Dartmouth student start-up receives 1.35M in funding following a summer in YCombinator
Hanover, NY, September 28, 2018 – College Pulse, a student start-up co-founded by Terren Klein ‘17 and Robin Jayaswal ’18, and developed in the Dartmouth Applied Learning and Innovation (DALI) Lab, recently closed a 1.35M fundraising seed round after a summer in YCombinator. They are working with Madrona and GSV Accelerate, as well as a few strategic angels including YCombinator founder, Paul Graham. GSV Accelerate is an education vertical VC with companies like Chegg, Coursehero, Masterclass.
Pulse is a community opinion platform that shows students what their campus thinks about topics they want to know about. Launched at Dartmouth in November 2016, the platform now has 15,000 daily active users, 45,000 monthly users, and has launched at 42 college campuses across the US. They achieve engagement by incentivizing students with access to interactive results and rewards. They have collected 25M answers to surveys. The platform, available on iOS, Android and desktop, was designed and developed with the support of the DALI Lab.
The Dali Lab has played an instrumental role in the development and success of Pulse. It’s been a real privilege to be able to work with so many talented student developers and designers over the past two years.
– Terren Klein, Pulse CEO
This seed round came on the heels of a summer in YCombinator, the same accelerator that invested in Airbnb, Dropbox, Reddit, and Doordash. YC has funded 1,430 companies since its founding in 2005, the combined valuation of which is $85B. Startups with YC work intensively to create a solid foundation to launch their businesses and raise funding on a larger scale. YC provides support, introductions to investors, and funding.
The DALI Lab offers Dartmouth students (hired as Designers, Developers, and Project Managers) an opportunity to create technology tools for partners from around the world. DALI students designed and developed Pulse’s website and mobile application and scaled it to support thousands of users. DALI continued to provide space, mentorship, and design and development support to Pulse until their move to YCombinator in June 2018.
Klein applied to DALI with his idea in the Winter of 2016. DALI Lab fell in love with Klein's simple, yet revolutionary idea and granted Pulse with a team of DALI designers and developers to bring his idea to life. A natural partnership between Klein and Jayaswal formed during the first term of working with DALI, and Jayaswal became the CTO of Pulse in Spring of 2016. Since Pulse first began working with DALI, 18 DALI students from 7 majors have worked on the project.
“Pulse gave me the opportunity as a developer in the lab to not only refine my existing skills but to also challenge me to explore new tools and technologies that are commonly used in the tech industry.”
– Ijemma Onwuzulike ’19, DALI Lead Developer
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