Purdue students aim to move traditional bulletin boards to the digital world

July 1, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Traditional bulletin boards have existed for decades, but in today's digital world there’s a need for a centralized online platform for students to exchange information on college campuses.

Two Purdue students have created Scoooter, an online bulletin board that lives in the cloud and can be accessed by the touch of a button.

Roy Li and Juan Kou, both seniors in Purdue's College of Science, created the Scoooter platform after having a difficult time trying to find a sublease on campus and realizing the inefficiency of physical bulletin boards.

“We found that problems in buying or selling, or generally finding out information on campus, stems from not having a centralized channel to exchange information,” said Li. “We’ve created an online platform that requires a valid .edu email address to segment students into their own campuses, that provides a solution to this problem and that can make student exchanges much easier.”

Scoooter categorizes its platform in a variety of different needs that focuses on classified ads, but is also being used in other innovative ways.

''Our classified ads are categorized into topics such as appliances, books, carpooling, furniture, sublets and many more. We also have a grocery category where people can post their grocery list and another student can pick it up and deliver it for a fee,” Li said. “We’re excited to see some Purdue researchers using Scoooter as a place to look for participants for their experiments or professors using Scoooter to post information about new courses they are offering next semester.”

Unlike other buy-and-sell websites, Scoooter provides an exclusive, all-in-one platform that is easy to use.

“Services like online want ads such as Craigslist are often too open and generic for what students are looking for; it doesn’t have that safety and convenience aspect that Scoooter does by being only for students with a valid .edu address,” Li said. “Facebook buy-and-sell groups are also popular but aren’t searchable. Scooter has different categories that make the platform intuitive to use.”

Scoooter is currently focusing on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus to further develop the app but has had users from many different institutions sign up to use its services.

“As of the end of May we have more than 1,100 confirmed users for the Purdue West Lafayette campus,” said Li. “We also have students registered from more than 60 institutes all over the country such as Northwestern, Indiana University, and even colleges on the West and East coasts like Stanford and Brown.”

The Scoooter team is focused on creating a seamless user experience for Purdue users but also plans on promoting the platform on college campuses on the West Coast over the summer.

“Currently we are working on building a tag system into Scoooter so that people can tag their posts, which will help categorize them and be more efficient for users to find what they’re looking for,” Li said. “Our goal is to reach 3,000 student users at Purdue and eventually 200 institutions (or colleges or universities) around the country.”

Scoooter is a member of the Anvil, a student-run co-working space on Purdue’s campus.  

“The Anvil has been really helpful to us. We have used them as a resource to ask questions and gain feedback on our product and different features we may want to implement,” Li said. “The Anvil has also been a great help in getting our name out to the Purdue community, promoting our company to increase the amount of users we have.”

Scoooter was launched this spring and is available on their website http://scoooter.io and the Apple iTunes store.

About Scoooter

Scoooter is an online platform that connects students on college campuses who have common needs. The platform, available on the Web and through the iOS app, is a digital, centralized bulletin board for colleges.

About the Anvil

The Anvil is a co-working space at Purdue University that serves the unique needs of passionate students, acting as the center of creative culture in West Lafayette. The Anvil focuses on providing local and student run startups affordable office space. The Anvil is supported by the Purdue Research Foundation and the City of West Lafayette, Indiana.

Writer: Hillary Henry, Purdue Research Foundation

Source: Zixuan (Roy) Li, 812-606-8498, li1471@purdue.edu 

Purdue Research Foundation contact: Cynthia Sequin, 765-588-3340, casequin@prf.org 

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