Kayvon Beykpour, 20 / MobilEdu
Kayvon Beykpour’s various business ventures have a theme: helping big institutions get hip to the web. His epiphany came during an internship at the ad agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners after his freshman year at Stanford. He had been helping many of the firm’s big clients develop their web presence. “It occurred to me that there was a whole lot more opportunity if I was working on my own,” he says. So Beykpour and his childhood friend, Joe Bernstein, started Terribly Clever Design, and began reaching out to the very same companies.
Around the same time, Facebook had become big, and so they also started creating web applications. “We went around to companies like Sprint and Comcast and said, â€˜Look, we’re college kids. We know how kids use Facebook. Let us implement your brand campaigns on this new medium.” In just a few months, the pair was managing the Facebook presence for Sprint, Best Buy, Comcast, Doritos and others.
Beykpour and Bernstein, both iPhone fanatics, also pitched their school on iStanford, a mobile application that would allow students and faculty to access all university services, from a course catalog to the athletic department schedule, on their iPhones. If a friend recommends a class, the application would give you a course description and tell you when and where the classes are being held the next semester, as well as provide a brief bio of the professor.
iStanford launched last fall, and the partners quickly began offering it to other schools. In March, Duke University introduced its version, called DukeMobile. Another five schools are set to go live in the next month, says Beykpour, who is also into filmmaking-he won two student Emmys for documentaries in high school. A venture source familiar with the company said that by the end of the year, mobilEdu will have brought in upwards of $1 million in revenue.