September 29, 2020
Pandemic forces pivot for digital knowledge-sharing platform
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a major change for a Purdue University-affiliated startup looking to help college students turn their knowledge into money.
The team behind studytable, one of the businesses chosen for the Purdue Foundry’s Double Down Experiment, originally created a platform for users to find other college students to help with difficult coursework. The businesses chosen for Double Down were selected based on readiness to reach the next level with technologies.
“COVID-19 definitely created some major challenges for us, and with the students going virtual we had to make some tough decisions quickly,” said Wesley Crouch, who founded the startup and serves as CEO. “We did customer discovery and made a radical change in a short period of time to move the platform in a way that lets students have that same classroom interaction with their peers, but in a digital environment.”
The studytable team redesigned the app platform to feature new communication channels and threads for individual classes. Users can download the app and then join their class threads, which are communication channels for classmates to discuss the day-to-day of the class. They are equipped with interactive tools to help generate helpful dialogue among the students.
“Everything is free for now,” Crouch said. “We are moving in the coming months to set up special profiles for individual students who are the most helpful in their classes. Other users can then pay a small fee to subscribe to those profiles to see the most helpful content like notes, study guides or video tutorials on homework. It will essentially be like creating influencers, but of the classroom.”
The studytable team is using Purdue to pilot the new version. The plan is to expand to Butler University, Ball State University and the University of Missouri.
Purdue Foundry’s Double Down Experiment is a pre-accelerator program designed to help startups identify and overcome the challenges of launching a high-growth business.
About Purdue Foundry
The Purdue Foundry is an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub whose professionals help Purdue innovators create and grow startups. The Purdue Foundry is housed in the Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration in Discovery Park District, adjacent to the Purdue campus. The Purdue Foundry has been involved with creating more than 300 companies. The Purdue Foundry is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2019 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Place from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. In 2020, IPWatchdog Institute ranked Purdue third nationally in startup creation. For more information about involvement and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Purdue University
Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 5 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at purdue.edu.