If you’re the smart kid in class, it’s time to stop doing everyone’s studying for free.
Flashnotes.com is a peer-to-peer marketplace for college notes and study guides. Students post their guides on the platform, and each sells for around $10.
Started by Mike Matousek during his senior year at Kent State, the company has grown quickly in the last few years.
In February they closed a $3.6 million Series A led by Stage 1 Ventures.
And, yes, you really can make money selling your notes online. According to the leaderboard on the Flashnotes homepage, Tony2050 from Florida State has pulled in almost &12,000 so far. That’s better than your average part time job!
Check out our Q&A with Mike below:
1) What’s your startup called?
Flashnotes.com is a Boston-based startup that is becoming an influential leader in the higher ed tech space.
2) What’s your big idea and how does it work?
Flashnotes.com is the student-to-student study materials marketplace. The online platform allows college students to buy and sell course specific study materials — study guides,notes, flashcards, video tutorials, and live video help. My company is on a mission to provide college students with the two things they need most – more money & better grades. Our Pays2Study™ approach empowers smart college students to make money from their own study material, while helping other students study smarter to get better grades.
At Flashnotes.com, we want to create an environment that allows college students to have access to the information they need to be successful in their courses. Currently, 42% of college students drop out and it’s often because they are falling behind. Flashnotes.com is on a mission to provide these students with the materials they need to get over that hump by serving content in a variety of forms.
3) What’s the story behind your idea?
I founded Flashnotes.com in 2010, when I was a senior at Kent State University. My idea for the company came when I was taking a statistics class that many of my classmates struggled with. The course came naturally to me, and it wasn’t long before students were hunting me down for my study guides and notes. Soon after, Flashnotes.com was born, and is now used by college students at universities and colleges across the country.
4) Who are the founders?
As mentioned previously, I founded Flashnotes.com while I was a senior at Kent State University.
5) Where are you located?
Flashnotes.com is located in Boston’s Faneuil Hall marketplace.
6) What’s the startup scene like there?
Boston’s innovation economy is thriving, and it really is a hub for technology startups and young entrepreneurs. In recent years, an entire Innovation District has emerged along the South Boston Waterfront, and with so many local colleges and universities, there’s no shortage of talent for the city’s burgeoning community of web and technology startups.
7) What milestones have you reached?
In the last year, Flashnotes.com has seen rapid adoption at colleges and universities across the country with a 175% growth in users. In the last two months we also raised $3.6 million in Series A venture funding and acquired Moolaguides, an online study materials marketplace with a strong user base in Florida.
8) What are your next milestones?
This year, Flashnotes.com is focused on expansion to additional colleges and universities across the U.S. We’re also looking to empower students with registered disabilities with our online marketplace and are actively looking to work with universities’ disability offices to offset program costs, increase note-taker retention throughout the semester, and enable these students to have access to critical course material.