One of the biggest problems I had in school was keeping up with assignments. It was not out of laziness or anything like that. Rather it was more a result of scribbling notes all over the place. Classes that I struggled in, necessarily, took priority over classes I did well in. The result was a sort-of mishmash of notes and due dates that I struggled to maintain. Long story short, I missed a lot of due dates. If only ClassOwl was around while I was in college. ClassOwl is a unique take on the daily planner, built specifically for college students. The founders of the company, Sam Purtill and Julienne Lam, started building what would become ClassOwl while they were Sophomores at Stanford.

ClassOwl was founded by a group of Stanford sophomores wanting to improve the hectic academic experience. Professors and students are constantly faced with the challenge of staying organized and up-to-date with assignments and deadlines as existing methods are time-intensive and unreliable. ClassOwl provides an easy solution to a difficult problem. To save time and better this process, ClassOwl provides a central platform that everyone can use to access the information that is relevant to them. Using mobile and web technology, ClassOwl unifies coursework onto a single planner, saving students and professors valuable time and energy.

The ClassOwl Team was kind enough to answer a few questions for us and give you, dear reader, a special discount code:


What is ClassOwl?

ClassOwl is an education app that gives teachers and students a place to communicate and collaborate on assignments, deadlines, and requirements. Teachers using ClassOwl field fewer questions and late homework from their students; students that use ClassOwl are less stressed, more engaged, and do better in their classes.

What makes ClassOwl better than everything else?

There’s nothing out there that helps students and teachers communicate and collaborate on assignments as quickly and easily as we do. Whether you’re on-the-go and are getting push notifications on your iPhone, or in the library tethered to your laptop, ClassOwl is going to keep you organized and on top of everything in school.

ClassOwl App

Why did you get involved in the Ed-Tech space?

As two sophomores at Stanford, we looked for an app to help ourselves and our friends do better in school with less stress. We tried dozens of apps, but there was nothing specifically built to help us communicate about deadlines and requirements with our teachers and fellow classmates. We thought the best way to make this happen was to start a startup and involve as many of our friends and professors as possible, which was the genesis of ClassOwl. We conducted dozens of surveys, focus groups, meet-ups, and “dorm storms” (ie flyering freshman dorms). Through all of this, we saw demand from both teachers and students from all over the world and started working on it full-time in July, 2013. Today, we have an app that does the first part of what we set out to do — it fixes the communication gap between teachers and students!

Tell us about your team and their backgrounds

Sam (CEO) has guided the vision and product since the company’s inception in 2011. Programming since the age of 11, he took two gap years after high school to work as a professional software engineer in San Francisco. While at Stanford, he worked as a Summer Associate at Founders Fund, giving him experience working with over 30 start-up companies. Sam studied Philosophy with a focus on logic and epistemology, both of which inform the architecture of ClassOwl. He is also the managing partner and co-founder of Okapi Studio, a development agency he helped grow since high school, and is responsible for over one million dollars in revenue from project work over the last ?ve years.

Julienne (President) holds a BA in Psychology from Stanford University. At Stanford, she learned design-thinking principles and studied the interaction between social psychology and organizational behavior. Having founded ClassOwl during her sophomore year, she designed ClassOwl’s guerilla branding and marketing campaigns to leverage the network effect for user acquisition. She leads ClassOwl’s business development and manages software as a service account sales. She previously worked as a project and account manager at Okapi Studio, an international digital development and design consultancy. At Okapi, she led data visualization projects, using creative info-graphics to communicate ideas and tell powerful stories. In her spare time she consults for non-profits through DSO and also enjoys hiking, traveling, attending concerts, playing Ping-Pong and tennis, and learning new songs on her guitar.

The rest of the team can be found here:

What is the next step? What do your current goals look like?

We’ve seen huge success in our pilot classes and schools; teachers are telling us their students come prepared, are more engaged and turn in less late homework.

Our next step is to bring ClassOwl to a wider audience! We are looking for teachers to join our pilot program this fall, where we will check in every two weeks for feedback on our product and how it is working in your class. We have created a special code for TechFaster readers who want to join, just use “TECHFASTER2014” from now until August 30 to get your account set up:

Where can people find out more about ClassOwl?

iPhone App:
Web App: