DJ Stephan and Sean Conway enter the tank in the 8th episode of season 1 with a product that makes students’ lives easier.
They ask for $90,000 for 10% of their business and ended up making a deal with Barbara Corcoran for $90,000k at 25% equity in their business.
It all started when Justin and Sean ran into each other at the University of Arizona library and had the idea of putting lecture notes online. And that is how NoteHall was born.
Chegg, a textbook rental company, acquired NoteHall for $3.7M in equity and undisclosed cash. Later, Notehall.com was incorporated into the Chegg Homework Help site.
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What is Notehall?
One of the most difficult things about taking notes in school is trying to keep up with the professor while also trying to write everything down.
This can be especially difficult if the professor is speaking quickly or covering a lot of material. Some students have trouble deciphering what is important to write down and what they can let go of.
Other students have trouble hearing the professor and miss important information. As a student, we are sure you have tried many things to make the note-taking process easier.
Like trying to sit in the front of the room so you can see and hear the professor clearly. Or if you have trouble hearing, try to get a seat closer to the front.
Trying to focus on what the professor is saying and write down key points instead of trying to write down every single word – focusing on the main ideas.
Or even asking the professor to repeat something or to clarify. You have done it all. And finally, you have tried asking your classmates for help after class if you need it.
Taking notes can be a difficult task, we all know the feeling of sitting in a lecture and trying to take notes, only to find that our handwriting is illegible, or that we can’t keep up with the pace of the lecturer.
One of the most common problems is trying to write down everything that the lecturer is saying. This is often impossible and can lead to missing important points or taking down irrelevant information.
Another common problem is illegible handwriting as we stated earlier. This can be frustrating, both for you and for anyone who has to read your notes later.
Finally, many people struggle with taking notes at a fast pace. This can be especially difficult if you’re trying to listen to the lecture and write at the same time.
But what if we tell you that there is a solution to your Note taking problems? What if you can access the notes of students who have the best note-taking skills?
The name of that solution is NoteHall. On the website of NoteHall, college students can buy and sell class notes.
Students who want to sell their class notes, outlines, or study tips to their classmates can upload documents to Notehall.
Students who want to buy documents can do so by purchasing credits from the website, which can then be used to see the materials.
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NoteHall Shark Tank Pitch (What happened at the Show)
D.J. Stephan begins the presentation by introducing himself and Sean Conway to the Sharks as well as informing them that the name of their firm is Notehall.
D.J. Stephan states that they are seeking an investment of ninety thousand dollars, in exchange for ten percent of their company Notehall.
Sean Conway continues the presentation by saying that Notehall is a website that allows college students to buy and sell class notes and study guides for each of their college courses.
Sean Conway gives Kevin O’Leary an example and says let’s pretend Kevin has a huge exam coming up.
Naturally, Kevin will write a study manual to help him get ready for the test. The same study guide can also be available for Kevin to publish on Notehal and make some money.
Sean Conway takes Robert Herjavec as an example of a student being distracted and says that Robert has not been paying attention to class because he was distracted by that gorgeous blonde girl.
Robert will be able to log onto Notehall and acquire Kevin’s study guide for a few dollars. This will allow Kevin to receive payment for the time and work he invested in creating his study guide.
D.J. Stephan continues by saying that the process is very simple, and within eight months of launching at the University of Arizona, over forty percent of the students on campus make use of Notehall.
Stephan states that they launched a pilot of Notehall at Arizona State University and Kansas University, and they saw increased traffic with zero advertisement costs.
Stephan continues by stating that they have plans to introduce Notehall at 24 additional campuses in the US. With the Sharks’ support, they will be able to broaden Notehall’s footprint and make it accessible both domestically and abroad.
Robert asks if it is legal to launch a service like Notehall.
In response, Stephan and Sean Conway say that their service is completely legitimate and legal.
Sean Conway continues by saying that they are teaching the students how to take notes and improving their knowledge of the course material. There’s nothing illegal about that.
Stephan and Sean Conway are questioned by Barbara Corcoran on how they determine whether or not the study materials uploaded are accurate.
Sean replies that the students will be able to read roughly 30% of the real material before they have to pay money to see the entire thing.
This is before they buy notes or study guides. This way the student can make sure if the notes they are buying are any good.
Stephan also adds that people have a full money-back guarantee if they are not satisfied with the study materials they purchased. Stephan also says that only a very tiny number of people have requested a refund.
NoteHall’s annual sales are questioned by Daymond John. In response to the query, Sean Conway states that they have generated roughly $30,000 worth of income from about 59,000 credit card transactions over the course of a year.
Kevin O’Leary inquires about the cost of an ordinary note or study guide. In response to the query, Sean Conway states that the typical transaction cost is roughly around $4.90.
Sean is questioned by Robert on how Notehall is making money for themselves.
Sean answers the question by stating that Notehall retains 60% of a transaction and distribute the remaining 40% to the student who sold their course notes or study materials.
According to Kevin O’Leary, Notehall is a brilliant idea that, like many other excellent ideas on the internet, is also prone to get duplicated quickly.
According to Stephan, there are a few other players in the same sector who are also providing notes and study materials, but none of them have yet found success.
Stephan continues by stating that Notehall had 1500 new students sign up in less than six weeks, demonstrating just how popular Notehall is with students.
Some of Notehall’s main rivals have been in business for more than a year, but only around 1300 students have joined up for their services. Which is a very small number.
Stephan is questioned by Barbara Corcoran as to why there is such a significant gap and why Notehall’s rivals weren’t able to sign up as many people.
In response to the query, Stephan claims that Notehall’s life button is a successful and efficient method of enlisting content creators.
Notehall’s competitors are attempting to get as many users as they can. Even though their users are not producing any helpful information, Students won’t even be interested in using such services if the material is of low quality.
Sean and Stephan are asked what they plan to do with the funds by Kevin. In response to the query, Stephan states that they will spend the entire sum of money to expand into further universities around the United States of America.
How many new customers will join up for Notehall if they spend the full $90,000 on acquisition? says Barbara Corcoran.
Sean Conway responds to the query by stating that they can obtain approximately 85,000 users for the sum of $90,000.
Sean Conway and D.J. Stephan are questioned by Kevin O’Leary about why they believe Notehall is worth $900,000.
On the other hand, according to Kevin Harrington, investing in start-ups is risky and he believes Notehall is too new and in its early stages. Kevin Harrington declares that he is out and wishes Sean Conway and D.J. Stephan well.
Even if Notehall is a really fantastic idea, according to Daymond John, he is not willing to invest in it. Daymond John claims he is also out.
Sean Conway and D.J. Stephan are once more questioned by Kevin O’Leary about why they believe Notehall is worth $900,000 despite having only $30,000 in sales.
Sean Conway responds to the query by stating that over 1500 users joined Notehall at Arizona State University and Kansas University in just six weeks, making it very well-liked in comparison to the competitors.
According to Kevin O’Leary, the figures by themselves do not support profitability. According to Robert, Stephan, and Sean Conway’s response to Kevin O’Leary’s query will influence whether or not he is motivated to make an offer.
Sean Conway responds to the query by asserting that Notehall will generate $24 million in revenue over the course of four years and that he would wager half of his business on it. Sean Conway claims to have faith in Notehall and to be certain of its success.
Kevin O’Leary offers $100,000 in exchange for 51% of Notehall. In order to allow D.J. Stephan and Sean Conway to focus on enrolling new students, Kevin promises to keep out of their way.
And If Stephan and Sean can give Kevin O’Leary $20 million, he will turn them into multimillionaires by going public.
A ninety thousand dollar offer is also made by Barbara Corcoran. According to her, exchanging her English lessons for math homework was the best business decision she has ever made, thus she has every right to be there.
She claims that she did it for six months while maintaining decent marks until being discovered.
According to Robert Herjavec, D.J. Stephan and Sean Conway should thoroughly consider the offers since it matters more how much money you keep in your wallet than how much you get for the item you sell.
Sean Conway and D.J. Stephan are questioned by Kevin O’Leary about their counterproposal. According to Sean Conway, they are willing to sell fifteen percent of Notehall for $90,000 and will also throw in an insurance plan on top of that.
According to the insurance contract, Sean Conway and D.J. Stephan must forfeit their shares of Notehall to the Sharks if Notehall doesn’t generate $1 million in income in 24 months.
Kevin O’Leary claims that the only offer he is capable of making is $90,000 for 35% of Notehall. Barbara Corcoran declares that she has no doubts that Notehall will be a success and makes an offer of $90,000 in exchange for 25% of Notehall.
Knowing what you’re doing is essential for successful internet enterprises, according to Robert Herjavec.
He claims that all of his previous work has been in the internet sector and that he is willing to provide $115k in exchange for 35% of Notehall.
In line with Robert Herjavec, Kevin O’Leary says he will match Robert’s offer and increase his offer to $115,000 for 35% of Notehall.
No one else in the room, according to Kevin O’Leary, has the same background or expertise working with educational platforms as him.
Barbara Corcoran complains that Kevin O’Leary and Robert Herjavec make it seem as though she has no expertise working with online businesses.
According to Barbara Corcoran, she is still willing to give the lads $90,000 in exchange for 25% of Notehall, but they have a six-month option to buy her out if they don’t enjoy working with her.
This implies that the founders will have to return her $90,000 in addition to a 20% interest charge.
Kevin O’Leary and Robert Herjavec decided to work together and provide the same deal that Barbara Corcoran gave, which is ninety thousand dollars in exchange for twenty-five percent of Notehall, as a result of what Barbara Corcoran just said.
D.J. Stephan and Sean Conway choose to accept Barbara Corcoran’s offer to collaborate with her. D.J. Stephan and Sean Conway left the studio after accepting Barbara Corcoran’s offer, but Kevin O’Leary doesn’t seem to wrap his head around this.
Kevin expresses his displeasure at their decision to collaborate with Barbara Corcoran, who is essentially a very wealthy real estate agent.
Despite the disappointment, Kevin says that Notehall will succeed and wishes D.J. Stephan and Sean Conway well. And they walk out of there with a deal from Barbara.
Notehall Shark Tank Update (What Happened AFTER the Show)
Notehall attracted a lot of attention after securing a partnership with Barbara Corcoran, which ultimately led to its acquisition by Chegg.
Notehall reportedly obtained $3.7 million worth of shares from Chegg, according to the business’s Form D filing with the SEC. The exact amount of money that Chegg paid for the company remains unknown.
|Product||Online platform for Note sharing|
|Asked For||$90,000 Dollars for 10%|
|Final Deal||$90,000 Dollars for 25%|
|Episode||Season 1, Episode 8|
|Air Date||6 October 2009|
Chegg, a firm that specializes the textbook rental and student services, bought Notehall in 2011 for a total price of $3.7 million in equity and an amount of cash that was not disclosed, and it was subsequently incorporated into the Chegg platform.
After the episode was broadcast, the partners ultimately decided to turn down the offer that Corcoran made to them and instead opt to participate in the Dream IT ventures program instead.
Prior to the company being purchased by Chegg, they were successful in gaining admission to 54 institutions, where a total of around 750,000 students were enrolled.
Is Notehall still in business?
Yes, Notehall was acquired by Chegg for $3.7 Million and is still up and running.
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Meet the Notehall Founders
Sean Conway was born on May 27, 1984. He is a businessman, investor, and entrepreneur from the United States. Sean has invested in and developed companies like Notehall and Pillow, the latter of which was purchased by the Expedia Group in 2018.
Conway was raised in San Diego and earned his bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship and marketing from the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management.
In 2008, Conway and his friends D.J. Stephan, Justin Miller, and Fadi Chalfoun launched Notehall, an online marketplace where college students may buy and sell class notes.
They made an appearance on an episode of the reality series Shark Tank, where they publicly accepted Barbara Corcoran’s offer to invest $90,000 in exchange for a stake in the company.
Later, Notehall was acknowledged as one of the top nine Shark Tank startups. Conway and his Notehall co-founders were finalists for the title of America’s Best Young Entrepreneurs in 2009. 2011 saw Chegg purchase Notehall. Conway worked for the business for two years.
Conway co-founded Airenvy Inc. with Justin Miller, Dan Palumbo, and Todd Conway in 2013 not long after selling Notehall.
It presently operates in 35 cities, including San Francisco and Denver, and permits multifamily property owners and occupants to make their apartments available for short-term rentals.
Later, Pillow was added to the name. Conway has also made investments in startups including Rentlytics, AudioFile, and Tilt.
With the support of his classmates D.J. Stephan, Justin Miller, and Fadi Chalfoun, Conway launched Notehall in 2008, an online marketplace that enables college students to buy and sell class notes.
Sean Conway states that while he was in college, he found himself struggling to pay attention during his classes.
The doctor diagnosed him with ADHD, a condition that can make it difficult to focus on tasks. They made an appearance on an episode of the reality series Shark Tank, where they publicly accepted Barbara Corcoran’s offer to invest $90,000 in exchange for a stake in the company.
Later, Notehall was acknowledged as one of the top nine Shark Tank startups.
Notehall was one of nine businesses that appeared on the show “Shark Tank” in 2011. However, after working with Dreamit Ventures, Notehall received a $1 million investment in 2009.
At present, he is a positive innovator who loves building companies that people love using and enabling their entrepreneurial spirit.
According to D.J. Stephan, Notehall is a win-win situation for both pupils because those who take excellent notes can publish them there and get paid.
Students who fall behind for any number of reasons can log onto Notehall and buy class notes to nearly immediately catch up.
What People are Saying About Notehall?
One thing people like about Notehall is you get to customize your notes however you like. You can flexibly change the font, note color, and even background to make Notehall exactly how you want it.
Chegg has a consumer rating of 1.47 stars from 336 reviews. The company’s customer service is the biggest complaint consumers have about the site.
The average rating for customer service is 2.3 stars, and complaints about the quality of customer service received by customers are common.
Consumers also complain about issues with credit cards, bank accounts, and other financial matters. Chegg ranks 70th among Textbooks sites in terms of overall satisfaction with the site as a whole (1.47 stars).
Most users repeatedly stated that the study packs are OVERPRICED! As compared to the other ones. Moreover, the content isn’t really making any sense.
The book purchased had no updates to its newly released syllabus (which means that you have to rely on PDF files your instructor may or may not have for those newest edition chapters that were supposedly available and benefit from this “service”)
What is the Controversy around NoteHall?
The monetization of notes by Notehall, according to university officials and faculty members, is unethical and illegal.
They also claim that Notehall, CourseHero, and OneClass infringe the rights of people to their intellectual property. According to some, Notehall makes money by using the work of others without their consent.
Additionally, Colorado State University claimed that the marketing of notes will give rise to a black market. It also results in copyright breaches.
Students have claimed that taking notes in class improves them and encourages learning, even though all of the accusations are true, and that the notes they take are theirs, not the teachers’.
Notehall’s Net Worth
Chegg has acquired Notehall for a reported $3.7 million in cash and shares. The net worth of Notehall has not been made public.
Where has Notehall been featured?
Additionally, the note hall’s co-founders participated in 2009 and were nominated for young entrepreneurs in the Americas.
The US news reported that Notehall is one of the best student social media platforms. Students at college are required to use this forum to interact with their peers, and other students, and to share books and information.
One of Sean Conway’s co-founders was featured in the Wall Street Journal for using incredible creativity to raise money for the business during the recession.
In August 2009, a Techcrunch report makes dream IT public.
Course Hero is an online learning platform that provides tools for studying customized to individual courses.
Course Hero was established in 2006 by Andrew Grauer, then a college student, with the goal of assisting students in graduating with both self-assurance and preparation.
Students who are looking for aid and tools to better comprehend their courses, prepare for tests, study, and remember information are supported by Course Hero throughout their individual educational journeys.
Students have the option of subscribing to have access to millions of learning materials such as practice problems, study guides, solutions to textbook problems, and step-by-step explanations for each and every subject or they can donate their own resources.
More than 80,000 educators from the United States, Canada, and Australia have signed up to become members of the Course Hero educator community in order to exchange teaching materials, work together with other educators, and develop innovative approaches to classroom instruction.
The company, which has its headquarters in Redwood City, California, is a virtual-first business with offices in the United States, Canada, Israel, and India.
Educators can collaborate with other teachers, exchange their materials, and develop innovative teaching methods by using the platform provided by Course Hero.
There are currently around 80,000 teachers using the site. The teaching staff contributes a variety of resources, including quizzes, assignments, case studies, lecture notes, and more.
Course Hero offers a variety of event formats, including seminars, talks, and community gatherings, for faculty members to participate in so that they can learn new skills and teaching tactics from other instructors and subject matter experts.
According to their website, CliffsNotes is the original and most frequently imitated study aid. Since CliffsNotes study materials are created by actual academics and teachers, they may benefit you with all of your coursework and improve your exam results.
On April 18, 1918, Clifton Keith Hillegass, who would later develop CliffsNotes, was born in Rising City, Nebraska. He was the originator of CliffsNotes.
Following his graduation from college, he found employment at Long’s College Bookstore in the capacity of college bookstore salesperson (now the Nebraska Book Company).
While working at Long’s, Cliff made several connections, including one with Jack Cole, the proprietor of Coles, The Book People.
Cole’s company was responsible for the production of study guides known as Cole’s Notes, which were published in Canada. Cliff was told by Cole that an American version of the notes would be appreciated by pupils in the United States.
In August of 1958, Cliff first introduced his series of CliffsNotes study aids for Shakespeare, which consisted of sixteen different titles.
Cliff developed the company that produced study guides that would go on to become an icon for multiple generations, and he did all of this work out of Lincoln, Nebraska.
The life of Mr. Hillegass came to an end on May 5, 2001, when he was 83 years old.CliffsNotes, Inc. was purchased by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) in the year 2012.
CliffsNotes was sold to Course Hero in 2021 by HMH, and since that time, Course Hero has carried on the CliffsNotes tradition of assisting students in acquiring knowledge all over the world.
The goal of StuDocu is to improve academic performance across the board by making the most effective study tools available to as many people as possible.
They’re based in a nice and bright office in the center of Amsterdam with the canals, restaurants, and cafes right around the corner.
In 2013, a group of four students established this platform so that they could share academic materials and collaborate on improving their grades.
The best documents that have been shared by your fellow students could all be found in one place thanks to Studocu.
There are currently more than 12.5 million students utilizing StuDocu to gain access to their high-quality course materials.
Millions of students have also contributed study documents, and that can be accessed by anybody, anywhere around the globe.
In 2011, Stuvia was established on the firm conviction that there should be a place where information and knowledge could be easily shared.
The platform provides a place for students to learn in a way that is both more effective and more intelligent, and they also have the opportunity to earn money while doing so.
To date, Stuvia has been used in more than 180 countries. And have had millions of users making money while educating themselves.
When did chegg buy Notehall?
Chegg bought NoteHall in June 2011.
Is it legal to sell lecture notes?
It is legal to sell lecture notes in the United States. There are no copyright laws that prevent an individual from selling their notes.
There are, however, laws that protect the intellectual property of the lecturer. It is important to check with the lecturer before selling their notes.
How much money did Notehall make?
Notehall got $3.7 million in equity, as shown on form D in the company’s SEC filing