CollegeShare expands business

One Bradley student has started not one, but two startups aimed toward helping his peers continue learning outside the classroom.

Last fall, junior entrepreneurship major Zac Copper created College Share, a book-exchange website exclusive to Bradley students.

Now, Copper has released a note sharing website under the same name in order to connect Bradley students to peers taking the same classes.

“I’m trying to create an online community that kind of replicates the physical in-class presence,” Copper said. “What I’m trying to do is create a community where people in the same class can be part of an online classroom and share notes, study guides [and] ask questions.”

Copper said he realized students have a lot of support within the classroom but can struggle finding help after.

“When you walk out of class and you have projects to do and all the other work, for the most part, you’re kind of isolated, and you’re kind of on your own,” Copper said. “It’s up to you to figure it all out.”

While Sakai aims to be a resource to students, Copper said College Share will be more user-friendly.

“[Sakai] is mostly the teacher putting stuff up, and you have forums, but they aren’t really widely used,” Copper said. “My site is designed specifically to encourage sharing. So, you can view documents within the site, you can download them, you can post them really easily, and you can talk and chat with each other.”

Copper said he started building the website over winter break, which is when he decided to use the global freelancing website Upwork to outsource his website development to the Middle East.

“I put up a job listing and then interviewed a bunch of people and figured they’d work best,” Copper said. “It’s been a challenge, though, with the language barrier a little bit. Like I’ll be trying to describe something, and I think they understand it, and then they do something that’s not quite right … so it’s been interesting, but it’s been a good learning process.”

Outsourcing to the Middle East was a sizeable investment, according to Copper, but he said he thinks it will be worth it.

“I really believe in this idea, and I’m willing to invest in it,” Copper said. “I really want to make sure that it helps people out, so if it does that, then I’d be happy.”