Studying at a business university like CBS demands copious diligence as well as countless hours spent reading numerous pages of text. Being a student also means grasping endless lists of terms and theories, not to mention making it to lectures on time alongside study jobs, and seeing friends and family.
But now, CBS students Gustav Nørrelund and Tomas Zdychavsky have invented TurnIvy – a new app that aims to make life easier for students of business and economics.
Although the app is only a couple of months old, it has already received funding from The Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship, entered into partnership with Academic Books and attracted almost 300 users.
But the question remains, is this a new way for students to cut corners while studying?
Boiling down 800 pages
The inventors of TurnIvy met each other in high school. Today, they are both studying for their bachelor’s degrees at CBS. And according to one of the founders, Gustav Nørrelund, this was where the idea emerged for an app that would make study life simpler.
“Our curriculum textbooks are usually about 800 pages long. And you can’t carry books of that size around everywhere you go. At the same time, it’s difficult to read while doing other things,” he says and continues:
“The very thought of being able to study while walking the dog, shopping for groceries or standing in the metro on the way to campus was what spurred the idea of developing an app.”
When downloading TurnIvy, users type in their specific university, faculty and field of study. Then, the app offers a selection of topics related to the user’s education. The main points of topics are summarized and explained in podcast-style formats with a duration of 10-15 minutes.
The app also offers introductions to themes, glossaries, recaps, source suggestions for further knowledge as well as tips and tricks for the exam.
Gustav Nørrelund explains that from his own experiences of studying at CBS, he has been in several situations where a service similar to TurnIvy would have been useful.
“Like many of my peers, I struggled with microeconomics when first starting at CBS. The textbook also offered countless examples of cases covering many pages, which did not help us to actually learn the theory,” he says and goes on:
“That was definitely a situation where I would have benefited from some sort of explanatory service.”
The intention is to include all kinds of universities and faculties in the future. But for now, the app exclusively covers users studying business and economics. Because, as Gustav Nørrelund says, it was the most natural and easy starting point for him and his co-founder as students at CBS.
And speaking of easy, for some, TurnIvy might seem like an easy way to skip reading and attending lectures. But according to the founder, that is not the case.
“We definitely don’t consider our app a replacement for thoroughly reading the textbooks and attending lectures.”
You can study while lifting weights in the gym or riding a bike
“Rather, we regard it as a supplement to the studies. With our app, you can study while lifting weights in the gym or riding a bike. That wasn’t possible before,” says Gustav Nørrelund and continues:
“That said, obviously we can’t control how our users choose to use the app, and we shouldn’t either. Because in many ways, being a student is about self-regulation and taking responsibility for your own learning.”
According to Gustav Nørrelund, transparency in their communication about TurnIvy being a supplement to traditional study methods is very important. And it is also why Academic Books became interested in the app as a collaborator and not an enemy.
“The fact that we acknowledge that textbooks are still an indispensable part of studying business and economics, and that the app is not a study hack but study-to-go service, prompted the collaboration with Academic Books,” he says and goes on:
“And we’re very excited about getting no less than Academic Books as our business partner only two months after launching the app. Alongside the almost 300 users already on board, that is a clear indication that we’re doing something right.”