Emily Sharp, Felipe Gomez, Abigail Flint
In planning to facilitate ease of student access and awareness to campus resources and networking provided by fellow students, professors and professionals, we at Passion Project created an application that operates as a ‘Netflix for creativity’ resource that catalogues the resources and information areas available on a college campus for student use. Including their ratings, ease of access and current availability. In addition to crafting a general directory, we also offer a social media aspect of our application that allows students and faculty to make connections with each other to possibly host learning workshops using these resources, collaborate with each other on projects for portfolios or just to communicate ideas for critique or collaboration, which is currently difficult to do without an easy to search database that leads to a discovery and description of all available resources. This will hopefully allow students to engage with their work, their peers, and their passion projects.
Passion Project is a development company looking to aid ease of access to campus resources for university students. By engendering a creative environment where students and faculty can collaborate, they will use the resources available to them to pursue their passion projects and perfect their portfolios.
By showing students the resources available to them in a way that encourages them to pursue their passions outside of school assignments, an environment of innovation and invention will grow and students will be able to connect what they’re learning within their major to what they have been dreaming to create and spend their lives doing.
Our business will be funded through a one time fee when universities purchase the license to our product, with an additional fee for customization. Our main goal is to create a sense of innovation and collaboration across a campus community by allowing students to easily find and connect with resources on campus.
Passion Project is a company completely invested in our mission, because that is how this business started. We know that when the correct resources are brought together anything can happen. Through honesty, hard work, and above all, passion, we were able to get off the ground and that is how Passion Project will always function. Those principles are what we started with and are hoping to foster within the users of our app.
We expect Passion Project to be on university campuses across the nation. The app will be customized per university but include the Passion Project branding throughout the app. Below is a paper prototype of a Passion Project product that illustrates why we believe that students and universities across the nation will need and want to pay for this project.
After doing some extensive research, we found that it is difficult to locate third-party app developers for universities. In a market flooded with developers, there are not many companies developing for the larger universities; normally each individual campus has a team of developers within the university that creates their technology.
Within universities nation wide there is a lack of ability for students to be able to quickly browse through everything their university has to offer. There is not an easy way to see what exactly the resources do so that students feel interested to go and use what the campus provides. Through our research, we found that students mainly learn about a resource when hearing about it from a professor and that professors often aren’t connected extensively enough throughout the campus to tell students about a resource that may be perfect for them that is not in their department. Passion Project solves all of these problems.
The closest competition is the campus’ apps. For example, Texas State has the Texas State app. It’s free but get’s funded from the University’s “membership fee”. It is strong in that it’s already established and most students use it for at least one thing. On most phones, weaknesses are that it’s outdated and has a bad user interface. Most people don’t even look through what’s on it. Through talking to students, faculty and staff we find that most use it simply for the shuttle map. Most students used it also to quickly get to TRACS on their phone until that was broken out into a separate app.
The TRACS app is free for students, but again gets bought by the university subscription fee that students pay with their tuition and any other funding the university receives and designates to this department. It’s strong in that you can create groups as a student with anyone else on campus, useful for student organizations. It’s weakness is most students don’t know that you can do that, it is difficult to use and is a third party learning management system that isn’t specifically for resources or finding students to connect with, it is more for already established organizations and groups.
UT’s student app is free but gets funded from it’s University. It has a good design and layout, is established with students, and most importantly has a resources and events section. However, it is specific to that university and as it is it can’t be used for others.
Passion Project separates out the resources and events section and adds an element of thinking of other students and faculty and staff on campus as a resource that should be included. It allows the connection to other members of the university community based on skill sets to allow those people to come together. Like Pinterest, our aim is to get people off the app and out creating something.
There is no better time or place for students to follow their passion than on a university campus that has an extremely wide variety of backgrounds and skill sets as well as free equipment that most people normally are not able to get their hands in their everyday life.
Passion Project has the advantage of being created by students who understand what would be helpful within their own time in college to bring their ideas to life. It also can be easily tested by a wide array and types of students by being created on an extremely diverse campus. This will allow the product to be applicable to all campus regardless of the level of resources or culture of students.
Passion Project is also created on a campus with a multitude of resources. This allows us to test and perfect how they would appear within the app and how to best communicate to students the information they want to know.
Organization and Management
Passion Project has a unique team that has lead to the production of this application and will lead to it’s continued success in the future. Our team members have experience in design, business, and development. This combination of skills has lead to a fully rounded application.
In the future, Passion Project will grow by staffing from within our network initially by recruiting people with the skills necessary to make the initial sales of our product happen.Past that we will pay freelancers when a sale is made or a university needs support. The freelancers will be on retainer so that they will have experience with the product and company. This way we will be able to pay our staff a fair amount when work is necessary because the majority of the work will be necessary only when a new university wishes to use our product. Once it the product has been personalized for them there is nothing needed on our side except for help when a support request is put in.
All members of our team have communication experience, which is at the core of what the app is trying to do.
Abigail Flint has design experience and public relations experience. She has enabled us to create an application that is as beautiful as it is functional. She also will be able to help handle communications between our customers, interaction with our users to get them asking for the app on their campus, and marketing products and campaigns.
Felipe Gomez has experience with startups and will allow us to foresee any bumps in the road and help us navigate them from what he has learned previously. His experience in logo creation for existing companies has allowed him to gain experience in many different markets and know what types of resources different types of people will need.
Emily Sharp has experience in management and development which will allow the application to be bug free and completely user friendly. She will also be able to handle any business meetings and presentations because she has had to do it before for many companies.
These unique experiences give us a competitive advantage by having a unique skill set and background in many things that all lead to the ability to create and manage a product that will be useful on campuses nationwide.
Our approach to selling our product would be to pitch our resource application to universities to help them foster a community of creativity on their campus that can gear itself towards solving problems and issues specific to that campus and surrounding area. In offering to brand our product for the university, we also can help them save time and resources in setting up a new application within their university system, and put out the Passion Project application to their users in an expedient way. Passion Project prides itself on offering the opportunity to engender a creative environment, and offering that opportunity to universities across the nation.
Our project starts with very little initial funding in development other than just payments of time used to craft prototypes and list resources. After we launch the initial stage, we hope to seek funding from universities themselves as part of a resource expenditure to help fund the coding and server support in one installment of around $5000, depending on the package they purchase from us for the software license. There will be an option to purchase a basic package that then their on campus developers can customize further, or they can pay for us to personalize the app with their branding for them. They can also pay for us to populate the initial resources before the app is launched or handed over to them.
The price of the basic package also covers support for as long as they use the app and includes any updates that may be released. If they have a specific request for something outside of the boundaries of what is included in any of our packages then we can negotiate a contract with that university individually for the work required.
Public 4-year institutions
Private 4-year institutions
Public 2-year institutions
Private 2-year institutions
With 4,140 universities in the United States, our potential revenue is over $20,700,000 at the basic package-not including add-ons we would provide beyond the one-time license.
At 10% of the total universities in the US, we are looking at an initial revenue of $2,070,000 within 5 years.
Since we will be bootstrapping the entire project from the beginning, the initial cost to build our minimum viable product will be near to zero, but once we begin our market phase we will need an injection of capital to begin paying our salaries for the management and upkeep of the company.
Before we accept angel investors or venture capital, we will be crowdfunding a total of $25,000. This will cover the living costs of three people, application updates, server costs, any software, marketing and sales, and getting copyright on the product for the startup of the project. We are not expecting to have to pay any other worker initially, but when we have grown large enough, we will hire freelancers on retainer to help when universities need support, to keep the application updated and working with emerging technology, and to help brand the app with a university's logo if a new one decides to purchase. After this, We are asking for $300,000 in exchange for 10 percent in equity of the Passion Project.
The investment will be used as such:
Founder salaries- 25%
Sales & Marketing- 35%
Technology / Product or Service development- 15%
Capital expenses / equipment-10%
As discussed, the initial expenses will be very low.
At the end of the day, Passion Project will be able to meet the needs of students, faculty and staff across the nation in a spot that is missing a current technology to solve their problems. Passion Project has a plan in place to push their product into the spotlight and enable its success. With the ability to match students to resources based on skills and interests, Passion Project will hopefully inspire many more passion projects to come.