News & Events

UI Students to Launch Internet Startup

(Editor's Note: ClusterFlunk is a student startup located in the Bedell Entrepreneurial Learning Laboratory on the UI campus.)

In a small office in a University of Iowa entrepreneurial building AJ Nelson and Joe Dallago are dreaming big.

"Everyone's trying to make the next Facebook. We just want to make something specific for education," Nelson said.

Nelson, a business major and Dallago a computer engineering student, believe they may be the perfect match to change the way students study altogether.

"The sad part of it is you go into a class of 400 students and by the end of the year you may only meet like 15 of them," Dallago said.

Enter the social media platform they've named ClusterFlunk.

The website connects students taking the same classes with each other allowing them to share ideas, notes, and class documents online .

"All the competition is top down. We kind of just want to take out that whole process, knock down all barriers and just go directly to the students," Nelson said.

"We just want to improve the way for people to approach their studies, we just want to make it more social," Dallago said.

In a five-day stretch, the two have grown their user base to 800.

But with their innovation they've also heard concern.

The website archives all shared materials. Some faculty have voiced concern about the website facilitating problems such as cheating.

Dallago says the website is community-moderated—and the users—which includes teachers and faculty—would regulate content, no different from a website like Wikipedia.

"I have faith that the community will use the product in the end for the greater good," Dallago said.

Thursday the company launches with hopes to expand soon beyond the University of Iowa.

The website is free to its users.


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