Introduction to eLab Startup: NOOZIT!
This month’s eNews features Noozit!, a startup that provides readers with a cheaper way to read news from multiple outlets. Noozit! was founded by Baron DuBois (Engineering ‘20), Skye Richardson (Engineering ‘19), Evan Turner (Engineering ‘19), and Constantin Miranda (A&S ‘19). Noozit! uses a cross-platform payment system that allows users to acquire content from a variety of different media publishers at a per-article rate.
The idea came to fruition last August while co-founder Baron was discussing with his father the frustration of having to pay for multiple news subscriptions, and how there should be a way to acquire articles at a time. Dubois took finding the solution into his own hands, and the team began looking into startup incubators in Ithaca for guidance. Another team member had previously worked for a company that was launched through eLab.
The Noozit! team has found eLab incredibly helpful, especially having little past entrepreneurial experience. eLab has provided critical guidance at every step, from customer discovery and creating business partnerships, to marketing and raising funds from venture capital. Through eLab, co-founder Evan was able to fly out to Cornell Silicon Valley, opening up vast new channels for outreach and networking. The Noozit! team genuinely believes that they would not be where they are without the help of eLab and its immensely knowledgeable and experienced instructors.
Being a part of eLab has also pushed the Noozit! team past some of their most considerable obstacles thus far. When Apple News came out, the Noozit! team grew quite concerned about how Apple’s new services would compete with theirs. The instructors at eLab helped relieve some of the team’s anxiety about this and showed them ways to carry on without losing steam due to competition. While Apple News alarmed the Noozit! team at first, the team looked deeper into the problem, using it to hone in on exactly what kind of company they want to be. Apple takes 50% of the profit from their partnerships with news organizations, while Noozit! only monetizes off of much smaller percentages. The Noozit! team realized that they are all working on this product because they appreciate the news, and decided while they do need to keep monetization a priority, their main goal is to sustain the news industry.