Quick Pitch: Hoot.Me helps students create study groups on Facebook.
As a sophomore at the University of Texas, Hoot.Me CEO and co-founder Michael Koetting decided to enter a business plan competition. But he didn’t have a solid idea for a company until he stayed up late one night stuck on his calculus homework.
“I thought, I know that there are 100 other kids working on this right now,” he says. “I wish I could see who they are — I know they’re all on Facebook, but I just don’t know which of them are actually working on this.”
Thus the idea for Hoot.Me. The startup “switches Facebook into study mode” by allowing anyone to create study chat rooms, invite friends to them and join existing rooms that are displayed in a study newsfeed. The “smart” chat rooms can handle math symbols and youtube video embeds, and through a partnership with TokBox, they also provide group video chats.
By the time the business competition rolled around, Hoot.Me was already a LLC.
The team launched a beta version in February and won $25,000 of seed funding with a spot in startup accelerator DreamIt Ventures‘s summer program.