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ClusterFlunk Closes $100k Seed Round, Looks to Expand Team

Iowa City startup ClusterFlunk has closed a $100,000 seed round.

"We received funding from strategic investors who will help us get to the next level in our company and product operations," cofounder AJ Nelson said in a press release.

The company announced Wednesday that Anthony Marlowe of Iowa City Capital Partners, Dwolla CEO Ben Milne, Hatchlings creator Brad Dwyer, and Josh Cramer of Cramer Development were the investors behind the raise.*

Nelson and cofounder 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 and are looking to add more members to their team.

"First and foremost, the company is looking for anyone that is extremely talented and has a burning passion to build an awesome product that really makes a difference in someone's life," Nelson told Silicon Prairie News.

But he added that a full-time front-end engineer and designer would be welcome additions to the ClusterFlunk team. As for what's next for the product itself, the online meeting place will continue to serve students at the same four schools—University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa, Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, and Cornell College in Mount Vernon—while the team refines the network.

"We are not adding many features, but rather making the user experience as easy as it possibly can be," Nelson said. "We are testing many different things in the beginning weeks of the upcoming semester to really find our recipe for capturing a large population of a school and scaling methods."

After announcing at the end of May that the pair was taking a "leap of faith" by leaving school, the cofounders of ClusterFlunk are looking toward the new semester with a back-to-school party of sorts. The party, which will be similar to the company's launch party attended by more than 700 people, is tentatively scheduled for August 29.

(Editor's Note: ClusterFlunk was a startup ompany located in the Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory on the UI campus.)


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