While we were in San Francisco, a very large company in our space asked if we could meet them regarding a potential acquisition. These are the notes after our first meeting with them.

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Peter [redacted] is who I met with.
Did meet Nathan briefly, shook his hand.
Nicole and Seong were out of office on a last minute thing. He said Nicole is already swamped, so he might take over the interaction with us. 

Peter had done a good deal of looking into us, it seemed. He knew I went to UNC, for instance. He said he had seen the referral system when I mentioned it, he said it was very clever/good idea.

Ohio State is their biggest school.

He asked how we met John. Told him that they reached out to us.

Told him that our schedule planner hits about 80% of students at saturation point. 30% app saturation. That they just hover there, no marketing needed. He asked how many we're there, I said 2 dozen ("so a lot more to go").

Apparently they were buying companies like crazy in 2010 to diversify. Not all of them panned out. 

He did ask for revenue, which I told him. Said $230,000. He said "if you don't mind sharing". 

Said that users have been just about doubling each semester on the app.

Told him that we really go with what our users are asking us to do, and they've never led us astray. That we all do customer support.

He didn't seem particularly interested in the high school stuff. The chatrooms may have been more interesting to them. But I expressed concerned about academic integrity, note sharing, etc. Seems like one of their acquisitions they acquired a note sharing service but then there were legality concerns so they may be trying to avoid that. 

He asked what our current plan for development was, over the next year. Didn't have the best answer to that, basically said that we were looking at the high school thing, and trying to fill in those other colleges. 

He sort of asked about retention, told him that we haven't really struggled with it, He asked if we measure it monthly or semesterly, said semesterly but didn't give a number on anything, like how many users return. 

Mentioned that they get a lot from SEO, long tail people searching for the exact question, not "pythagorean theorem". 

I mentioned grade data as being another frontier, but that we were scared of pissing off universities because we're so small. 

He asked about whether we could register students, and I told him that that's a line we can't really cross because of the IT departments. 

He mentioned that just knowing how many students were in each class/subject would be helpful to them, from a planning demand perspective. Said that we do sell that data to some companies, so that's something we could do for them too. He asked if it's already ready to go, and I said yes, just an FTP server with CSVs. 

He asked about people maybe complaining about getting notified at the same time as everyone else, and it'd be a good thing if people complain because that means that they would probably pay more to get notified first. 

I said that opening up our course database for crawling was huge, really helped with getting more people to hear about us and try our products. 

He did ask about exporting to Google calendar. He asked a very specific question, like what fraction of users export it vs visit Coursicle every day to check their schedule. 

I think they would be more interested in us developing a schedule feature into the app, so that students can view their schedule on their phone. Basically, I think he seemed to want students to be interacting with it regularly. Some students have asked for that, so it would be reasonable. Coursicle on mobile being the center. Need to figure out how to keep students there, though. I think probably doing some sort of chat app within there could be an option. 

He said our daily active users shot up like crazy in January, February, etc. Unless the stats are wrong. 

Asked if we were interested/open to investment, partnership, M&A. Said that M&A is probably the most interesting to us. 

He was surprised and impressed that students were selling courses to each other. Seniors would sell seats in courses that they'd register for just to sell. He said it make sense, given you're deciding between taking an extra semester and paying thousands and paying less.

Questions we should be able to answer, what would it take to get to all 4000 schools. They want us to scale up quickly to all of their users. They want us to know how to answer these kinds of questions for M&A. 

Next step would be internal socialization, and then maybe setting up a talk with engineering asking engineering questions.

He even suggested tracking enrollment information and selling that data to students as a premium plus. Like getting to know how many students are tracking your classes, etc. 

They seemed to be interested on whether we were looking to keep students around/using Coursicle more throughout the year. Did tell them that students use the app 8/12 months of the year. 

He asked about which schools we seem to do better at. Mentioned that it was usually larger, public, 4-year, but then there are some wrinkles like specifics about their registration system, like waitlists, etc.

They're trying to be seen less as a crutch tool, that students use as a 1 time thing when they're really stuck. Seem to want more of an ongoing relationship with the student, a better reputation with students. He said they're ongoing goal really is to help students and take into account the fact that they're working 30 hours per week, and have kids, etc. He said they have avoided a bunch of B2B opportunities because of how bad dealing with the universities are.

Said that we would be interested in working with them because they would allow us to instantly scale us up to be in the face of all of their users. We believe our product is really important, and it should be helping as many people as soon as possible. 

How do you think we could work together?

My questions:
* Why are you guys interested in the scheduling space? (could ask about CourseRank)
* What other spaces are you guys looking into? 
* How have schools responded [redacted]? 
* What have you guys done to grow the adoption of [redacted]? It seems to be your main product now. 
* Have you experimented with offering a free trial for [redacted]?

* Intro. How much do you know about Coursicle?
    - Help students plan schedule and get into classes. 
    - Website where students can view classes for upcoming semester. Add classes to tentative schedule. Plan out multiple options. Search and filter quickly by day, time, gen ed, etc.
        - This is a big painpoint for students because generally have to use paper/pencil to plan their schedule. The university course search is horrible, terribly slow, tedious to use. 10 years old.
        - Which classes you take Determines so much. Which professors, which textbooks, when you graduate, how hard the classes are, your GPA. 
    - App that notifies students when a class they want has an open seat. 
        - Students have to refresh page over course of months to get into classes. 
        - It's not uncommon to have a class of 300, and have 100 people using Coursicle to try to get into that class.
    - Students can track one class for free, or pay $4.99/semester for unlimited classes.
    - About 15% convert to premium. 
    - Added a referral feature recently. Students can get premium for free if they refer 3 friends.
    - Started at UNC, now support over 850 colleges in the U.S. (about 70% of enrollment)
* Can you give me some background on you guys and what you do? 

Fast Facts:
* 380,000 students have used schedule planner. 
* 250,000 students have used app. 
* We really care about 
    - graduation rates. We think it's crazy that 40% of students graduate in 4 years, 60% in 6 years. 
    - Helping students stay on track to graduate and maintain their scholarship. 
    - Students are making the decision between spending $3000 on another semester of tuition, or Coursicle. 
* We're are currently: 
    - looking into ways we could use our course data to help high school students make more informed decisions about which colleges they go to. Including factoring into things like getting into the classes they need to take to graduate in 4 years. 
    - Really focused on core product, couple semesters to get adoption, filling in the gaps for the schools we don't already support.
    - Could mention the chatrooms, but haven't been working on that in short form. 
* We are 4 employees. 2 co-founders, 1 full-time. 
* We market mostly via: 
    - Reddit ads
    - SEO
    - Referral system
    - Word of mouth
* Our revenue: 
    - About $230,000/year.
    - Revenue has gone up 10x in the last 18 months. 
* Costs:
    - $2,000/year in server
    - $7,000/year in advertising. 
* Probably about 50% of our app users are freshmen, 30% are sophomores. 
* Users churn, but seniors tell the freshmen about Coursicle. Once we hit saturation, freshmen are learning about Coursicle from orientation leaders. 
* Competitors are: 
    - MyEdu, which was acquired by blackboard and shut down
    - Courseoff, very small, just 5 schools, and we're currently stealing their users. 
    - One-offs at various schools, most of which die when student graduates. 
    - Mostly not more competitors because people stop thinking about these issues once they graduate, so they don't want to be the ones to solve them.
    - CollegeScheduler/Visual Schedule Builder: both terrible software, students hate them, don't use them.
* Key Features: 
    - Notify when class opens up. 
    - See what classes facebook friends are interested in. 
    - Plan multiple class schedules visually. 
    - Browse classes instantly, beautiful card view, filter classes
    - Our brand. Students absolutely love Coursicle.
* How hard was it to add support for 850 schools? 
    - Took a lot of work. Schools do have some overlap, they'll use similar systems. 
    - But it took us 4 years to really get to the point where we could run and maintain so many schools. 
    - Lots of coding and debugging. 
* We've sent 6.5 million push notifications in the last 1.5 years. 
* Legality:
    - We've had lawyers look into it, and they believe we are in the clear. The course data is publicly available. No copyright concern because the data is factual.

What we could use help with: 
* Getting the word out about Coursicle more. Any sort of promotion of Coursicle (we just need a seed at most schools), students are so saturated