HSTRY, originally marketed as an education tool for recounting major events in a more engaging and interactive way, has recently rewritten its own history by rebranding as Sutori. Sutori—a play on the Japanese word for story—more accurately presents the scope of their tool, which is not just a timeline generator but a free storytelling app that supports all media and is shared easily via email or social media. In addition to social studies, teachers of English, math, and science from all grades have found the tool to be an excellent resource. Moreover, the appeal has begun to trickle into the noneducational sector, helping writers, for instance, to share stories of travel and blossoming romance, and businesses to create product roadmaps, onboard clients, and develop their team strategies. CEO and founder Thomas Ketchell reported that last year, HSTRY even partnered with the BBC a few times; check out the BBC Travel timeline they hosted, which tells the story of the establishment of the U.S. National Parks: http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20160531-the-us-national-parks-turn-100. Therefore, this perhaps overdue rebrand will allow more kinds of users to understand Sutori’s potential, and is accompanied by an updated visual identity to boot. Note the animations, entirely custom-designed logotype, and new website, which requires less maintenance and CSS code and provides more consistent analytics.
So what is Sutori’s focus following this major rebrand? The company is currently raising their seed round, hoping to add to their investors, which include Intel Capital and some leading business angels in Boston like Jean Hammond. They also have tons of exciting new features in the works for the 400k+ educators and students already using Sutori, including an improved story builder, public profiles, and a newfangled personalized feed to find the best content for your classroom. The aim is to surpass 1m users by the end of 2017—an impressive feat considering their advertising is all word-of-mouth. One such personal account of Sutori’s tremendous impact on the classroom can be found on this blog by a history teacher from Serbia: https://www.sutori.com/blog/how-sutori-changed-my-teaching.
Having been a member of the LearnLaunch, Start-Up Chile, and Intel Education Accelerators, the Sutori founders have come to some important conclusions about the industry: “We have realized that education technology is still in its early days and wide-scale adoption continues to a be a few years off. We’ve also realized that Google has taken over classrooms in a short space of two years. It’s been pretty phenomenal to watch it all unfold.” Regardless, the founders (brothers and friends) have remained true to themselves throughout the transformations and challenges—that is, humble, witty, at times self-deprecating, and extremely driven. Check out Sutori’s intriguing timeline of its own development from inception to rebrand on the new site (all that’s required is an internet connection!) and find out if they can be a part of your story.