Hi, I’m Joe Puccio, co-founder of Coursicle.
In the summer before my first year at UNC, I had my first experience with course registration. I spent 7 hours using pencil and paper to try to plan out a course schedule, and when it came time to actually register, I was funneled into a room full of computers with 30 other students. We were told to sit down and open up a browser. A few minutes later, someone yelled “go!”. Frantic clicks filled the room. This was the process that decided if you got the education you were paying for.
I’m talking to you today, because I wasn’t one of the fastest kids to click in that room. I got into one of the five classes that I needed to take to graduate. I was destroyed. My college career was off to a terrible start. When the process was over, I was in tears.
When I left that room, I found out I wasn’t alone. Thousands of other students at UNC experienced exactly what I did, and experienced it every time they registered for courses.
Student’s only recourse when they don’t get into a class, is to manually refresh a webpage over the course of months, waiting to see if some other student drops the course they want.
But it’s not just at UNC. Course registration is considered important by over 90% of students is U.S. colleges, yet nearly 50% of them are completely unsatisfied with how it’s being managed.
We’ve built two products that make this process significantly better, and less stressful for students.
The first is a beautiful website that allows students to browse through their university’s classes, and plan the classes they want for the upcoming semester.
The second notifies students when a class they want has an available seat, so that they don’t have to stress about constantly checking a webpage.
Some of our key features, we make it so that students don’t have to use pencil and paper to plan a weekly schedule, or try to keep in their head all the possible classes they could take and what times they meet at.
They can also see what classes their friends on Facebook are considering in real-time while they plan.
Our competitors are only providing half of the solution. They only assist students with planning their schedule and browsing courses. Moreover, none of them have further developed their products in the last two years, and same aren’t even at more than 100 campuses.
Because nearly every school uses only one of 4 enterprise systems, we can grow rapidly without much effort. Writing one script enabled us to add more than 96 schools in just 3 weeks.
We also know from our existing user base that freshman and sophomores feel the most pain for registration, so we’ll be targeting them in our marketing efforts.
We’ve learned from those who have come before us that on-campus marketing, such as old-school banners and flyer ads, actually are effective and relatively cheap, so we plan to invest in that form of marketing.
We’re currently pre-revenue, but we have been interviewing students and they are very interested in textbook price comparisons as well as advertising for full time jobs, so that’s our current intended revenue model.
The college market is huge. We’ll be targeting 12 million freshmen and sophomores in the U.S. for now, although the worldwide college enrollment is growing rapidly (expected to double by 2025).
U.S. college student spending alone is over $500 billion.
Our team consists of my co-founder, Tara Aida and me. Both of us graduated in May and experienced these problems first-hand.
I have prior software development experience from Cisco, and Tara has a lot of research computing experience.
We have achieved over 18,900 users so far. Over 16,000 of which are from our first five schools. We just recently expanded to over 100 universities in February.
94% of our notification user sign up with their mobile phone number, opening up huge advertising potential and giving us a unique medium for interaction.
Students spend on average 28 minutes each time they use our site.
Right now, we’re looking primarily for marketing advisors to help us drive expansion.
We’re also looking for possible partners who align with our customer segment.
Thank you for your time and please visit us at coursicle.com