Less than a year after its official launch, Iowa startup ClusterFlunk—a virtual meeting place that allows college students to collaborate on assignments and prepare for exams—has grown its user base exponentially and is preparing for a national launch come January.
“It’s a cool feeling, but we also know that this is just the beginning” ClusterFlunk co-founder AJ Nelson told Silicon Prairie News.
As the fall semester came to a close, the startup reported that the site has more than 10,000 total users at the University of Iowa—that’s 46 percent of the undergraduate student body. At ClusterFlunk’s peak, more than 25 percent of the university’s undergrad population was returning to the site weekly, according to the startup. Nelson (right) says with larger user numbers, ClusterFlunk has also seen more involvement from professors.
“There’s plenty of professors that get on the site nightly to talk and help their students,” he said. “There’s professors and teachers making pots about test curves and things too.
“They’ve learned it’s the quickest way to talk to their students.”
Nelson and co-founder Joe Dallago began ClusterFlunk while they were both attending the University of Iowa. In July the startup closed a $100K seed round, and in August, Nelson and Dallago were named Student Entrepreneurs of the Year at the second annual Silicon Prairie Awards.
“When we started this whole thing we were just crazy naive and thought we would be way past where we are now,” Nelson said. “But we did some growing up sometime between now and then.”
But its co-founders aren’t the only ones who have done some growing.
In November, Nelson and Dallago announced their plan to scale ClusterFlunk to other universities beginning in early 2014.
Now they’ve released the complete list of the more than 50 major universities that will be “flunking” come the new year.
The list includes regional schools like Iowa State University, Missouri State University and University of Missouri, as well as nearby schools like University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Did your school make the cut? Browse the complete list of universities:
- Auburn University
- Appalachian State University
- Bowling Green State University
- Central Michigan University
- East Carolina University
- Eastern Kentucky University
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- Iowa State University
- James Madison University
- Kean University
- Kent State University
- Michigan State University
- Missouri State University
- North Carolina State University
- Ohio State University
- Ohio University
- Oklahoma State University
- Old Dominion University
- Oregon State University
- Pennsylvania State University
- Purdue University
- Southern Illinois University
- St. Cloud State University
- Texas A&M University
- University of Alabama
- University of Arizona
- University of Arkansas
- University of California Irvine
- University of California, Los Angeles
- University of Colorado at Boulder
- University of Denver
- University of Florida
- University of Georgia
- University of Houston
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- University of Iowa
- University of Massachusetts Amherst
- University of Minnesota
- University of Mississippi
- University of Missouri
- University of Nevada, Las Vegas
- University of Nevada, Reno
- University of New Mexico
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- University of North Carolina at Charlotte
- University of North Carolina at Greensboro
- University of North Texas
- University of Southern Mississippi
- University of Texas at Austin
- University of Toledo
- University of Utah
- University of Washington
- University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Virginia Commonwealth University
- Washington State University
Scaling to ClusterFlunk’s new universities will begin with the start of the spring semester—some cases as early as Jan. 6, Nelson said. He says that ClusterFlunk targeted public universities with at least 14,000 undergraduate students for its first round of expansion.
Considering the list of 55 schools, including the University of Iowa, and their respective student populations, Nelson says the startup will bring ClusterFlunk to a potential 1.7 million students next semester.
The startup also will host a spring semester launch party to celebrate its user numbers and roll out at 49 more schools on Thursday, Jan. 24 at the Union Bar in Iowa City, Iowa. For more information and to RSVP to the event, visit its Facebook event.
Credits: AJ Nelson photo from Facebook.