Science and Technology on US campuses: Can iStanford take on Facebook Mobile?
By Josh Quittner
It's like a Jeopardy category: Guys Who Created Fortune 500 Tech Companies While at Stanford University. Could Kayvon Beykpour and Aaron Wasserman be the next power dudes to join that group?
Kayvon and Aaron, along with a group of five other friends, have built a free application for the iPhone that has the academic world buzzing. So far, their program, "iStanford," which launched Oct. 1, is pretty straightforward: users can access a campus map and course catalog, e-mail professors and get news and information about sports teams.
The newest version, slated to arrive shortly, allows students to add and drop courses, see the real-time whereabouts of the on-campus shuttle bus, review their grades and course history and perform a variety of other administrative tasks that are normally accessible only over secure campus networks. That's because, in an unusual move, Stanford's IT folks allowed the developers to connect to core computer systems at Stanford.
If you could create the de facto campus app for other US schools, giving college students information they need while connecting them with one other, you could create a far more useful, mobile version of Facebook. The app has been so well received at Stanford that scores of schools around the country have contacted the students' company about designing their own iPhone apps: http://terriblyclever.com/.