Thursday night was the long-awaited official launch of EduPal; an innovative college tool designed to “simplify your semester.” At an unveiling at Federal Hill’s business incubator, Betamore, Markus Proctor, Founder of EduPal, demoed the tool to members of the Baltimore entrepreneurial community, budding CEOs, members of the prestigious Baltimore Angels, and Betamore owners, Greg Cangialosi and Mike Brenner. Proctor explained that “EduPal allows students to have homework, quizzes, exams, and just about everything from their courses’ syllabus transformed into a colorfully organized calendar for FREE.”
After coming in third place at the Cangialosi Business Innovation Competition in April 2014, the members of EduPal have been taking advantage of their membership at Betamore; they have been working there most days during the week to perfect the first iteration of the program. Proctor said, “Working at Betamore has been one of the best things that has happened to me.”
Proctor is supported by a handpicked team made up of Kimberly Hodges, the teams marketing guru, Harjit Singh, the Chief Technical Advisor, and Walter Pearson III, handling Business Development. Markus was through in trying to assemble the best team he could; he spent months scouring Co-Founder Lab, Freelancer, and Craigslist to extend his network.
You may be asking, “What is EduPal?” That’s a fair question. The name doesn’t embody what the program fully does. At the beginning of the semester, have you taken a cell phone photo of your class schedule? I know I have. EduPal, simply stated, it is a crowd-sourced calendar platform for all of your academic requirements; but honestly, it does much more. It’s a web-based application that is exceptionally mobile friendly which helps students stay organized and on-track throughout the semester. Proctor explained, “Professors and students can login to the system and collaborate on generating the semester’s milestones; items such as class times and location, homework due dates, quizzes, and exams all appear in one central location for each class you’re enrolled in.” You can include any miscellaneous events you’re planning to attend as well as personal or work schedules and see how they lineup next to your class requirements.
You’ll need a UMBC account to get started, but the clean interface makes it easy to enroll in classes that are available. Students simply need to browse by class, choose the appropriate section based on the brief description and a picture of the professor, and click enroll. If the professor has already uploaded the syllabus, student’s calendars will automatically and instantaneously be populated. If not, students have the ability to populate the information and get it approved by the professor. “If one member of your class does it, everyone benefits,” Proctor stated.
Currently, about 20 professors have taken the initiative to get started; the most embracing department to date has been the Chemistry department. They have posted all 16 sections of their CHEM 101 class that enroll nearly 900 students in the fall semester.
In addition to helping students stay organized, EduPal will be bringing user’s deals to make their college experience richer. The Bookstore has been gracious enough to be the first to step up to benefit the early adopters of the application. EduPal members currently receive a “Buy one get one 50% off” deal on items with the UMBC logo on it.
The team is expecting to roll out a collaboration feature in September to help students schedule meetings and study sessions with their classmates. They will also be involved with the upcoming hackathon and are expecting to be hiring some enthusiastic and entrepreneurial java programmers before the end of the semester.
Be the first member of your upcoming class to start using the EduPal application by visiting http://edupal.co