How Catalyst Education Navigated a 60% Student Surge with ScaleGrid

ABOUT Catalyst Education

Catalyst Education has built a powerful learning platform for higher education science students and instructors. Their mission is to improve student learning outcomes, focusing on student persistence, to deliver the scientists, engineers, problem-solvers, and informed voters needed to adequately face the world’s myriad challenges in the 21st century. Catalyst’s platform, Labflow, prepares students for in-lab success in chemistry and biology courses with pre-lab preparation and post-lab coaching. In addition, Labflow enhances the teaching efficacy of teaching assistants and instructors by streamlining lab course administration, reducing grading time, and delivering valuable analytics on grading consistency and students’ learning performance.


Austin, TX, U.S.A.




Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

The Challenge

Catalyst Education is experiencing immense growth, as they anticipate almost 150,000 students in the upcoming 2023 school year, up 60% from the prior year. Their small and efficient product and engineering team continues to deliver tremendous additional value to customers over that time. Delivering the learning platform’s value at increased scale, while also improving software performance over time, requires a robust software infrastructure. Database performance, scalability, availability, powerful management, and simple maintenance are critical to meet the company’s goals of significant student growth while capturing large amounts of student data to provide valuable learning analytics.

As the organization experienced growth, customer demands intensified, and the urgency to expedite go-to-market initiatives became evident. Given the integral role of database management in the delivery of their products and services, the maintenance of readily accessible, up-to-date, and high-performing MySQL databases was a critical aspect of daily operations. Ensuring that the database infrastructure and support met customer expectations in terms of availability, functionality, and performance was a top priority for the organization.

The Solution

After researching managed database providers, Catalyst Education’s CTO discovered ScaleGrid. With ScaleGrid, the organization was able to relieve its engineering team of the burdensome tasks of manual MySQL database management and monitoring, freeing them to focus on driving value to their customers. The fully automated cloud-based software solution provided by ScaleGrid allowed Catalyst Education to seamlessly manage its databases with ease. ScaleGrid’s platform enabled them to scale their databases as needed, ensuring they had the resources they needed to meet growing student demands, while also reducing their time and effort spent on database management.

The adoption of ScaleGrid also brought with it a host of advanced features and capabilities, including real-time monitoring, security and backup management, and 24/7 support. With these features in place, Catalyst Education was able to provide their customers with high-performing and reliable databases, even as their demands grew. In addition, ScaleGrid provided Catalyst Education with unparalleled visibility into the performance and health of their databases, allowing them to proactively identify and resolve any issues before they impacted their customers. The platform’s intuitive and user-friendly interface made it easy for the technical team to monitor and manage their databases, reducing the learning curve and allowing them to focus on what mattered most – delivering value to their customers.

The Results

Overall, the adoption of ScaleGrid proved to be a game-changer for Catalyst Education, allowing them to simplify their database management processes and focus on delivering an amazing learning experience for students and a teaching experience for instructors. The platform’s robust and scalable infrastructure, combined with its powerful features and capabilities, made it the ideal solution for Catalyst Education to manage its databases with confidence and ease.

chemistry students in a lab

“As a small but growing organization, it’s critical that we continually evaluate how we utilize our finite time and capital. We want to focus on building great learning software while keeping our costs and risks low. ScaleGrid is a great solution for a Database-as-a-Service platform that makes this possible.”


Tim Smith

CEO, Catalyst Education


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