KAUST Startup Acadox: help you manage your academic activities in a simple, social, and fun way

23 Oct, 2012

Back to our startup review, today we feature Acadox from Saudi Arabia, Acadox is a social learning and academic networking platform
The startup was founded at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) by 2 Syrian and 1 Saudi Mustafa Nabulsi, Nedal Mourad and Mohammad Alhareeqi. And it was funded by KAUST seed fund program.

ArabCrunch had a little Q&A with Mustafa:

Who are the founder of Acadox what is thier background and nationality:
Mustafa Nabulsi, Master of computer science from KAUST, and software engineering bachelor from KFUPM, Syrian
Nedal Mourad, Master of computer science from KAUST, and software engineering bachelor from KFUPM, Syrian
Mohammad Alhareeqi, software engineering bachelor from KFUPM, Saudi

What is the main problem the platform solves?
Students have many activities to manage during their academic career. There are many fragmented solutions out there to help students manage their academic, professional and social activities. However, these solutions are part of the problem because they are distracting and they waste student’s time and focus. Acadox solves this by provided an integrated package to help students manage their activities in a more efficient and organized way. We are focusing on the MENA region and we are also solving the language barrier problem of many other systems by providing a fully Arabized interface.  
 
Is there competition? if so who are they and how you are different?
The main competition we face is in the learning management section of Acadox. There are several systems that could be considered as competitors such as Blackboard, and Moodle. Acadox is different than these as we provide more than learning management, and we are completely cloud based which makes Acadox flexible, and easily accessible from anywhere. Acadox also enables communication channels beyond one’s college which encourages knowledge sharing and a richer collaboration. This is not the case with the other systems as they are isolated and restricted to the college internally. The other type of competition is the personal initiatives from students and faculty members to build personal blogs, websites, forums, etc. These bring us to the problem of fragmentation and distraction by checking too many places for your activities as a student.

What is your business model how you plan to monetize?
We have a free basic version for students and faculty members to sign up and use the platform for free.
And there is the premium version where colleges’ admins subscribe to Acadox with certain fees to get extra features such as reporting, intelligence, control, registration, and others.
We also plan on adding more revenue streams in the future, such as advertisement, partnering with recruiting agencies, book publishers, and application developers. Acadox can also extend to serve corporate that have internal training programs. 

Marketing? what is your strategy?
Acadox day: We will hold an event in colleges to present Acadox and give short training to students and faculty on how to use it
Acadox Ambassadors: we already have 24 ambassadors around the kingdom and increasing. They are promoting Acadox in their colleges
Social media marketing
Faculty champions: working closely with faculty members around the MENA to be the early adapters of Acadox in their colleges and promote it to the others.
As for new features that site added here is a list:
- Interactive Course Manager: it allows faculty members to manage their classes, share material and study resources, interact with the students, initiate discussion threads, publish assignments and grade them on the platform, publish the grades and feedback to students, manage course roster & students lists, share announcements, and other course management tasks
- Rich Profiles: users will be able to fill up their profile with different progress and documentations, such as awards, recognition, certificates, etc. This will grow as students progress and then it will be a ready CV to share with potential employers with a click of a button
- Integration with mega job sites that allow Acadox students to migrate immediate upon their will to the exposure of employers using the mega job sites in the middle east.
- Community interaction hub: This tool allows the users of a specific community to interact and share their interest, news, events,within their community. (as a college)
- Study groups (public classes): This allows any students with a common interest in a certain course to create its page without the need to an official professor on board, where they can share their notes, materials, links, discussions, etc.
- API: A programming interface that allows us and any creative developer to add new rich features to Acadox as we move forward based on the user’s feedback. Features like test banks, interactive wikis, course scheduler, etc.
- Other supporting features such as personal schedule, private e-mailing system linked to main email, and interactive notifications system  

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