December 5, 2016
FriendlyU is an online platform where high school students connect with college students as they’re going through the college decision process. Students create profiles that express their personal interests as well as their academic information. Students can discover and exchange messages with students who are already studying at their favorite schools.
A high school student's success in transitioning to college comes from finding the "right fit" environmentally, academically, and socially - but what's missing in the discovery process is a way to get candid information from other students just a few years ahead. With student profiles, club profiles, and college profiles all searchable, FriendlyU offers students many ways to find other like-minded students for conversation and insights. Users create a profile, add interest pins, create favorite lists, and search, connect, and private message with other student users. They also have university profiles with contact info and a list of students, by major, that attend that are users.
FriendlyU understands social success is key to a new college student's overall happiness. Based on their research, students succeed when they feel connected to their new community, and extracurricular activities are where they find like-minded people and develop friendships. They will help them find those new friends and begin the acclimation process while they are in the decision-making phase. Colleges looking to overcome the common 30% attrition rate from freshman to sophomore year have a keen interest in student success. Their business model includes offering colleges a subscription to admin their profile with relevant, branded content, see a list of their students and assign a student Ambassador. A premium account includes analytics on student user's interactions with their profile, ability to recruit/outreach based on user analytics, options to rise up in search results, and create custom surveys for visiting high school students to complete during tours.
Colleges want to reach students as they move from visitors, to applicants, to accepted and enrolled students. College is a high stakes decision for young students, impacting family financials and their future success. The students, parents, and academic professionals all benefit when a student thrives and becomes a contributor. The FriendlyU team consists of eight talented individuals with four RIT students, mixed with experienced business people; giving them first hand insights into the user’s needs to inform brand development. FriendlyU also just recently won the Fall 2016 Tiger Tank Competition at RIT, along with many other accomplishments.
Check out the FriendlyU website at https://FriendlyU.com.
The Simone Center is so proud of you FriendlyU, and we can't wait to see how successful you become!
Stay tuned for next week's Innovation Spotlight Story on Lily Pad.
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