be using Foresight Guided Path to Success to help them reach their career goals.

In his full-time job as an engineer, Jody Mitchell is often faced with using teamwork to problem solve. This led the Arlington resident to develop ForeSight, a web application made up social, visual and analytic components.

His own experience is what inspired him to incorporate education. Mitchell says when he was in high school he knew he wanted to work in engineering but didn’t know all that it took to get there.

“I didn’t have a goal to get into college, I didn’t have a plan I was working toward and I didn’t have that support team in my corner, guiding down the right path to get to where I wanted to be.”

ForeSight applications are made to help students develop their goals. With an account, students can select the college of their choice and prospective major, then they outline what grades and standardized test scores they need to get into the school. Parents, school guidance counselors and mentors receive updates when the student is straying off course.

As more students use Foresight GPS school officials can not only have a system tracking student success, but it can also provide information about the school itself.

“You have that data, you’re able to understand what constitutes as improvement and what doesn’t. Maybe it’s a difference in study plans one teacher has that another teacher doesn’t,” said Mitchell.

The historic data is also beneficial to students who are interested in going to schools that their older peers have gotten into. Access to data from previous students also allows for students to have realistic data to inform their decisions.

Magruder High School in Rockville and National Christian Academy in Fort Washington, Md. both currently use ForeSight GPS. Meanwhile, Baton Rouge Community College in Baton Rouge, La. uses Foresight Guide Path to Employment, for students with cognitive learning disabilities. It focuses on helping students gain independent learning skills.

Mitchell says the next move for his company is to get funding, so he and his business partner can start working on ForeSight full time. He’s applied to the incubator program at Halcyon in D.C., and the Center for Innovative Technology’s GAP fund program. He plans to apply for the Capital Factory Accelerator in Austin, Texas.

With funding, Mitchell wants to start a marketing campaign for ForeSight to help it take off in the D.C. area. There are hopes to expand further in Louisiana, where Mitchell is originally from. Once Foresight builds out across the U.S., he wants to go into the international market.

“It drives you down along that path and as soon as you get off track it will re-vector you back on track. That’s where we see Foresight GPS in the future,” said Mitchell.

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