In 2010, a professor had an idea of creating a digital course packet, and approached two students about whether or not that was possible. While in college, the students, Greg Fenton and Tim Haitaian, decided on their mission: to make digital course materials easily accessible and affordable for students while also keeping it secured and protected for the content creator.
Greg and Tim went to work. They spent countless hours (and dollars) developing the eReading technology that would allow professors to easily digitize and sell course packets. They launched a beta version of RedShelf in January of 2011.
Upon graduation, Greg and Tim were able to expand the business by forming partnerships with campus bookstores to offer a digital solution for faculty created course materials. As this expansion occurred, so did RedShelf. Tim and Greg grew their business to encompass three new employees and finally moved into an office that wasn’t someone’s bedroom.
For entrepreneurs Greg and Tim , the digital learning industry seemed like the right place to get started with a unique way to position themselves against the competition. By merging custom created course packets with the publisher book all in one platform, it allows the student to have a unified reading experience.
RedShelf focused on building a proprietary browser-based reader to imitate the way students interact with paper textbooks, hile taking advantage of the digital advancements eTextbooks ultimately provide. With digital textbooks being a more affordable option, it also provides students with complete flexibility and portability to access their eTextbook from any device.
So what makes us different?
Simple: our focus on creating affordable and easily-accessible digital content for students through our valued partnerships with both publishers and content creators, as well as college bookstores and distributors.
There are roughly 4,500 college bookstores in the United States, many of which are owned and operated by the institutions themselves. With our retail partnerships of more than 115 schools, including UCLA, University of Oregon, University of Texas, Cornell, and NYU, RedShelf has positioned itself alongside the college bookstores and in front of the students.
“If publishers can continue to bring down price on digital textbooks, then it can become more attractive to students rather than used or paper rental books,” RedShelf says about the bridging between students and the publisher realm.
RedShelf’s localized approach for bookstores and publishers, and its focus on students could potentially be the sling that this print to digital revolution needs.