By Bridget Kelly
A group of former Pakuranga high school students Note2A+ business is gaining traction in Auckland, and they have their sights set on going international. They’ve made $10,000 since they launched in September this year, selling university class notes online.
Kobe Huang, 19, thought up the idea, which was brought to life with help from Emily Chen,19, Edson Han, 19, Yifei Liu, 20, Kevin Hu, 19, Tony An, 19, and Honghao Wu, 19.
The self-described ‘A Team’ are all commerce students at the University of Auckland, except for Yifei who studies engineering.
They competed in the Velocity 100 challenge last year and made the finals.
“We actually didn’t go in with the intention of winning or anything like that, basically Velocity provides a good support network for entrepreneurs who want to start up their business,” said Tony An.
“A lot of the teams that went through Velocity were just ideas, we were sort of the only team making real sales and I think that’s what a real business is, it’s going out there and actually doing it.”
They did a test run of their business, and found that it gained traction quickly, and they were making money.
“We never expected it to take off; it sort of took off on its own.”
They got KAMI onboard who invested time and support, and Bruce Waller, the property manager of Highland shopping centre who provided essential insights for the group.
“If it wasn’t for the Young Enterprise Scheme and Highland Park Shopping Centre, we would definitely not exist at all,” said An.
They are an online retailer for study notes. Students with A grades can submit their class notes and then Note2A+ will cross check the notes, and distribute them.
The commerce notes for a semester, for example, are $15. Students who send through their notes make 40 per cent profit.
“Once they finish a paper, all these study resources that they’ve made throughout the course they just throw away, that’s just value going down the drain. That’s where we come in; we’re retaining that value for the next set of students,” said An.
Their end goal vision is to replace text books. They are working on expanding to other universities in New Zealand.
“If you think of it as a pool we’re fishing from, the more we enlarge it, the more potential we have,” said An.
Their biggest hurdle is university opposition. In the year it’s been running they’ve faced backlash from top students who feel that sharing notes is on par with cheating, and they feel some lecturers are hesitant about the idea.