SchooLinks is a platform that helps students find and get into their dream school by connecting them with the people from those schools and, in the words of Katie Fang, Founder of SchooLinks, “humanizing their admission profile”.
Katie sits down with LATechWatch and introduces us to the platform that she wishes she had during her college search process as an international student.
Tell us about the product or service.
SchooLinks is creating an educational social network to help connect students with the schools they want to attend, similar to how LinkedIn has done for professionals and the places they want to work. We are trying to change how students get into college, and help them become more than just numbers.
How is it different?
Today, there are many other sites that provide students with a way to find their ideal schools, the difference with SchooLinks is that we don’t want to just help students find their dreams schools, but we want to help them get in by connecting them with the schools and giving them a way to show more than just their stats.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
We are attacking the college recruiting and marketing market. Each year schools spend billions of dollars to market and recruit to students around the world.
What is the business model?
We use a freemium model where schools can sign up for a premium plan and get access to our recruitment center. We also are going to launch the ability for educational services to advertise on our site.
What inspired the business?
My personal experience was the biggest inspiration to start the company I was an international student from a young age moving and studying abroad in many countries around the world. In this process, I found that I had a lot of difficulty, especially for international students to plan one’s education and know the right school to go to.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
Within six months SchooLinks wants to be connecting students to at least 5,000 schools around the world.
What does being “Made in LA” mean to you and your company?
I think being made in LA for a lot of companies at this moment means getting the chance to be the pioneers in building one of the world’s biggest startup communities. Many people today do not take LA seriously as a startup hub, and so I think LA companies right now are trying to demonstrate to everybody that they can make some of the most important products in the world.
What else can be done to promote early stage entrepreneurship in Los Angeles?
I think everybody needs to support each other and create momentum for the LA community as a whole. If we help each other to create momentum for our community I think more people will take LA more seriously and be willing to invest in LA companies.
Where is the best place to watch the sun set in Los Angeles?
The cool things about LA is that you can get a great view of the sunset no matter where you are. Each spot in LA is its own unique viewing experience for sunsets.