Two University of Cape Town (UCT) graduates are building an online academic community which they hope will drive up standards and help with exam preparation.
Prep-Hub is the brainchild of Chanda Pwapwa and Tanaka Mutakwa and went live on October 25, 2012, after the pair reached the semi-finals of the Google Apps Developer Challenge 2012.
The website, which contains more than 1,000 past exam papers across a range of subjects and has 58 registered users, exists to put together students, past students and lecturers and encourages debate among peers to make the revision process more efficient.
Speaking to HumanIPO, Pwapwa said: “We came up with Prep-Hub while we were studying over Christmas for tests. In the holidays if you have difficulty understanding something then it can be hard to talk to the right people to get the right answers.
“During our time at university we also knew some students and departments has past papers, but they were in hard form and there was no easy way for the majority to access them. So we have also set up a past paper depository.”
When quizzed on how the site would be regulated so users could trust the people giving them answers and advice, Pwapwa said there would be a user controlled rating system.
“If someone likes or approves an answer they can award them five points, if they do not rate it then they can take away five points,” he added.
The pair so far have only marketed Prep-Hub among friends using social media and as a result their following is almost exclusively consigned to UCT.
They have had some past papers and registrations from students at distance learning institutionUnisa and are looking to build a relationship with them.
Their next move is a drive for investor funding so they can spend more time marketing the product and driving users to it.
They have not settled on a way to monetise the site, but are exploring “traditional web advertising, but no in your face pop-ups”, selling the source to university’s to manage their own online community or making the rating system accessible to recruiters to use for head hunting.
Pwapwa added: “Right now we are really big on user experience so if we partner with anyone we do not want to monetise straight away. We really want to get a good solid base in UCT and Unisa before monetising.”