DormNoise announced today that it has secured a $500,000 investment from DN Ventures LLC and PRESENT e-Learning Systems Inc. The funding will be used to support the company's sales and marketing endeavors.The collegiate calendaring system
DormNoise was founded by 21-year-old University of Pennsylvania student Jay Rodrigues, who recognized the need for universities, campus groups and college students to have a centralized, online resource in order to share and track campus activities.
Drawing on his experiences as a college student overwhelmed by the number of flyers handed out by campus groups and frustrated when he missed important and interesting events because he simply didn't know about them, Rodrigues devised DormNoise as a tool to help students manage their busy social and academic schedules.
DormNoise provides an interactive calendar that joins official campus events with campus groups' and students' personal calendars, allowing students to signup for activities, as well as to sync their schedules with the most popular calendar apps, including Outlook, iCal and Google Calendar.
DormNoise is currently in use as the official student calendar system at numerous universities, including Newbury College and Bryant & Stratton College, and is in the process of closing sales with a variety of other academic institutions. While students can add events to their own calendars based on their interests and activities, they are automatically added to the campus-wide calendar, as well as to calendars for their academic year and major. Rodrigues hopes to expand the tool to include dates and deadlines for particular courses as well.
The DormNoise tool is sold directly to universities and colleges, not to students, and is built around a business model that generates multiple revenue streams, including a per-student "seat" arrangement, as well as a corporate sponsorship program that will allow DormNoise to share revenue with its customer schools.
In an interview with ReadWriteWeb today, Rodrigues explained the stages his startup went through as he developed the DormNoise tool, including the decision to move away from social networking features - "we couldn't be another Facebook" - to focus solely on what his beta-testers were most keen about: the calendaring system.
As a junior in college, Rodrigues has good insights into what students and colleges want and need, something that his investors note as well. "Advances in online organization and opportunities to interconnect various aspects of one's life are changing the way students organize their lives," says Alan Sherman, co-founder and CEO of PRESENT e-Learning Systems. "We look forward to the innovation that Jay and his team will continue to offer campuses nation-wide."