STARTUP SPOTLIGHT: COLLEGESTER

Collegester - Provides College Services - including information on loans and housing

Collegester, back in 2004, was one of the first social networks for college students. Today, it is back, but in a different guise. It is the Airbnb for college students and has also recently branched out to providing students helpful information on student loans. It’s been a long journey from 2004 to today.

Back in 2004, on the heels of Friendster and the explosive rise of Myspace, founders David Horlick and Rasheed Richmond decided that a social network targeted at the niche of college students would provide a superior service to the general social networks of the day.

Over the summer, while Facebook got huge press, they pivoted to online marketing. The world of online marketing was huge and they left the concept of a college based social network behind. They expanded to providing marketing consulting and special projects, such as fundraising online for the Obama campaign.

A few years back, in 2013, they heard about the sharing economy and decided to test for any opportunities by renting out for short term stays on the Airbnb platform. They found out that a sizable percentage of their visitors were young people and college students, including backpackers who loved to travel. Taking this as inspiration and their previous experience with Collegester in 2004, the two founders decided to relaunch Collegester for the sharing economy. They dubbed it as the Airbnb for college students, launching in 2014. Housing needs, especially around events such as the NCAA Final Four, college football games, and graduation are in high demand, which Collegester can help interested students find.

They were backed by RevTech Labs and participated in their incubator as part of their fourth class in Charlotte. While in Charlotte, they pivoted to the Three Month Problem. They took on the focus of helping students find other students to take on the final three months of their lease. This allows the student to leave either home or to another city for an internship, while a new student who

only needs to be in town for three months, for an internship for example, gets exactly what they need. Subsequently, they received angel  funding to expand the what they had done to further work on the concept and platform. Today they are focused on being a beneficial  resource to college students, not just limited to housing resources.

Today, in addition to having to having housing resources on their platform, they also now provide information to students that is financially related. They give information on timely topics such as Student Loan Consolidation and loan providers such as ACS Student Loans. It’s been a long journey for the founders and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

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