Philip Cutler – Bringing Positive Energy into the Educational Sphere

Small Business Canada

Chief Executive Officer at Paper

People say experience is the best teacher. Philip Cutler‘s experience as an education major at McGill University has taught him inequalities in the private tutoring space. He witnessed this and launched Paper (originally named GradeSlam), a company that enhances educational equity by providing individual assistance to students who require help.

What Drew Philip Cutler to Education?

Philip Cutler was one of those students who did not have a master plan. His parents were the ones with the belief “do what makes you happy.” So no one pushed Philip in any direction when he went to college. However, he knew that as a student, he liked school and was quite motivated by working with children, so he thought maybe he could become a teacher. 

He knew he was an entrepreneur in the back of his mind, so he did not know if he would work in education forever, but he saw it as a good place to start. Philip went to McGill’s elementary school program and saw classroom teaching as an option for pursuing this degree rather than the sole option, but he felt the program kept pushing him. 

On the first day of school in the big hall, the school authority handed him a sheet of paper with a salary table that stated the annual salary of being a public school teacher. When Philip realized that his entire professional career would be summed up on that 9*11 sheets of paper, he was not sure if teaching was for him. But, though Philip loved the people and the program, he decided to try it.

What Eventually Motivated Philip to Start Paper?

During Philip’s freshman year, his professors told him that teaching experience is needed straight away, but he needed to find a way to tutor since he wasn’t qualified to teach. He looked around at his class and realized that people are experiencing the same problem, so Philip started posting advertisements on Craigslist looking for students. 

He ended up starting his own tutoring business to make money and meet the program’s needs, and it was quite successful. All this time, however, Philip has only served the wealthy families. As he began teaching, he realized that the most successful students were the ones who can afford that extra assistance. The other 90 percent required the help most but did not have resources at home and none was serving that side of the market. 

Philip left teaching early to found Paper with his co-founder, Roberto Cipriani in 2014 and advocate for educational equity. Today, Paper has grown beyond what Philip has ever imagined when he gave up teaching, but the aim has always been the same.

Philip Cutler realized there are loads of ways to refine educational equity. It motivates Philip and his entire unit. Philip believes that people are into engineering, marketing, and sales, but that is not why people wish to work at Paper. Philip states that people work at Paper because they believe in what they do for the company and how they can educate students.  

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It also helps Philip to get through the challenging times of being a founder and CEO. He believes that the main reason why startups fail is there are problems between the founders. As a result, they end up leaving the mission and the business. The main truth is that if people want to build a billion-dollar company and change the world, there needs to be a lot more to it than just crunching the numbers. People need to be passionate about what they are doing.

Philip Cutler feels that being at Paper for seven years and serving as a CEO has been absolutely a rocky road. Still, when he’s having a difficult day or maybe a week, he just watches students come onto his platform and remember he is on a mission to help kids. It reminds him that this is not just a regular company that needs to deliver returns to the shareholders. Philip thus never fails to put the mission ahead of anything else he has to do.


Our content acknowledges the strength of the ardent entrepreneurs and their lifelong experiences of the marketplace that help them build successful business empires. Our belief in productive learning and providing inclusive content is why we have plans for a wide spectrum of activities that incorporate everything from reading to prolific networking. 


About Paper

Paper collaborates with school districts to provide 1:1 tutoring that is cost-effective, scalable, and equitable. Students get 24/7 unlimited help and can write feedback, teachers get insights to fill individual learning gaps, and the administrators get actionable data to make strategic decisions. The multilingual teachers at Paper add an extra layer of assistance across grade levels and content areas, in and out of the classroom, so that students can have access to professional help. 

In the present day, the rapidly-growing Montreal-based Paper has more than 1,000 expert teachers on its platform, offering 24/7 services for every grade level on 200 topics in 4 different languages. Paper has received $120 million in venture capital from leading investors, including Bullpen Capital, Venture Partners, Salesforce Ventures, Birchmere Ventures, Reach Capital, and BDC. Over the past year, this investment follows extraordinary development from assisting 50,000 students to more than a million to date.

For more information regarding Philip Cutler and Paper, you can scroll through their official website and explore more.

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