Hallway : Start-up by High School Students

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At Hallway, a start-up for high school students by high school students

Education technology upstart Hallway shares office space with other young, fledgling companies at The Fort on K Street NW, but its accommodations are a little different.

When its executives arrive earlier than the others, they plop down on the lobby floor, crack open their laptops, and wait for the adults to arrive. As 17-year-old minors, The Fort’s lease precludes them from having their own key to the office.”

Young entrepreneurs aren’t exactly groundbreaking. But even in a post-Mark Zuckerberg world, a crop of teenagers building a technology company from scratch as their summer job is far from commonplace.

Hallway offers an online portal where students can submit questions on various school subjects, such as calculus or algebra, that their peers then answer. Students can rate which questions and answers are most helpful so that useful information rises to the top.

Co-founder and chief executive Sean McElrath and his co-workers Cyrus Malekpour, Michael Chan, Darren Bolduc, Dennis Lysenko and Allison Chou, are rising seniors at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a selective but public magnet school in the Alexandria area.

The group has attracted angel investors who have funneled tens of thousands of dollars into the company, and could soon raise additional capital as they look to hire full-time staff.

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