What is the name of the company and/or product?
What problem does this solve and what was the “aha” moment? How does this create value?
Simply put, InvolvEdu is an extracurricular activity platform. The first aha moment came during the experience of co-founding a new student organization at the University of Minnesota. The second moment came when we realized that the software we were building could also be applied to High Schools, and perhaps, in an even larger way.
InvolvEdu is a platform where student groups at a particular school can post info about their upcoming events. Students can follow the groups they’re interested in, and get these updates pushed to the calendars on their phones in real time. Students can also RSVP and even push the event info to their own friends on social media.
What is the full launch/release date planned?
We recently ran a soft beta launch with a handful of groups from the University of Minnesota. From the feedback we received from that beta, we’ve been making updates to the software, and plan to launch a more expansive beta that’s open to the entire University by the start of the Fall semester 2014.
What is the specific technology or combination of technologies is used?
We’ve built a software as a service platform on top of Grails and Ember.
What is the size/scope of your market and how will you scale?
In the United States, there’s a total of about 7,000 2-year and 4-year Colleges/Universities. The overwhelming majority of which have some sort of student activities program. These institutions will comprise our initial target market. Once we’re able to establish a solid base at Universities, we’ll start to target the much larger High School market – there are approximately 24,000 High Schools in the United States.
In terms of scaling, one of our biggest areas of focus is enabling High Schools and Colleges to get started using InvolvEdu free of charge, and automatically without any initial setup on our end.
What is your revenue model?
We’re a software as a service company running a subscription based revenue model. However with our scaling plan, there are also some elements of a freemium model as well
What is your greatest strength?
Our greatest strength is that we are our own target market and demographic. We know the student involvement system, how it works, and most importantly, how to fix it
What is your biggest weakness?
Our biggest weakness is that we’re young. There’s a bit of a learning curve for us, as well as for the student activities office personnel that we’re pitching to because we’re bringing a fairly high tech piece of software to run a system that has typically been run offline in the past. They’ve all seen other students come in and pitch them similar ideas that end up fizzling out over time once they graduate and move on to bigger and better things. However, this isn’t the case for us – we couldn’t be more passionate about helping students get, and stay involved on campus.
What is one resource you could use that would take this to the next level?
Time is a very valuable resource to us right now. So far, we have been remotely bootstrapping this business from the ground up, and, with that, there are some sacrifices that have to be made – time being most prevalent of them.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Getting involved on campus can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can have during your college career. Many people end up finding out their true passions, and are able to set a direction for their lives outside of college from these experiences. The problem is, it’s a hassle. That’s why we created InvolvEdu – to make this process as simple and efficient as possible so more and more students can get involved and have that same experience.