clusterFlunk announces plans to add 50 major universities in new semester

This afternoon Iowa City, Iowa-based startup clusterFlunk announced via Facebook that its services will be scaling to 50 major universities beginning in January. "The decision to scale to the number 50, was in regards to our runway and size of team," co-founder AJ Nelson told Silicon Prairie News. "We feel with our current team and

This afternoon Iowa City, Iowa-based startup clusterFlunk announced via Facebook (right) that its services will be scaling to 50 major universities beginning in January. 

“The decision to scale to the number 50, was in regards to our runway and size of team,” co-founder AJ Nelson told Silicon Prairie News. “We feel with our current team and resources this is a number that we can handle. By making this public, we now sort of have to.”

Nelson and co-founder Joe Dallago began clusterFlunk, a virtual meeting place that allows college students to collaborate on assignments and prepare for exams, while they were both attending the University of Iowa. Now the pair works on the company, which launched in January, full time from its Iowa City, Iowa, offices. 

“We have been testing this entire semester on how to capture a large portion of a public university’s student population—without having to physically go there—and have found a few kick-ass ways in doing so,” Nelson (left) told SPN. “We feel very confident about our strategy on scaling, and are very excited by it. Logistically, we will be sitting in Iowa City the entire time.”

While the startup originally released its product at four schools—University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa, Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids and Cornell College in Mount Vernon—it scaled back soon after to focus solely on University of Iowa students. 

Nelson said there were a number of factors that led to choosing clusterFlunk’s next launch schools.

“The biggest factor was if we can currently use the same strategy we have at Iowa at that particular school,” Nelson said. “The school had to have at least 15,000 undergrads and its region and demographic had a lot to play into it. We have chosen these first 50 schools and labeled them as our ‘tier one scale.'”

In July the startup closed a $100K seed round, including investments from HatchlingsBrad Dwyer and Dwolla‘s Ben Milne. In August, Nelson and Dallago were named Student Entrepreneurs of the Year at the second annual Silicon Prairie Awards.

As the startup continues to expand, Nelson says clusterFlunk will continue to look for new members to its three-person team.  

“We’re always looking to hire,” Nelson said. “Anyone that is passionate enough, that has some talent, we are more than happy to welcome to the team. It is a big priority of ours, building the right team.”

 

Credits: Photo from Facebook. AJ Nelson head shot from Facebook

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