1) Tell us about UniStudyNotes – give us your elevator pitch
UniStudyNotes is an online marketplace for study material, including summaries of textbooks, lectures and readings, where excellent note takers upload their high-quality revision material and fellow students can buy such. Unistudynotes makes money by taking 20% fee of every purchase. After a successful proof of concept at the London School of Economics (LSE), where we made £700 in revenue within three weeks, we are now expanding to City University London and King’s College London.
2) What made you want to become entrepreneurs?
Both co-founders are currently undergraduate Management students at LSE. We were both note-takers and in need of good notes. We faced the pain that sharing and selling notes offline was a highly inefficient process.
With UniStudyNotes we want to solve a major problem for university students by bringing the essence of the sharing economy to university education – a platform for peer-to-peer tutoring by facilitating the exchange of high quality study notes.
3) What’s the most important thing you’ve learned since starting this venture? What advice would you pass on to CEN members?
Perseverance is key. Being a young start-up we already had to prove it twice.
- When trying to secure initial suppliers at LSE before the upcoming exams, we faced a very low response rate after an initial marketing strategy of sending out 3,000 emails manually. However, we persevered and five days later made £700 in the following three weeks.
- In spite of being taken offline at the LSE, we persevere, have trust in and develop our revenue model further and are now excited to expand to two universities over the next month.
My advice is start your own project and don’t be intimidated by that steep learning curve – enjoy it! Never forget, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel or redesign education, you can just make it a bit more efficient and easier to use. And remember that as a startup founder, you are statistically bound to fail – it is the learning experience that matters.
4) We understand you’d like to recruit from City/ Cass – what are you looking for?
We are looking for paid growth ambassadors who would establish an initial supply of City University documents on our platform.
We’re looking for someone who:
- has a big network of social connections at City University and Cass;
- is persuasive enough to easily win people over for our mission;
- possesses the creativity for offline marketing at the university; and
- has a driven entrepreneurial spirit.
If you are interested and want to find out more about the opportunity, please send the following to [email protected]:
- Your Faculty/Department;
- A two-sentence explanation of why we should take you; and
- a CV (optional).
5) What other plans do you have for the venture in 2016?
Grow to be the leading online marketplace for study material in London – expand to 10 universities until the end of the year. In the long run, we want to establish the leading online marketplace for revision material in the UK.