Mehdi Maghsoodnia Rafter

Today’s Campus Innovation Interview #5 – Mehdi Maghsoodnia of Rafter

Mehdi Maghsoodnia RafterIn this episode of the Today’s Campus Innovation Interview Series, I talk with Mehdi Maghsoodnia, CEO of Rafter.

Rafter is offering colleges and universities a management platform that aims to make the whole logistics behind course material and everything related more efficient and therefore less costly.

As Mehdi points out during the interview

“Overall the process of adopting, buying and selling educational content is hugely inefficient. So classicly there has been a lot of waste in that process. And you can see it because everyday a student shows up, buys the book and the price ranges are so varying. You can find the same book on Amazon for $40 and in your campus for $200.

The fact that we are bringing a level of sophistication into supply management and pricing is taking a lot of that inefficiency out of the system. There is a lot of savings for the students in the system. We project that savings in this market should go north of a billion dollars in the next five to six years.

Which is very good news. If you look at the number one reason why students don’t graduate from community colleges and four year institutions is cost. Taking a billion dollars out of that cost structure is a significant saving for the students.”

But he does not expect that change to happen overnight. Mehdi predicts a transition period of five to ten years in which we will see different technologies and concepts still existing side by side, similar to the corporate sector.

“It’s not a homogenous evolution. It’s a very organic and slow evolution in a very large ecosystem. Education is the third largest spending in the US, it’s $1.2 trillion. So it’s a market that will take its time and it will evolve to a better place I think in the future. But it will take a while.”

Kirsten Winkler is the founder and editor of EDUKWEST. She also writes about Social Media, Digital Society and Startups at KirstenWinkler.com.