The average student will have to spend $1,225 dollars a year on required textbooks for their college courses, and many students simply cannot afford such a steep price tag.
According to NBC News, the price of college textbooks has risen 1,041 percent since 1977. The average student will have to spend $1,225 dollars a year on required textbooks for their college courses, and many students simply cannot afford such a steep price tag. Kati Radziwon, founder and CEO of iFlipd, has spoken with hundreds of students and found that a majority of those students do not purchase the outrageously priced texts. This means that students are either going without text books and hoping their grades do not suffer, or resorting to….shall we say…less than legal means for obtaining needed materials.
Under the current model, both students that cannot afford books, and publishers that are losing business to pirating sites, are hurting. It is this hurt that inspired Radziwon to turn iFlipd into a textbook sharing platform that will officially launch in a few short weeks.
Radziwon originally created iFlipd to be the Redbox for books, charging a $2.00 flat rate for fiction, nonfiction, business, self-help and religious titles, and was well into building that business when she received a call from Boom Startup. The Boom Startup representative told her, “I think you’re onto something, but education is where you should go with this.” After that phone call, Radziwon realized that while readers wanted fiction, nonfiction, business, self-help and religious titles, they did not need them like students need textbooks. So she pivoted her business and make education and textbooks iFlipd’s go-to-market strategy.
With that go-to-market strategy, Radziwon entered and graduated from the BoomStartup EdTech program. “[Boom Startup] was exactly the kind of critical thinking and diving in and collaboration that we needed. It was phenomenal,” Radziwon says. “It was exactly what our company needed.” With help from mentors Steve Curtis, Jessica Bleak, and Rob Kunz, Radziwon honed in on education and worked to find a foothold in the education market. What she and her team created was a tiered model for renting textbooks at all prices. “Once we figured that out, it just clicked,” Radziwon says.
Instead of crying at the university book store cash register, students can now go to iFlipd.com , begin browsing textbooks, adding them to their virtual bookshelf, and renting them for $2.00-$20.00 a week. Students only need to enter their payment information once, and when a week is up, they can either let their books auto-renew, or flip books into a pool where other students can rent them for half the price. Students who flip their books earn points, and points add up to free rentals.
Students can also share notes, review textbooks, and start discussions within the iFlipd community.
2,000 students across the country are pre-registered to use iFlipd, and as the price of textbooks continue to rise, more students are sure to turn to this affordable, happy solution.