Vastly Inc., formerly Complexity Engine, uses a sophisticated algorithm to search websites for content and delivers free, customized and age-appropriate reading materials to a user’s computer. It promises to give teachers, parents and students an efficient, affordable way to promote reading. Teachers and administrators can set parameters for the search results, and the reading experience can be either student self-directed or guided by the teacher. Vastly, Inc. was conceived by Dr. Philip Kovacs, a professor of education at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, who is collaborating with Dr. Ryan Weber, an assistant professor of English, and Georgia Institute of Technology student Tripp Roberts.
“Young startups face myriad difficulties. Like so many others, Vastly Inc. (formerly Complexity Engine) was in desperate need of cash before we could launch. Had it not been for the EDPA’s financial support, I am not sure our small company would be where we are today. While the cash award has been essential to launching our startup, I would be remiss if I did not mention the intangibles we received during the competition itself. Going through three rounds of “pitch and revise” helped us refine our business model. Answering difficult questions led us to the realization that we were missing an entirely new market. Speaking before an intelligent and engaged audience increased our confidence as well as our ability to sell ourselves first and our product second. I never understood that you sell yourself first and your idea second, and that may have been the most crucial lesson we learned through the process.”
– Dr. Philip Kovacs, Developer