Notesolution is an educational network that delivers the best course resources to university students worldwide by crowdsourcing content. It’s a Toronto based startup that was originally exclusive to the University of Toronto before expanding its services to over 20 universities across Canada in September last year.
Unlike other note-sharing sites, this Canadian startup offers its services free to all students if they contribute. The site provides a knowledge exchange portal for students to find study notes complimentary to their courses. Students upload notes for credits and in turn, use the credits to download other peer’s notes. Students can also exchange their credits for cash rewards.
Notesolution launched in September 2010 and is dedicated to help students gain a better and more comprehensive understanding of course material through a network of knowledge exchange. As of May 2012, Notesolution has over 40,000 registered students sharing close to 75,000 study documents and has the largest collection of university course notes in Canada. The startup was founded by Jack Tai, Kevin Wu and Jackey Li.
The Toronto web platform was one of the most promising startups in FounderFuel’s 2012 spring cohort. Notesolution believes in the power of peer-to-peer learning and aims to revolutionize the education industry. Below is an interview with Notesolution’s CEO Jack Tai.
Louis: I saw your pitch at Demo Day. Notesolution still wants $600,000 in funding or more? And you’ve got $400,000 already?
Notesolution: We are looking to raise $200,000 to add on top of our $400,000 (from a super angel).
Louis: What types of courses do you want to bring note-sharing to?
Notesolution: We want to stay focused in University and College courses, mostly for first and second year courses—but of course, we also have content to third and fourth also.
Louis: Are you looking for more acquisitions or special partnerships after StudyMonkey?
Notesolution: We are always looking, but at the same time, we are a startup ourselves. Therefore, 99% of the resources and funds will be put into product and team.
Louis: Give us some of your latest figures.
Notesolution: We currently have content for more than 3,000 courses across 10 major Canadian universities (including University of Toronto, McGill, UBC, York University, and University of Alberta). Our primary focus is to dominate the Canadian market by end of 2012, establishing strong presence in the remaining universities and colleges in Canada.
Louis: What did you learn at FounderFuel that helped you the most?
Notesolution: First, we became a better team and stronger individuals. Second, running a startup is like riding a roller coaster: there are many ups and downs. But we were lucky enough to be part of the FounderFuel program and learn things and meet people that would otherwise take us years to do so.
Louis: Do you still use a freemium business model? How will you monetize your user base?
Notesolution: Yes, currently students can use the site for free as long as they contribute. Our focus is to build a better and stronger community first, so revenue isn’t a high priority for us at the moment.
Edited for length and clarity.