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The Startup Journey of Bustudymate: Turning Blog into Business-Bustudymate 

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It all started in 2017, within the vibrant walls of a Domino’s in Bangalore. As Deeksha celebrated her birthday, she, AnuLeka, and I, Pradyumna, hatched an idea that would soon evolve into a pivotal resource for Bangalore University students. We envisaged a platform that could facilitate easier access to question papers—a tool that would eventually morph into something much greater.

I set up the first iteration of our platform on Blogger, creating a domain known as BUquestionpaper.blogspot.com. This early version was simple yet functional, focusing primarily on making question papers available. I pulled the initial batches of papers directly from my college’s library at AIMS Institute, digitizing them and making them accessible online. As I tweaked the blog’s template and navigated the complexities of website design, I also implemented digital marketing strategies learned from Digital Deepak courses, which were crucial in steadily growing our visitor traffic.

The project’s scope expanded significantly when a Facebook connection from the HellBound Bloggers group suggested renaming the platform to BU Study Mate, better reflecting our expanded mission. This rebranding was more than cosmetic—it was a signal to our audience that we were evolving, prepared to serve their broader educational needs.

Varun joined the team, bringing his technical expertise to bear on enhancing the site’s architecture. Our efforts caught the eye of my college’s entrepreneurial cell and incubator, mentored by RANGANATHAN KRISHNA RAO Sir. Recognition also came from our college CFO, Mr. Priyanandan, who helped us secure an advertisement space deal. This not only provided seed funding but also marked our transition to a more robust CMS, allowing us to manage our growing content needs more efficiently.

Under this new system, BU Study Mate expanded to include comprehensive academic resources for all undergraduate courses. Our daily visitor count soared to 5,000, underscoring the platform’s increasing relevance and impact.

In response to our growth, we launched a second-hand textbook selling platform with a unique hyperlocal delivery system. Using classmates’ homes as ‘dark warehouses,’ we created a distribution network that initially showed promising results but eventually proved challenging to scale effectively.

Our community engagement efforts also included the Campus Ambassador program, which helped extend our reach and deepen our impact within the student community.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, disrupting traditional education systems, we quickly pivoted to support our community through RobustLearn, a free LMS developed in collaboration with volunteers like Hara Prasad, Chetan, and others, who dedicated their time and skills to support students and educators during the crisis.

As we innovated, we introduced career-oriented courses designed to seamlessly transition students from college to corporate environments, facilitating direct job placements through training and referrals by corporate professionals.

Despite our successes and expansion, financial sustainability remained a challenge, leading to the difficult decision to announce the shutdown of Bustudymate by May 2024. However, we are committed to maintaining the site and its resources free for an additional five years.

In this journey, the contributions of individuals like Rakesh, who led our graphic team, and late Hemanth, who managed our photography, were invaluable.Prasad , Gururaj and Anusha J were crucial in turning my vision into reality and crafting compelling content in our early days. Our interns, Aishwarya and Yashwanth, along with countless others, have each played a significant role in our story.

As we approach this transition, we extend our deepest gratitude to everyone who has been part of this extraordinary journey. Your support has been instrumental, and while we may be closing this chapter, the spirit and impact of Bustudymate will continue.

Pradyumna
Co-Founder,
Bustudymate.in

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