Interview: Course Hero CEO, Andrew Grauer Aims to Democratize and Change the Way Students Learn

Learn how Grauer and his co-founders developed an idea to change the way students learn and why every entrepreneur should focus on long-term growth to prevent burnout.

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“For every hour [students] spend in class [they] should spend 2-3 hours outside of class studying,” according to Kelci Lynn Lucier, writer and founder of The College Parent Handbook.

Developing good study habits contributes to long-term success in college. However, like many students Andrew Grauer realized that there had to be a better way to study like a pro, become a master memorizer and beef up his resume.

In 2008 Grauer, along with his brothers David and Jared, co-founded ed-tech startup Course Hero, a knowledge marketplace and community that facilitates information sharing between experts and learners. Attracting over 30,000,000 visits per year, Course Hero has become a massive online learning platform democratizing fast access to quality educational resources: materials, experts and courses.

Grauer initially set out to create a platform where students and experts could share and access the academic content they needed to succeed, at any time, from anywhere. Their goal to provide 24/7 access to course information, study guides, peer help and other tools to assist students when studying soon gained traction as they developed partnerships with various schools across the country and internationally.

“We’re an online learning platform and we provide tools and resources for basically anybody to come and learn from an expert,” said Grauer, Course Hero CEO and co-founder. “So it’s essentially a marketplace where you’ve got experts or educators on one side, providing information and different project formats like flashcards, quizzes, study materials, videos, question and answer formats so that learners on the other side can come in and try to endive that knowledge.”

Learn how Grauer and his co-founders developed an idea to change the way students learn and why every entrepreneur should focus on long-term growth to prevent burnout.

Company: Course Hero
Founders: Andrew, David, and Jared Grauer
Location: Redwood City, CA
Industry: Education, Crowdsourcing
Startup Year: 2008
Startup Costs: $10,000

How I Got Started:

My brothers and I got started while I was still in school at Cornell University. We knew that if we could aggregate, organize and then distribute knowledge in general (or information in general) that would be valuable.

So we came up with this idea that was essentially a Wikipedia for academic knowledge, focused on student-generated academic content. We launched the website, and we learned over time to build up the supply side first and then get the users and the demand side. It really grew from there.

Next we had to figure out how we could really scale beyond Cornell. As a student there I really understood the problems of not having access to a teacher’s assistant, a professor or even students in your own class when you needed it.

So connecting people through content was clearly valuable in the sense that it made learning more accessible and we started expanding from Cornell to other schools and then over time adding more and more types of categories in academics and beyond.

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