Beta Byte: NakedTextbooks

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NakedTextbooks

Beta Byte is a series underwritten by Bust Out Solutions for that early stage tech found somewhere between idea and traction. Equally exciting as it is raw.
Are you in this phase?

What is the name of the company and/or product? Where is it found online?

NakedTextbooks.com

What problem does this solve?

We allow college students to avoid high prices and poor sellback rates at university bookstores and other third party textbook resellers. We provide a free, safe platform for college students to buy and sell textbooks directly with one another, thus enabling cheaper books for the buyer and more money for the seller. Everyone wins (except the bookstore).

What is the full launch/release date planned?

We had a soft launch in March within the business school at the University of Minnesota which was very well received. We are looking to do a full launch at multiple, select universities in Fall 2013. Once we develop a proven market entry plan, we will continue to expand to universities around the country.

Who is on the team?

Benjamin Hohl, Founder & Tech Guy

Robert Vaupel, Hype Guy

Micah Perzichilli, Stat Guy

Bust Out Solutions

What is the specific technology or combination of technologies that makes this run?

NakedTextbooks.com runs on ASP.NET, SQL Server, HTML5, Bootstrap, and JavaScript. We are currently developing native iOS and Android apps.

Is there a revenue model? How big is the market and how will you scale?

We are exploring three possible revenue models, including: 1) sponsored local exchange locations, 2) affiliated marketed, and 3) online advertising. The market is all college students and we plan to scale by proving the expansion model in a few local markets before pushing the product nationally.

What is your greatest strength?

Our biggest strength is that we are passionate about the product and are constantly surrounded by users that love what we have developed so far. By being our own customers, it is very easy to constantly create and iterate a product that we are positive our users will enjoy.

What is your biggest weakness?

Our biggest weakness is the seasonality of our product. To overcome this, we are looking into other potential areas within the college market to expand past textbooks alone.

What is one resource you could use that would take this to the next level?

It would be really great to have a mentor (or a few!) that would be willing to help us in our expansion and marketing strategy.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

We are currently looking to bring on additional team members to help with marketing and our expansion to other universities. If you know of any college students that would be interested in a role as a university/community manager, please contact Benjamin Hohl directly at hohl.benjamin@gmail.com.

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