Attention students: if organizing your thoughts, bettering your grades, I don’t know – preparing for your future – don’t quite motivate you enough to take good notes, this startup news may make you reconsider the effort you put into your schoolwork. Flashnotes gives you a place where you can sell your notes online.
That’s right, you can now start earning money thanks to your education before you’ve flipped any tassels or earned a degree. Flashnotes is an online marketplace for selling notes and flashcards. Only the best notes will do, though, as the community ratings will naturally push the most useful classroom aides to the top of lists where they’re most likely to fetch a good price.
It Pays to Hit the Books
Gifted note-takers may earn cash for what they already do well naturally (the average price for a note is roughly $7.88), and students in need of better study materials can find help directly from trusted peers. Students set their prices, keeping 80% of sales, while Flashnotes collects the other 20%. With the increase of typed notes and the ease of scanning documents, students need invest little extra effort to transfer work already completed.
While only implemented in 75 U.S. schools so far, 65% of student buyers reportedly improve their GPA by upgrading their study materials through Flashnotes. The platform has impressed investors. The company recently closed a $1.8 million seed round that included backing from Atlas Venture, Softbank Capital, and angel investors (Abigail Coxsen, Michael Lazerow, Paul Sethi, and others). New capital will help the company advance research and rollout nationwide.
School System Shakeup
Attempts to disrupt the education sector have been prolific, so far met with mixed reception. Flashnotes follows in the spirit of teachers making lectures available online, as well as sites that offer crowdfunded teaching aides and coursework. Since school is already the site of knowledge sharing, the crowdfunding model would appear a natural fit for the education sector. Equipping the students to become drivers of distributing resources is a unique tack.
Flashnotes raises the question of what place business ventures have in a student’s education (though it’s one a host of other companies have no trouble answering). Flashnotes’ focus on notes and flashcards is a shrewd decision–students still have to study and put in the work to succeed if they buy notes online. This is not a grades for sale site.
Michael Matousek, Steven Maggs, and David Petruziello teamed up to launch Flashnotes. All three clearly did their homework. They graduated from Kent State, Amherst, and The University of Michigan respectively. The must’ve shared notes as well, having studying subjects ranging from finance, entrepreneurship, anatomy and physiology.
It pays to study, right? Now Flashnotes can convince even the most skeptical student.