Leo Gutierrez ’14 (business administration) and Jennifer Barber ’14 (business administration and entrepreneurship) are launching a new student service called BookMe to help students save money when purchasing textbooks.
BookMe allows students to come together to buy and sell their textbooks. Instead of selling a book back to the bookstore, students can sell it directly to another student. BookMe takes a $3 transaction fee from each party but it does not decide the book’s selling price.
Textbooks are constantly being updated and sold at higher prices making them expensive for students to afford. According to the website, Book Me encourages students to be entrepreneurial by posting each textbook at a price the student determines.
The idea of BookMe came from a class project where the students had to develop a new idea and present it to a panel of possible investors and mentors at the end of the semester. Gutierrez says he had no idea what he wanted to focus his project on at first, but he knew that whatever he came up with would have to help students.
“I knew that textbook prices were affecting everyone,” says Gutierrez. “I knew that I had some expensive books, and finding a solution would be a great project.
BookMe will be launched slowly on the Cal State Fullerton campus so they can make minor changes to the website as students join. They eventually want to expand it to other local colleges.
“We don’t need to stop here,” says Gutierrez. “We can take this concept to all schools.”
After graduation, Gutierrez hopes to focus on developing BookMe into a successful company. He has gained a lot of insight for his future ventures because of Mihaylo, he says.
“The challenges that professors have incorporated into the curriculum have been very useful,” says Gutierrez.
His partner, Barber, ended up at Cal State Fullerton because of its entrepreneurship program. She is a Business Honors student and was previously on the ASI Board of Directors for Mihaylo.
“My parents have had their own businesses ever since I can remember,” says Barber. “I feel like entrepreneurship is in my blood. I can’t imagine spending the rest of my life working for someone else.”
Barber would like to see BookMe grow and eventually have several businesses of her own.
“My ultimate goal is to be a part of something bigger and develop a non-profit organization that forces us to look beyond the shiny walls of southern California and the United States,” says Barber. “There are more important things to be talking about out there, and I want to be a part of the conversation.”
For more information on BookMe and to take advantage of this service, visit their website here.