Current and former Wildcat swimmers Cuevas, Small and Bar-Or pursue entrepreneurial endeavors
The pressures of being a student athelete — daily practices, constant traveling, and competition — means that sometimes classes are put on hold.
While attending the UA, Wildcat alumnus Nicholas Cuevas, Adam Small and current senior swimmer Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or came up with an idea to help student athletes excel in their studies as well as their athletic performances.
Bar-Or, a two-time Olympian, 10-time All-American and a school record holder in the 400-medley relay, is a general studies senior who founded ClassBuster, LLC, an online platform where students can share files, exchange notes, find tutors and utilize study guides.
When a student finds themselves unable to attend classes, ClassBuster provides an opportunity to prepare for tests and papers virtually through actual classroom materials and work through the credit-based system. Students can purchase credit and use it to to buy documents or generate credit by selling documents themselves.
Jordin O'Connor / Arizona Daily Wildcat Adam Small and Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center.
“ClassBuster was an idea that I came up with when I was attending high school,” Bar-Or said.
“The company is an online academic marketplace between students and serves as a way for people who miss class for various reasons to catch up. It also gives students who are physically in the classroom a way to make money by doing simple things like paying attention in class, taking notes and then uploading the notes for sale on the site.”
Bar-Or said he knows the problem well. As the current record holder and champion for Israel in the 50, 100 and 200- freestyle events, he spent a lot of time traveling to meets across the country, unable to partake in his regularly scheduled academic studies.
He said he needed a way to combine his athletic performance and academic needs successfully.
After transferring the beginnings of his business from his high school to the UA, Bar-Or paired up with Cuevas after the two became friends in their economics class.
“We began collaborating together, and that is when the plans for ClassBuster really began to take off.”
Cuevas, who earned his degree in engineering management in 2009, possesses the titles of CEO and president of ClassBuster.
“Collaboration is beneficial for students and it is okay to rely on your friends,” Bar-Or said. “Our platform shows students and athletes that they can help each other and prepare for classes through working together.”
Last year, things began to move more rapidly when Small, a 2012 marketing graduate from the UA, showed signs of interest in revamping the company’s platform and offered his marketing and sales skills in exchange for a partnership.
He currently operates as the sales and marketing director for ClassBuster.
Small, a 12-time All-American, Olympic Trials finalist (7th) and school record holder in the 50-freestyle event, said he immediately saw the potential in what Bar-Or and Cuevas were trying to do.
“We have had some great outreach from department heads,” Small said. “We want to work with the school. We don’t want to be labeled as a back-alley cheating hub.”
The company has reached out to the community and caught the attention and support of some professors.
“Originally, our site was pretty similar to sites like Notehall,” Small said. “We figured that we needed a unique component to distinguish ourselves, so we created Group Share.”
Group Share is part of the ClassBuster platform and is a cloud database that allows student groups to share and profit from documents uploaded by members of the group.
“We are the first company to make something that involves both Notehall ideals plus something like Google Drive to give college students exactly what they need,” Small said.
“It is specifically designed for Greek Life here at the UA. What we do is allow them to share their normal study file system for free online. It’s much more efficient and effective; you don’t have to worry about papers going missing or people not putting things back. It’s like having study tables, with all you need online.”
While some faculty may be wary of the idea of such close collaboration, others seem to think that the benefits greatly outweigh the downfalls.
“Conceptually, they have a fabulous idea on their hands,” Eller College of Management change to “management professor professor Suzanne Cummins said.
“I believe that providing student athletes with the access to studying materials and tutoring sessions online gives them the opportunity to succeed in a class, which otherwise may have been overwhelming for them.”
ClassBuster is currently partnered with a marketing 425 class out of the Eller College of Management no cq on partnership and welcomes the support of the student community.
“I believe that the spark that created the Group Share platform came from the close-knit brotherhood and team mentality that we experienced as student athletes here,” Small said.
Eventually, ClassBuster’s plan is to create its own content in conjunction with the curriculum, the professor and the department. That way, it would be better able to provide a complete immersive learning experience for its student clients.
“ClassBuster is being offered to all academic and social groups on campus,” Small said. “Whether you are in Greek Life, are on an athletic team or are part of a club or group of friends, we want everyone to have the same academic opportunity and capabilities. ClassBuster is for everyone.”