When Ty McDuffie heard a voice on the radio suggest “investing” in students, he decided to take it literally.
McDuffie is launching StockofU.com, a website dedicated to helping students earn money for college and make networking contacts by allowing them to sell shares in their college development, stock market-style.
Shares start at $2 apiece. As students improve their grades, log community service hours, enter class notes and more, their shares’ worth skyrockets.
The site is currently in test phases, set to go fully operational later this year. Since it’s a free site for students, McDuffie hopes to make his profit from corporations who register to find students who are a good fit for their business post-graduation.
Staff writer Chelsea Kellner snagged an interview with McDuffie last week to hear where the Raleigh-based “serial entrepreneur” hopes it’s headed.
Responses have been edited for length.
The minimum price is $2 per share, and goes up as high as $15. The investor is committing up to $15, depending on how well the student does. Students must have a verifiable .edu email address to join.
For my girls, I want to provide every opportunity to get out there and, by the strength of their own work, afford to get and stay in college. I want to give all kids a chance to shine even if their GPA isn’t perfect. This is an opportunity to provide a complete picture of a student who maybe doesn’t take tests well, but has leadership potential.
There are certain things we are not going to be able to verify – like for instance, when students upload pages of class notes – but for things we can’t verify, we deliberately set the price value much lower.