Appleton Learning

What it does: Tutoring
Founder: Glenn Clayton, 25 (second from left, with senior managers)
Based: Huntsville, Ala.
Revenue 2010: $1.8 million
Revenue 2011 (projected): $4.2 million

To earn extra cash while studying business at the University of Alabama, Glenn Clayton tutored high school students out of his dorm room. As more students signed up, Clayton hired friends to help. By the end of his sophomore year he was spending more than 60 hours a week managing his growing enterprise. “I realized if people were leaving big name tutoring companies to come to some college kid working out of a broom closet, there was a need in the market not being met," Clayton says. He left school, founded Appleton Learning in 2007, and says the company has been doubling revenues every year since. Clayton says Appleton uses a unique assessment to match students with tutors based on their individual learning needs and styles. Appleton currently employs about 1,000 tutors—a mix of college students, professionals, and retirees—and serves about 6,000 students. Clayton has raised $750,000 from investors to open 20 new branches across the southeast by 2014. —Sommer Saadi
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