Syracuse Startup: Coursespree, An Online Marketplace For Students INTERVIEW

A clever new EdTech startup in Syracuse New York is providing access for students to tutors, help, class notes, study buddies and more. Coursespree.

Coursespree is hoping to provide college students a more practical way to succeed academically and earn a little income on the side. In effect Coursespree has two different EdTech avenues for college students on one site.

First, students can virtually connect to tutors anywhere in the world using the Coursespree platform. Whether they need help in math, engineering, English, biology or any other college subject, Coursespree can connect them to help for an assignment or on-going tutoring.

Students can actually make money by selling their class notes (read class notes, NOT homework).  On students can take the notes from their class, set a price and sell them to another student at the same school or hundreds of miles away.

The very young startup was founded in May 2012 and is currently incubating in the Sandbox in Syracuse.

We got a chance to talk with Danish Nadeem  the founder and CEO of Coursespree, in the interview below:

What is CourseSpree, what does it do?

CourseSpree is an ecommerce site geared to help students earn better grades while earning an income. Students can hire tutors for virtual or location based tutoring sessions, get subject specific help and buy/sell their class notes for recurring revenue.

Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?

Danish Nadeem is the founder and C.E.O at Coursespree Inc., a graduate of Syracuse University with a Bachelor in Information Management & Technology, minor in Global Enterprise Technology. Danish has previously worked at JPMorgan Chase and UNISYS.

Danish Nadeem has been selected to come back for the year 2012-2013 as a Kauffman EntrepreneurshipEngagement Fellow to pursue his venture CourseSpree and to pursue his masters in Information Management with a certificate of advance study in Data Science from Syracuse University

Kayla Lombardoni, Chief Operating Officer, is a Lemoyne College senior majoring in Communication with a concentration in advertising and philosophy, English minor. Kayla isresponsible for marketing and user acquisition.

Where are you based?

We are located in Upstate NY at The Tech Garden (Student Sandbox)

What is the startup culture like in Syracuse?

The Syracuse Student Sandbox is a unique business incubator that gives aspiring student entrepreneurs the resources to make their visions a reality. The objective of the Sandbox is to accelerate the process of ideation, development and deployment through mentoring and coaching. The program provides coaching, mentoring, educational programming, physical space, access to subject matter experts and investors. Sandbox is Housed at and supported by The Tech Garden, a Centerstate CEO organization.

What problem does CourseSpree solve?

CourseSpree has identified a major issue faced by students and colleges. First of all to start of with Colleges, they have no management system in place where they can effectively manage their tutors and note takers. From a student’s point of view, they have no place where they can go to hire those school appointed tutors or get subject specific help on their homework.

CourseSpree aims to solve that problem by partnering up with universities and providing them with a management solution to manage their tutors, and providing students with theresources they need to succeed in their classes.

What is one challenge that you’ve overcome in the startup process?

Funding and development, but the prevalent issue that we overcame was partnering up with Syracuse University’s tutoring center.

Who are your mentors and role models?

Our mentors are:

Entrepreneur in residence at the Sandbox – John Liddy

Entrepreneur – Ryan Jordan, the Head of Talent at

Legal – Douglas Gorman, attorney at Hancock Estabrook, LLP

Technologist/SME – Zach Boerger, Co-Founder & CTO at


What’s one thing the world doesn’t know about you or your startup?

CourseSpree provides students with the resources they need to succeed academically. They can hire tutors for virtual/location based tutoring sessions, get subject specific help by posting a question with a price ($), buy class notes, study guides and to make recurring revenue for themselves by selling their notes to others. We are in the process of partnering up with more local colleges and universities to help them manage their tutors and note takers and funneling those resources to students in one convenient place.

CourseSpree also incorporates features such as student referrals, where students receive 5% cash back for every user they refer, that make a qualifying transaction on the site.

What’s next for your CourseSpree?

CourseSpree is in alpha stages, set to launch on August 30th 2012.

CourseSpree has already partnered up with Syracuse University, and is in talks with LeMoyneCollege, Rochester Institute of technology and other local universities. We also plan to partner up with Office of Disability Services at these institutions to provide students with learning disability electronic access to those notes and tutors for free of cost.


Find out more about Coursespree here

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