Student Startups is a monthly series created by Techvibes to highlight Canada's talented student entrepreneurs. Across the country, bright minds with brilliant ideas are launching businesses before they even graduate from school. We want to recognize and celebrate these ambitious youngsters, who refuse to let studying for exams hinder their drive to succeed as entrepreneurs. Student Startups profiles cover both the startups and the students behind them—in their own words.
In our fifth edition, we've got University of Toronto students pitching his new venture, CoursePeer.
Students: image you could convey to employers the hard work you do day-to-day in school—this way, they appreciate your strengths, which happen to fit their organization's needs. They then send you an email saying, "we want to hire you, no need to send us your resume. Just come in for an interview." CoursePeer does exactly that.
Let's start from the beginning. You are fulfilling your degree at some college or university, probably using some online platform that allows your professors to post lecture notes, assignments, announcements, and some simple discussion board. And when it's time to apply for a job, you realize you need to build or improve your resume.
Wondering what to put in it? Well, ask your classmates; they all have 95% identical items in their resumes: same courses, assignments, projects, and even group discussions.
However, once you spam employers, and see all of your friends doing the same, and probably targeting the same organizations, you realize how highly competitive it is to get an employer to interview you and then make an offer to hire you. And employers have tens, if not hundreds, of campuses to receive resumes from (assuming this position is for fresh graduates, and industry professionals are not allowed to apply).
CoursePeer is a new patent-pending platform that has been developed over the past year by two University of Toronto computer engineering students. It takes students’ social networking and day-to-day learning skills and turns them into potential job leads.
It is a social academic network and talent management platform, which allows students to connect, share knowledge, get help and help others, as well as get job opportunities delivered to them based on their activities. Professors can manage classes, interact with students to address their questions, recommend their contributions and monitor the statistics of their courses.
CoursePeer intelligently measures student behaviors and activities and, with a student’s permission, matches them with available job opportunities. This enables employers to post job positions and start receiving relevant suggestions for suitable candidates.
The site’s unique offering for employers is supported by Peter Fonseca, former Ontario Minister of Labour, who says, “CoursePeer is a brilliant and innovative idea; a platform for employers to spot true talents to ease the process of job interviews and resume review. Employers will greatly benefit from its offering.”
To date, CoursePeer has been piloted by key University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering members, including Professor Philip Anderson, Professor Khoman Phang and Professor Arno Jacobsen, Bell University Laboratory Endowed Chair in Software and Chair, Computer Engineering Group.
“This is a new take on educational social networking. It is not Facebook, it is not BlackBoard, but a new approach that embraces the needs of today’s students and faculty, the capabilities that technology offers, and fuses them for an effective learning experience,” said Prof. Jacobsen.
The co-founders' long term goal is to make CoursePeer the “Social Academic Talent Management Platform."
Hadi Aladdin and Marwan Aladdin are co-founders of CoursePeer Inc. The two brothers have been entrepreneurs prior to joining high school, when they started working on video game development for gaming consoles, and raised their first 6-figure angel funds.
Aside from CoursePeer, they serve as consultants and investment managers on the boards of various organizations and foundations in North America. They also co-founded and are currently running Angstron Technologies, under which they have been providing their engineering consultation services.
Marwan, who finished his Computer Engineering degree at the University of Toronto, and Hadi (graduating this year from Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto) are inventors of a group of patent-pending technologies, including CoursePeer's and an optical laser steering technology for fiber switching and data storage.
If you're a student entrepreneur and want to tell the world about your startup, let us know.