Cool student entrepreneur story out of San Jose State University where students and recent alum use the school’s business plan competition to raise basic funding and launch a beta product for their student note sharing service.
The SJSU students company offers have a note sharing service for students and they seem to be communicating with both students and professors in building this out. It appears from a quick read of their site that student’s can get paid for uploading their notes. There also appear to be both monetary and non-monetary awards on the site.
From the article by Jasmine Duarte:
The idea of College Note Share started when SJSU alumnus Guerrettaz, while choosing his classes, could see the syllabus and the potential class load while registering, he said.
It was during one of his entrepreneur finance classes that he said he designed a business plan and model for the note-sharing idea and entered SJSU’s business plan competition.
The business plan took 10 days to create, and Guerrettaz took first prize at the competition and won $10,000 toward financing his idea, he said.
From there, Guerrettaz met Hoover and later, Gilbert Bagaoisan, an SJSU alumnus who earned an entrepreneurship degree. Bagaoisan is now chief marketing officer for the College Note Share Web site, he said.
After purchasing software and the necessities for creating the site, the prize money seemed to disappear quickly.
“We found out pretty quick $10,000 doesn’t cover a lot,” Guerrettaz said.
This is interesting, given that as a professor I share my PPT with my students. Now, if they upload those notes, should they get paid by College Note Share? There are references to ‘other people’s material’ on the FAQ page of College Note Share, but we wonder how this plays out.
The venture is currently working out of its own backyard (SJSU), but will clearly be expanding to other California schools.
While I find their statement ‘We have talked to professors and they accept the fact that this is the future of education,’ almost comical, I am excited to see how this model works.
There is a huge marketplace for educational material and aggregating students notes is a classic segment that is expanding. When I attended University of Michigan in the 1990s you could buy ‘printed’ lecture notes from a company called Blue Notes. I was always in the attend and take my own notes camp on this debate. But there are always those willing to take the short cut. Digital technology only makes it easier to choose that route.