One of the major tasks for college and university students is to stay organized. Away from the (loving) supervision of parents keeping track of what is due and when can become overwhelming, especially when the student has difficulties to set up a proper learning and work routine.
WhatsDue aims to help organizationally challenged learners to keep up with their assignments through a simple to use app that reminds them of due dates through customizable reminders.
Introduce your startup and give a short description of what you are doing.
WhatsDue is the simplest way for students to keep track of due dates. Professors or students send us their syllabi and we input all of the due dates into our system. Then, students simply subscribe to their courses in our app on iOS or Android and have all their due dates in one place. Students receive automatic reminders before due dates as well as push notifications when assignment details change.
Who are the founders, how did you meet, what are your different roles in the startup.
WhatsDue has four co-founders: Dan Green, Aaron Taylor, Brennan Gleason, and Techtone.
Dan is the technical director of WhatsDue and our sole developer. When he isn’t writing code, Dan can be found testing out new features for WhatsDue.
Aaron is responsible for business development, growth, operations, and making sure that WhatsDue grows as quickly as possible.
Dan and Aaron met 3 years ago at the start of their studies at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel. Both are completing business degrees with a specialization in finance and are set to graduate in 2015.
Techtone is a cloud integration firm based in Vancouver, Canada whose founder Omer Segoly is a long time friend and former classmate of Dan’s. Techtone ensures that no matter how many students are using WhatsDue, the app will always be quick and reliable.
Brennan Gleason is our graphic designer, responsible for all of WhatsDue’s gorgeous graphics and interfaces. Brennan and his designs have been featured in the Daily Mail UK, as well as on ABC News.
What is the main problem in education that you aim to solve.
Many students have a hard time keeping track of due dates. Most schools recognize this problem and are trying to find solutions, but they rely on archaic learning management systems (LMSs) like Moodle or Blackboard. Most LMSs don’t offer students a place where they can see all of their due dates in one place, and this problem is amplified by many professors not using the LMSs properly.
We address this problem at every level. First and foremost, our app is easy to use for students and gives them exactly what they want: every due date in one place. Instead of relying on professors to use complex systems, WhatsDue employees input syllabi into our database. Any changes to assignments are immediately reported to all users via push notifications.
But we didn’t stop there. In order to make sure that nobody using our app ever forgets to start an assignment, we added customizable reminders. Our ultimate goal is to help students succeed by tearing down a major barrier to academic success: forgetting what’s due and when.
In which markets / regions are you active. What markets / regions are next.
We are currently active at select universities in the US, Canada, and Israel.
We also have a number of K-12 teachers testing the app for their classes.
Who is your target audience.
Our target audience is university students who are organizationally challenged. These students often have dozens of assignments to complete throughout each semester and need some extra help keeping up with the workload.
How do you engage with your target audience. How do you convert them into users of your product.
The core of WhatsDue’s strength is our team. Our campus ambassadors are students who share their enthusiasm for WhatsDue with their peers and professors.
We convert students into users by making their lives easier by helping them keep organized.
What is your business model. How much does your product / service cost.
WhatsDue is free and will always be free. For the time being, we are focused on gaining users. When we hit critical mass, we will earn revenue by offering school-related services that students normally use. These may include buying textbooks, hiring tutors, or searching for jobs.
Who are your main competitors? What sets you apart from them?
Our main competitors are homework apps like iStudiez and myHomework Planner. However, students need to enter all their own due dates into these apps, which is time consuming and a barrier to the organizationally challenged.
With WhatsDue, this isn’t necessary; students only need to select their class in the app. As a bonus, we keep the students updated about changes to assignments. As soon as we verify one, everyone subscribed gets a push notification.
If you raised funding, how much did you raise. Who are your investors. If not, are you planning to raise funding.
We are actively looking for funding.
Are there milestones you are especially proud of and would like to share.
We did an alpha launch at Dan and Aaron’s university, and approximately half of the roughly 1000 students in the international program became regular users.
What are the next steps in growing your startup.
We are experimenting with different techniques for user acquisition, and our most promising one so far is working with professors. We have found that professors are excited about WhatsDue, especially because we don’t ask them to do anything other than send us a syllabus. Once we get the seed funding we need, we will expand our data entry team and target more North American universities.