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Founder Friday: Rohan Shah, Classavo


Whether you were in college one year ago or ten years ago, you certainly remember the textbook buying process. You’d head to your university bookstore, wait in a long line to pick up your books, and spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars for books you only need for a few months.

Sure, you could rent your textbooks from Chegg or purchase them on Amazon, but with a full course-load, that money adds up. And it’s just one of the materials professors use in the classroom – there are still PowerPoint presentations, handouts, and assignments.

Classavo is making it easier for students to access all of the content they need for their classes, while creating an interactive platform for both students and professors that’s much more affordable than traditional books. Professors also get access to insights regarding student comprehension and progress throughout the course.

Learn more about Classavo, which is currently being used at the University at Buffalo and Canisius College, and founder Rohan Shah in today’s Founder Friday!

How did your startup, well, start up?

Long story short, I was approached by a professor at UB to co-author his mathematics textbook. I got exposed to the education system and the underlying issues behind it, which was quite tangent from the mathematics textbook. I was determined to solve the challenge, and the rest is history and present.

What do you do? Your startup?

I oversee everything from product development to sales, although I’m a software developer by trade. Classavo is an EdTech company that empowers both professors and students by creating an interactive classroom with the help of its platform. It provides real-time feedback to students and professors about their learning progress.

When was the ‘aha’ moment for your startup when you realized this could actually work?

When we made revenue and traction by thousands of students within the three months of development. We realized the potential and the demand for our product.

What has been the biggest accomplishment for your startup to-date?

When we figured out on how to save students 86% of costs per class for their textbooks and tools combined, it was a significant milestone for the team that brought us closer to our mission.

Goals for the next year? Three years?

Increasing traction to 10X is our next 12-month goal. And for the next three years, we would like to be in a position to give professors and students accurate insights into their academic data that can be clubbed with other factors for better inferences.

Why Buffalo?

Buffalo is now one of the best places to start a business. It wasn’t true five years ago – things are changing and much gratitude to 43North’s endeavors. I experienced childhood in various places the world over, so feeling this resurgence is exceptionally energizing!

How do you do it? What drives you?

Relentless perseverance and enjoying the journey. When you walk into a classroom of eight hundred students and see them use your product every day, it’s a very powerful motivator for us.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Move fast and keep pushing to build a great team! It’s the people you work with that defines the success yet to come.

Tags: Buffalo, Founder Friday

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