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Cooper Jones - Founder of RahRah
Enrollify - Starter Stories - 23 - Cooper Jones
[00:00:15] Zach Busekruse: Welcome to starter stories, a podcast that explores the stories behind the world's leading education technology companies and education consultancies, and the people who create. In each episode, you'll hear about the grit, the strategies, the wins, the failures, and the serendipity that [00:00:30] transpired to take a half-baked idea and bring it to life.
[00:00:33] Zach Busekruse: Starter stories is a part of the Enrollify Network, a learning community for enrollment managers, higher education marketers, explore our other shows like fanatical, Fridays and CRMprov, or access creative [00:00:45] ideas on how to better your student recruiting campaigns via our videos, blogs, and emails at enrollify.org.
[00:00:52] Zach Busekruse: I'm your host, Zach Busekrus. Enjoy the show.[00:01:00]
[00:01:07] Zach Busekruse: In just a moment. You'll meet Cooper Jones, co-founder of RahRah, a community engagement system that provides the simple solution to give students the inclusive [00:01:15] and supportive experience that they need to thrive while on campus. When Cooper was five years old, he came back from Sunday school one afternoon and proclaimed to his parents that he wanted to be a preacher and a motocross driver.
[00:01:27] Zach Busekruse: And while these dreams shifted a bit, as he grew up, [00:01:30] he does have a passion for community building and iron man racing. So, Hey, there's at least some consistency here. After studying finance at Oklahoma state Cooper went to work in consulting at Accenture, and it was there that he was placed in a project serving a higher [00:01:45] education clients.
[00:01:46] Zach Busekruse: Working with this university opened Cooper's eyes to the incredible challenges that today's institutions face. And before, too long, I'd use for how he might build technology to help address these challenges began to percolate tune in to hear [00:02:00] the story behind how and why Cooper started rara. All right.
[00:02:04] Zach Busekruse: Without further ado, get ready to meet Cooper.
[00:02:11] Zach Busekruse: All right. Cooper. If I were to grab a [00:02:15] happy hour with some of your closest buddies, and if I were. Ask them to tell me a little bit about Cooper. What do you imagine that they would say is there, is there a story that they might just immediately start telling [00:02:30] me?
[00:02:30] Cooper Jones: Um, it probably depends on who you ask and I'm thankful that I've got a group of friends that I grew up with outside of Chicago, a group of friends from college, and now a group of friends in New York and you know, all these sorts of things, but you [00:02:45] know, probably the first one that comes to mind.
[00:02:47] Cooper Jones: Is, um, if you were to be, you know, having a coffee or a drink with any of my college buddies, they probably would just automatically, you know, start referring to me as a and their nickname for me [00:03:00] was the V8, you know, like an engine. Yeah. And I think, you know, that's less so from the college days of like partying or anything silly like that and more so it's just someone that's always high energy, [00:03:15] always kind of doing something, um, you know, motivating other people or kind of getting things going probably to the detriment of my roommates, you know, on a Saturday morning or something like that.
[00:03:24] Cooper Jones: Um, but yeah, that's probably one thing. And, you know, as far as, you know, any of my [00:03:30] New York friends probably, you know, would be always sound for a laugh, uh, up for a good time. Um, but really, really looking for the good in people and just trying to make.
[00:03:40] Zach Busekruse: Love it. Hey, uh, those are some great adjectives. Good descriptors.
[00:03:44] Zach Busekruse: Um, [00:03:45] yeah,
[00:03:45] Cooper Jones: you can refer to me for the rest of this interview, please.
[00:03:52] Zach Busekruse: Uh, we'll see. We will see, um, maybe next time we're like doing an interview or something over, over a couple of beers. It might just [00:04:00] slip out, but I think we're in the clear
[00:04:01] Cooper Jones: for now.
[00:04:05] Zach Busekruse: Uh, so talk us through your morning routine. So you, your alarm goes off and kind of what happens next?
[00:04:13] Cooper Jones: Well, I guess it's, [00:04:15] uh, you know, on par with what my previous state name was. Um, but currently it starts pretty early I'm training for my second iron man. Um, so I'm usually up at about 4 30, [00:04:30] 4 45. Um, having a cup of coffee, a bunch of water.
[00:04:34] Cooper Jones: And now that it's starting to warm up taking the bike off of the wall and going out for a ride, which is awesome to do people don't realize New York city is got some [00:04:45] amazing cycling culture. So whether it's through central park loop, um, or it's getting out of town a little bit, and then, you know, usually that wraps up and it's probably another cup of coffee and either going to the.
[00:04:58] Cooper Jones: Um, or just [00:05:00] getting my day going. And so typically it starts out with a workout of some sort of training and then just diving right in. Uh, the first thing I like to do is check in with the team nod and you know, the sense of what'd you get done, uh, how are things going, but really, how can I help [00:05:15] you?
[00:05:15] Cooper Jones: What's going on. Is there anything that's on your mind? All those sorts of things. Uh, and then usually a quick slack message to the team saying let's have a great day.
[00:05:23] Zach Busekruse: Nice, nice. Ooh, I like that. So you're waking up at 4 30, 4 45. What time do you go to. [00:05:30]
[00:05:30] Cooper Jones: Lately, usually around the night or so we're growing a lot and I'm thankful for that.
[00:05:37] Cooper Jones: Uh, and so it's a lot of long hours. Um, and so, you know, I'm really fueled by coffee and by water. [00:05:45] Um, and so, yeah, usually it's, you know, meetings, um, From eight, nine until six or seven, usually, uh, my co-founder who's the best Sam and I will chat, you know, in the evenings do stuff that we need to do more [00:06:00] strategically.
[00:06:00] Cooper Jones: And then it's actual work. So answering emails, taking care of decks, giving comments, all those sorts of fun things. Um, and then, yeah, usually. Uh, trying to find time to wind down and avoid social media so that I can just fall
[00:06:13] Zach Busekruse: right asleep. Yeah. [00:06:15] Yeah. Dang dude. That's a, that's a lot. I, as somebody who like loves his sleep, a I'm just exhausted by, by that schedule.
[00:06:22] Zach Busekruse: Like I,
[00:06:24] Cooper Jones: I catch up sometimes on the weekends and I definitely have invested and it's [00:06:30] silly to say, but a skin red. So that I don't always look dog tired. Um,
[00:06:35] Zach Busekruse: I guess you have to man.
[00:06:36] Cooper Jones: Yeah. Something like that, but it's a, yeah, it works for me. And, uh, you know, it has balanced, um, you know, to certain degree and, [00:06:45] uh, it's just kind of keeps me sane and it's a great way to just all that stress that you have in running a business kind of gets poured out every single morning.
[00:06:53] Cooper Jones: Um, so it's, it's a nice little escape for a little bit before the day.
[00:06:57] Zach Busekruse: Do you have, like, are you one of those [00:07:00] people? I remember reading a, I don't know if I was reading one of his books or heard him on a podcast, but you know, Seth Godin talks a lot about how he like eats the same thing, like religiously for breakfast, because it's like one last decision or one last decision that he has [00:07:15] to like make in a day.
[00:07:16] Zach Busekruse: Are you, are you like one of those people? Like, what do you, what do you eat for breakfast?
[00:07:21] Cooper Jones: Like I just, I have a routine. You know, there are certain founders or podcasts hosts who are, you know, [00:07:30] regimented to one, but when it comes to eating is probably why I still have a belly is cause I kind of eat and you know, but typically, yeah, it's, you know, something relatively light in the, uh, for lunch and then, um, I'll usually step away in the evenings [00:07:45] for an hour or so to cook dinner.
[00:07:46] Cooper Jones: I really enjoy cooking. So that's something that I enjoy. And uh, yeah, it's kind of one more thing I get to do.
[00:07:52] Zach Busekruse: Experimented with a new recipe lately that you're like, especially proud of.
[00:07:56] Cooper Jones: Uh, well, I fallen in love with [00:08:00] an air fryer, uh, so much so that I got my parents one actually now they are obsessed with.
[00:08:05] Cooper Jones: Um, but yeah, for the most part, I love cooking Italian food. I grew up in a very, uh, heavily Italian, uh, you know, [00:08:15] populated suburb. And so there was a lot of that. Uh, and I guess it kind of stuck with me.
[00:08:19] Zach Busekruse: I like that. I like it. Well, Hey, um, next time I'm in the city. I'm coming over for dinner so you can cook me something.
[00:08:28] Cooper Jones: Um, you know, we would [00:08:30] do team dinners when everyone was together. Now our team is completely distributed across the nation. Um, but you know, half of our team dinners and outings would be going out, doing something fun. Uh, and then the other half would actually be having people over to my apartment to cook for everyone, [00:08:45] um, which was fun.
[00:08:46] Cooper Jones: And it was challenging because some people like certain things, some people, uh, abide by certain, certain diets. Um, and it was always fun. And frankly, it was probably something I haven't said to any of them, but it was a heck of a lot [00:09:00] cheaper to cook for 10 people and, you know, get a couple of bottles of wine and ice tea or whatever it may be versus going out, um, you know, to some restaurant.
[00:09:10] Cooper Jones: So there was a little bit of a hack in there, but it definitely was the most memorable [00:09:15] team outings that we've had have been around my kitchen
[00:09:16] Zach Busekruse: table. Oh, I love that dude. That's great. That's great. So, What, what did you want to be like? Do you like, if someone were to ask you as a, let's say 10, 12 year old, Hey Cooper, what do you want to be when you grow up?
[00:09:29] Zach Busekruse: How would you have [00:09:30] answered that question?
[00:09:31] Cooper Jones: Um, well, there's a funnier answer, which is if you would have asked me like four or five. I remember, uh, I came home from Sunday school one day or met up with my parents and said that I wanted to be a creature [00:09:45] and a motorcars, a motocross driver to complete ends of the spectrum.
[00:09:51] Cooper Jones: But I, yeah, I think that a motorcross wasn't really my structure. Um, and you know, from [00:10:00] there I actually had no. Um, you know, my mom was in retail. Uh, my dad was in banking and finance. Um, and so I had exposure to certain things, but I didn't know. Really even until [00:10:15] college. And that's why I started my career in consulting was such a great place to start because you got to do so many different things, work with so many different industries.
[00:10:24] Cooper Jones: Um, but yeah, I had no idea for a long time and I think that's the case for a lot of people, which is [00:10:30] okay. I mean, heck there's a lot of people that still don't know what they want to do and that's fine too. I mean, even I'm 29 and obviously I know what I'm doing right now and what I want to be doing, but I'm still.
[00:10:42] Cooper Jones: And so what is 40 going to look like? [00:10:45] What does 50 going to look like? No idea.
[00:10:47] Zach Busekruse: Yeah. Yeah. Uh, so well said, and I think what's, what's cool about your story, which we'll unpack a little bit more of in, in a second is it's always, I feel like people try to [00:11:00] do a couple things. It's either. I have to figure out what I'm going to do, what my master plan is.
[00:11:06] Zach Busekruse: So that, like, I have an answer when someone asks me that question. And I think that sometimes like, because, because there can be this pressure to [00:11:15] have a good answer. You almost like unintentionally. Uh, carved a destiny that you might not actually want, but one that just like sounds good when, uh, when, when you're asked the question and what's cool, is [00:11:30] it sounds like you've been able to approach life with like a fair amount of discipline and intentionality, but also a lot of openness and a lot of like, a lot of willingness to kind of like fly by the seat of your pants a little bit and kind of see what opportunities [00:11:45] present themselves before, you know, getting settled too quickly.
[00:11:48] Cooper Jones: And I think that, you know, my generation, um, and you know, probably, you know, gen Z to a degree as well, but definitely millennials, we [00:12:00] sometimes get infatuated with status. You know, I'm want to be a doctor. I want to be a lawyer. I want to be, you know, in finance or whatever it may be. Um, you know, because of what it can be.
[00:12:14] Cooper Jones: Uh, [00:12:15] which are, you know, great career outcomes and all those sorts of things, but the best piece of advice that frankly, I haven't followed cause I'm guilty of it too. Uh, I mean, I love what I do every day and we provide an impact. Um, but is that there are, you know, a [00:12:30] lot of, you know, non pretty way. Uh, to make, you know, a great career.
[00:12:36] Cooper Jones: Um, some of the most successful people that I know are electricians, uh, our pipe fitters, uh, sell [00:12:45] sausage, uh, and, you know, sell semi-truck trailers. And so, you know, these are all incredible career tracks that, yeah, maybe it's not going to get you in Forbes or anything like that. And really who cares about that in the first place?
[00:12:57] Cooper Jones: Um, But it's, you know, it's gonna [00:13:00] something that you can be passionate about and that you can provide a great living for you and your level. Yeah.
[00:13:04] Zach Busekruse: Yeah. So well said, so speaking of your, your parents and, and kind of growing up in your family here, how did your parents [00:13:15] talk about education? Like was, was it sort of a foregone conclusion that you would go to college?
[00:13:20] Zach Busekruse: Like. Were your parents perceptions of higher education. And how did they coach you through the process as a high school student? If. [00:13:30]
[00:13:31] Cooper Jones: Yeah, well, it was, you know, it was kind of implicit that both my sister and I were going to go to college. It was really never a question, which that's a privilege. Um, majority of college students [00:13:45] today don't have that privilege.
[00:13:46] Cooper Jones: They're not having, you know, that mindset and that's where words like grit and resiliency and persistence come in is because they charted their own path. They carved their own path. Um, and they're probably better for. Um, but you know, for us, it was just [00:14:00] something that we assumed that we were going to do.
[00:14:02] Cooper Jones: And that's probably because my parents went to school as well. Um, and it was definitely a traditional, whereas now there are many paths that involve higher ed or dome. Um, which I think is a good thing. I think, you know, [00:14:15] our economy runs on optionality and so that's okay. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:14:19] Zach Busekruse: Did you. While in high school that you were, were you pretty sure that you wanted to study finance, which you ultimately did at Oklahoma state?
[00:14:27] Zach Busekruse: Or like what, what, what did you think you'd [00:14:30] study when it, when it.
[00:14:31] Cooper Jones: I had no idea. Um, you know, I knew that, uh, my mom was in retail. Um, but you know, probably what you can tell by my dorky shirt today that, you know, fashion isn't really my [00:14:45] forte, uh, or retail. Uh, and it's funny cause my sister is, uh, an entrepreneur as well and she's in the retail space.
[00:14:51] Cooper Jones: Um, and then, so, you know, I went in as a general business. And realized that I wasn't creative enough or left brain [00:15:00] thinking enough to do something like marketing. Um, and you know, I'd always been pretty good with math. And so something like finance kind of made sense, it was, you know, natural or an easy path to a degree.
[00:15:12] Cooper Jones: Um, and I saw that it provided good [00:15:15] opportunities, but I had no. Um, you know, pretty much up until I went and started at a central, I was like, okay, I am doing finance.
[00:15:22] Zach Busekruse: Yeah. Yeah. Super, super interesting. Do you remember while in college, so you, you went to Oklahoma state and. [00:15:30] Do you, do you remember like a class or a professor or like some aspect of your educational experience that either gave you an inkling that you might want to start your own company one [00:15:45] day and, or taught you something unexpected about how business works that you've sort of held onto to this day?
[00:15:52] Zach Busekruse: And if so, what, what is that? What was
[00:15:54] Cooper Jones: that? I had a professor. His name is, uh, Dr. Andy. Yeah. [00:16:00] Um, who was probably a lot of people at Oklahoma state's favorite professor. And the reason was is that he just encouraged everyone, um, to kind of challenge the status quo, to ask questions, to seek improvement. [00:16:15] And so I think that that planted a little bit of seed, bit of a seed, but my biggest inspiration and catalyst to me, starting a business with Sam, wasn't just.
[00:16:25] Cooper Jones: And it's not just samurai, it's our entire team. Um, it is my [00:16:30] sister. Uh, she went to Oklahoma state as well. She started her career at a big company, then moved to a startup and she started a business, um, that brought people and brings people joy every day. And she's, you know, wakes up [00:16:45] everyday happy, motivated, uh, and is building something really, really great.
[00:16:48] Cooper Jones: She actually, I'm still, I can brag about her all day. Uh, she got Forbes 30 under 32 years ago. I'm just so, so proud of her and I've always looked up to her. And so, you [00:17:00] know, what was it now? Four years ago when railroads. Well, if my sister can do this, I can do it. And then I just pick a different path in the software space.
[00:17:08] Zach Busekruse: I like that a lot. Are you, um, are you too to this day, like very close, like, do you, like, do you wrestle [00:17:15] with ideas with her or like, what is your relationship like now?
[00:17:17] Cooper Jones: Okay. She's my best friend. Um, so. All the time. Uh, and my poor parents at the dinner table, you know, our conversations are, you know, a lot of, you know, four of [00:17:30] us chatting, laughing, giving each other, giving each other hat.
[00:17:33] Cooper Jones: Um, but most times they quickly shift into talking about her business, my business, things that we can do better. Um, you know, how we can build people up, manage, [00:17:45] grow, all those sorts of things. And so my parents probably just rolled their eyes whenever the pyramids were in a room together, like, what did
[00:17:50] Zach Busekruse: we create?
[00:17:51] Zach Busekruse: We created these moms starters, monsters. Oh, I like it. I love it. Um, so after Columbus state, you go to [00:18:00] Accenture and I'm wondering, is there a lesson or two that you, that you learn there? That again, Hearkened back to, to this day and or that was just especially impactful. As you thought about creating your own.[00:18:15]
[00:18:15] Cooper Jones: Yeah. Uh, so the two best things that ever happened to me at a center were one, um, meeting my co-founder who's, you know, a great business partner, heck of a lot smarter than I am. Uh, and also a very dear [00:18:30] friend. Um, and so that was a blessing. And then the second was less. So what a century taught me. From a training or from a work environment or experience perspective, but, you know, that was a, an [00:18:45] opportunity and a career path that I really had to fight and cloth for.
[00:18:49] Cooper Jones: Um, Oklahoma state is a great school. Uh, I think severely underrated. But my peers that I started at a center with were coming from Ivy [00:19:00] league schools here, we're coming from all of these great greatest schools. And it was the realization once I was amongst those people, that there was no difference between myself or any of them, and especially no difference than at one [00:19:15] line item on our resume, uh, with where we got our degree from.
[00:19:19] Cooper Jones: And I realized that, you know, Oklahoma state did a great job in preparing. And social skills and professional development and just how to show up to work every day. [00:19:30] Um, and so I think that I, you know, had a little bit of a chip on my shoulder after really finding my way to that, you know, company. Um, but then from there I realized that there's no difference here other than that one line item.
[00:19:42] Cooper Jones: And so, you know, I don't need to have [00:19:45] imposter syndrome. I don't need to, um, you know, be sheepish about where I went to school or what I studied, or even what my grades. Um, you know, it's about being kind to people, making people feel good genuinely and working your
[00:19:58] Zach Busekruse: tail. Yeah. [00:20:00] Yeah. Such good learnings.
[00:20:01] Zach Busekruse: Especially as I think a lot of people don't learn that until until later. And they, you know, fight this like imposter syndrome for, for, in sometimes, you know, in some cases, decades. Um, [00:20:15] and I think that it's cool that you like recognize that early on and, and we're able to, you know, realize what it is. I have a lot of value to contribute here.
[00:20:24] Zach Busekruse: And at the end of the day, like, you know, no one's necessarily, people might have been on different tracks than me, but like [00:20:30] I actually have something to contribute that is, that is perceived as valuable. And that's, I think a very, very important lesson for, for any professional. Definitely. So. Would you have described yourself as an [00:20:45] entrepreneur in this season in life.
[00:20:47] Zach Busekruse: If someone were to kind of bump into you at a happy hour or a coffee at your, during your time at Accenture and they were to talk to you about a business idea, would you have like lashed onto that and what would you consider yourself? [00:21:00] Entrepreneurial. Okay. Okay. So yeah,
[00:21:01] Cooper Jones: from an early age, like, you know, to the point where.
[00:21:05] Cooper Jones: I wanted to, as a kid, like bottled my own, you know, burger or steak sauce or something and sell it. And I have this great idea. And, [00:21:15] you know, obviously that didn't go anywhere. I was nine, um, to, you know, in high school, uh, starting a t-shirt business that, you know, I would design t-shirts, I'd pay for them up.
[00:21:26] Cooper Jones: And then they would be, you know, kind of the high school fan shirts to wear to football [00:21:30] games or basketball games, uh, for the student section. Um, I did that all four years of college. Um, and so, yeah, I think I've always kind of had some knack for entrepreneurship. Love it at a very, very different scale than what RA [00:21:45] is
[00:21:45] Zach Busekruse: today.
[00:21:47] Zach Busekruse: So as you, as you, um, progressed throughout your, your career, you've thought about bottling hot sauce you were working at, uh, designing t-shirts. [00:22:00] Um, what was the. Did you, did you have like a, a quote unquote, like real business idea that like you thought, all right, this is that there are legs to this before RA, like, but you know, but, but between college and, and, [00:22:15] and, and rara, was there, was there any idea that you thought might have some interesting opportunity or legs to it?
[00:22:20] Zach Busekruse: And if so, what, what was that idea?
[00:22:25] Cooper Jones: There was an idea that I kicked around that was around that was, you know, built around, you [00:22:30] know, kind of corporate philanthropy and volunteering, um, saw that, you know, a lot of companies, uh, you know, encourage and pay for their employees to volunteer and to give back to the community.
[00:22:43] Cooper Jones: But there could be a platform built around [00:22:45] that. Um, but you know, as luck would have it, I got placed on a project with. Uh, an institution and realized that there was so much opportunity for impact and change and improvement [00:23:00] in the higher ed space, specifically around technology. And that's kind of when I had the light bulb moment for Rora, when I thought back to my days at Oklahoma state and you know, it was the kid that grew up in Chicago.
[00:23:12] Cooper Jones: And so I knew no one there [00:23:15] other than my sister, um, and day one that I arrived. I was set up for success. There was someone there saying, this is where this is, this is how this works, who you should talk to, what you would be interested in. [00:23:30] And I had a great experience. Um, and that's also a privilege, you know, majority of students today, aren't what we call traditional students.
[00:23:39] Cooper Jones: They're, first-generation, they're commuting, they're veterans, they have families so on and so forth. And so [00:23:45] that was kind of this, you know, big idea of will. My sister probably won't appreciate this, but is there an opportunity to kind of replicate that experience, uh, for everyone so that anyone arrives on a college campus, the moment [00:24:00] they arrive, they kind of have their path and they've got a really easy way of going about doing things with their student express.
[00:24:06] Zach Busekruse: Yeah. Yeah. That's, uh, I mean, you're, you're hitting like, sort of like a pain point that I think everyone, a lot of people listening to this are like nodding their heads, probably thinking like, yup. [00:24:15] Yup. We've thought about this. Like, what is, what is the solution to this? And the answer is like, there's in higher education.
[00:24:21] Zach Busekruse: There's just obviously great diversity right around like what that experience looks like or can look like based off of the resources that the school has available to it. Um, [00:24:30] Once this idea, this, this light bulb moment kinda goes off. What, what happens next? Like what, what is like the, you know, zero to 0.1 phase of, of building raw?
[00:24:44] Cooper Jones: [00:24:45] Um, it was research and so, you know, nights and weekends talking to any student that would take the time to speak with me just so I can learn about their experience. Um, then leveraging that to start to formulate what it [00:25:00] was that we wanted to build. And at that time was able to take, you know, results of some data, some surveys, and some interviews that I'd done to Sam.
[00:25:09] Cooper Jones: Uh, who's our co-founder and CTO say, Hey, there's something here that we can [00:25:15] build. Um, and then kind of that listening tour connected. Uh, where we were able to start meeting with different institutions and the leadership. And we just realized that there was something here that needed to be different [00:25:30] and needed to be disruptive, not in how we act, but in what we build, um, And so that was kind of this big point of, yeah.
[00:25:39] Cooper Jones: We need to move forward with this. We need to commit more time to this. Um, until we were [00:25:45] fortunately able to secure, uh, some investment to actually go full-time. Yeah.
[00:25:49] Zach Busekruse: So both of you were still at Accenture at this time, you're brainstorming these sorts of ideas, uh, on a nightstand.
[00:25:57] Cooper Jones: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So nights and weekends, [00:26:00] uh, I remember, you know, none of, neither of us wanted to do work on like an essential laptops.
[00:26:04] Cooper Jones: We obviously didn't. And so I like had to muster up some cash to go buy a used Mac book because my old one from college was, could put and yeah, so we were, you know, asking [00:26:15] friends to sneak us into WeWorks, uh, so that we could have whiteboards, um, you know, really, you know, doing things on hotel lobbies where people wouldn't take us.
[00:26:24] Cooper Jones: Anywhere that we could get together, that we could actually have a collaborative discussion. We were doing that as often as [00:26:30] possible.
[00:26:31] Zach Busekruse: We'll jump right back into the show. After a quick message from this weak spot. Video, you know, you need it, you know, it's all but expected from gen Z at this point, but you've got no time and [00:26:45] little budget.
[00:26:45] Zach Busekruse: And your marketing department is two months late on those new program brochures they promised. So. Asking them to help with a video for get it. But what if you could be as simple as sending an email to a prospective student [00:27:00] meet good kind, a video engagement platform designed to make each one of your prospects feel like they're getting the extra special treatment as an enrollment manager, you're competing for a.
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[00:27:35] Zach Busekruse: We are good kind.com forward slash to book a demo and see just how powerful video marketing can be. Show your face show you [00:27:45] care. See the difference connection email@example.com forward slash enroll. Um,
[00:27:56] Zach Busekruse: oh, I love that. It's like, it's like fresh out of, you know, uh, you know, [00:28:00] uh, a start-up movie, um, or what's the show Silicon valley. That's the, that's a challenge,
[00:28:07] Cooper Jones: too many parallels, you know, between us and that show in the sense that we, uh, think we're pretty well behaved, uh, [00:28:15] run into near as many fire drills.
[00:28:17] Cooper Jones: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:28:18] Zach Busekruse: Ah, so, so fun now. So. What was the like specific idea, like the, or maybe a better way of phrasing? This question is like, what, [00:28:30] what question were you trying to solve for like the idea of like, re-imagining the student experience, ensuring a clearer student experience, helping students get access to the resources that they need to.
[00:28:43] Zach Busekruse: Live effectively [00:28:45] and, and well on campus. That's a very, very, very broad undertaking. So was there like a specific question or a specific couple of questions that at least initially you all were really focused on trying to answer. [00:29:00]
[00:29:00] Cooper Jones: Yeah, well, initially, you know, we were very focused on, you know, trying to make an impact on wellbeing, uh, for students in America, through technology and through software.
[00:29:13] Cooper Jones: And [00:29:15] we were, you know, full time. We had a very small team at the time and we were on campus at a, at a school in Austin and we're in meeting. Um, with their leadership and you know, what, they came to us and said, it's like, look, this is great. [00:29:30] It's novel. We don't have a wellness platform, but this actually is going to contribute to the larger problem that we, and many other institutions have in America, which is, we just have so much, you [00:29:45] know, if we were to move forward on something like this, this would be one of 50 different platforms that a student is going to have to log in and use.
[00:29:54] Cooper Jones: And that's challenging for them. They're not going to do that. And that contributes to our problem, or it's not one [00:30:00] more place where we have to pull data from or workflows from, because it's just so, so isolated in silos. Um, and so we really took that to heart and we realized that, you know, rather than building to be one of the many, we have [00:30:15] the opportunity to build, to be one of the.
[00:30:18] Cooper Jones: And so you think about the technology landscape in higher ed today, you have the student information system, you have the learning management system, which really covers a to Z from an academic side, [00:30:30] but when it comes to everything outside of the classroom, you have tons of different platforms. And most of those were not built with the student in mind.
[00:30:39] Cooper Jones: They were built for the departments, they were built for the institution. And so we [00:30:45] realized that if we build something that was student. That they actually liked to use and thought about the consumer than that really could make a lot of impact. And you know, the way that we like to think about it, because as you just said yourself, it's a very [00:31:00] broad problem or question to answer, how do you make an impact to everyone?
[00:31:04] Cooper Jones: How does a school be everything to everyone? And we really distilled. A college campus down to a very simple, you know, definition or equation, which [00:31:15] is this community with two sides, one being this beautiful and fluid and diverse population of students, as well as some other stakeholders. And on the other side, you have very static services, resources, [00:31:30] offerings, and opportunities.
[00:31:31] Cooper Jones: And our job is just to make the space between more simple for those populations and for those individuals and more intelligent via the data for the. And we believe what [00:31:45] we're seeing is that if we can do that very well, that's kind of a tide that can rise a lot of boats. This student that you know is, um, you know, a first-generation student they're immediately finding their sense of belonging.
[00:31:59] Cooper Jones: This [00:32:00] student that is excelling in this area, in this area. Well, they're being provided with an easier way of life. This veteran who has to commute 45 minutes, they're being met with their needs. A really simple solution to a very complex problem. And, [00:32:15] you know, I think I was prioritizing the. And so I think a lot of our competitors are great companies, uh, with very good people.
[00:32:22] Cooper Jones: A lot of them, I like, um, but they're really thinking about this purely from a business to business perspective. And that's [00:32:30] why you see a lot of other mobile apps have, you know, hundreds of features in them. And we've taken a different approach where, you know, we've got plenty of features, but all of them revolve around solving one problem, which is the discovery and the [00:32:45] access of.
[00:32:47] Cooper Jones: And that solution is scalable to many different areas rather than overwhelming, you know, with a ton of features, all these sorts of things. And so, yeah, we integrate, but we really want this to be consumer experience. You think about Uber, [00:33:00] that is one purpose, too many options, GrubHub seamless, one purpose, too many options.
[00:33:05] Cooper Jones: And so we think about it with the same way.
[00:33:08] Zach Busekruse: So, so, so well said, I appreciate you taking the time to kind of like unpack that for us. Yeah, no, no, no. [00:33:15] I actually want to, I want to go like a layer deeper here. So if I'm a perspective, if I'm a student, um, and I'm a prospective RA user, right. And I hear about Robert and I go to the app store and I download raw.
[00:33:26] Zach Busekruse: What is like, what happens next? [00:33:30] I create my account and then like, how do I, how do I use the.
[00:33:35] Cooper Jones: Yeah. So, you know, this is, I guess, for the administrative folks. Um, but you know, there's some integrations on the back end with some of those key systems [00:33:45] that help build the profile of each and every individual student.
[00:33:49] Cooper Jones: And the moment that. They, you know, go through onboarding, you know, they're going to see their institution, that logo, that branding all those sorts of things. But just as, [00:34:00] if not more importantly, they're going to see what that institution is like, that's relevant to them. And so if they're interested in.
[00:34:06] Cooper Jones: And, you know, certain career paths or certain interests, those are what are going to be surfaced most. If they are interested, you [00:34:15] know, in fitness and they're going to see those sorts of services and resources. Um, and then it's really just distilling all of these different corners of campus down so that rather than the current state of searching, pay my bill on the university's website.
[00:34:28] Cooper Jones: And be routed to [00:34:30] thousands of different lakes. I'm being routed directly to diverse, you know, struggling with chemistry rather than sifting through all the different areas that I'm going to be surfaced the five or the 10, most [00:34:45] relevant people, things, services, resources that can help me with that struggle.
[00:34:49] Cooper Jones: Um, and so it's really about the discovery of the camera. And then coupling that with access, because we realized that if we were just good at providing a sense of [00:35:00] belonging and helping individual students discover the campus that the software would ultimately render itself useless because one term in two terms and people would be like, I'm good.
[00:35:10] Cooper Jones: I got thanks for our RA. Um, and so the second problem with [00:35:15] access is, you know, right now, If a student discover something, they still have to go through a very archaic and manual process of picking up the phone, uh, emailing back and forth, walking and driving to campus only to be told to come back tomorrow.[00:35:30]
[00:35:30] Cooper Jones: And so that bookings functionality. Um, and access is what really is making raw. So sticky because there's just so many services, all of which have their own methods. And so we just centralized that for the student, provide the data, the [00:35:45] institution, and then we can integrate on the back end. So the career center loves using handshake.
[00:35:49] Cooper Jones: Great. It's a great platform. Keep using it, but the student gets a central place to do
[00:35:54] Zach Busekruse: Yeah. Yeah. Ooh, gosh. I mean it, it just makes it, it makes so much sense. [00:36:00] And I think is just feeling this, like this very, uh, large void of, uh, of connection, especially, especially coming out of like a pandemic where like people didn't, people, people were scared of connection.
[00:36:14] Zach Busekruse: Right. [00:36:15] Um, and I think that this is like, uh, a wonderfully timed solution to. And, you know, I I'm, I'm sure that you guys think about this and report on this often, but like, obviously if you can create that sense of community, that sense of belonging, that sense of, of, [00:36:30] of wellbeing then retention at that school is, is going to be a lot greater than for, for populations and for populations that, that don't find that connection that don't.
[00:36:41] Zach Busekruse: That community, especially in that first semester, which is [00:36:45] just so, so
[00:36:46] Cooper Jones: important. Well, it's so true. And, you know, even at schools, you know, that don't necessarily have retention challenges. Like one of our partners in Michigan, they're really focused on, you know, enhancing the student experience and making an impact on [00:37:00] wellbeing and why we're able to earn the trust of that.
[00:37:04] Cooper Jones: You know, that institution secure that partner. Was it two year long study that was centered around those two things. And the number one recommendation was we needed a tool that we can actually [00:37:15] use that we actually want to use. And you know, something that's simple and actually feels like other apps that we use every day.
[00:37:23] Cooper Jones: And that's the key is that you have to be mobile first 91% of college students, [00:37:30] technology interactions are on a mobile device. And so, you know, a. A platform that is mobile friendly is not going to cut it. You have to be mobile first. You have to be an actual application. And there's a lot of differences, especially when it [00:37:45] comes to data between mobile friendly and mobile first.
[00:37:48] Zach Busekruse: Yeah. Yeah. As you've built raw over the last, over the last couple years here, actually before, before I asked this question, what was the fundraising process like? Like, you know, you, this [00:38:00] is you're the first company that you've, that you've founded and it's a big one. Um, lots of huge potential here, uh, requires a lot of time and time equals money.
[00:38:12] Zach Busekruse: So how, how did you like think [00:38:15] through fundraising and what was. Was it easier than you expected? Was it harder than you expected? Like talk to us about your experience
[00:38:23] Cooper Jones: there? No, it's not easy and it takes up a lot of time, but. [00:38:30] You know, and it was another kind of example of me kind of feeling like an outsider, um, because there's not too, too many, you know, folks that, frankly, I'm not an engineer, um, you know, that are non-technical that can justify a [00:38:45] business case to, you know, VC funds or to tech entrepreneurs, whoever may be.
[00:38:50] Cooper Jones: And so it really was something that I still do to this day, even when we're partnering, which is, you know, asking for advice, um, you know, having [00:39:00] a consistent sense of humility and not just by talking about things, but actually showing that I think pays big dividends and whatever world per scenario you're in.
[00:39:10] Cooper Jones: And so. I know it was, um, you know, finding people that I [00:39:15] admired that I look up to and, you know, asking for advice, folks that had experience in software as a service or in higher education, asking for advice, and then genuinely listening, coming back with, you know, kind of a next level of [00:39:30] questions or, you know, kind of the next phase of conversation and just continuing to iterate upon that until.
[00:39:36] Cooper Jones: Well, this is someone that clearly is passionate about solving this problem. They're listening to what I have to say. They're challenging some of what I have to say. I [00:39:45] think that I want to support this person, I believe in this product, but I believe in this person more so, um, and especially with early stage investors.
[00:39:54] Cooper Jones: Majority of it is on, you know, who the team is, who the founding or the founders [00:40:00] are. Uh, and of course it has a little bit to do with, you know, the opportunity and the product and so on and so forth. But you really have to, you know, prove your worth that you're willing to put in the work you're willing to take advice and most importantly, willing to
[00:40:12] Zach Busekruse: listen.
[00:40:12] Zach Busekruse: Yeah. Yeah. Good, [00:40:15] good, good pieces of advice there. So walk us through an oh shit moment, right? A time when you think. Well, this idea that I'm really passionate about, like maybe it's going to crash and burn. Maybe, maybe, [00:40:30] maybe I was wrong. Right. Like walk us through that moment. And then like, how did, how did you like work yourself out of it?
[00:40:38] Cooper Jones: Well, I mean, the biggest was, and I guess this is some additional background, but we started [00:40:45] in 2018 and rather than, you know, having a. Idea and a lot of passion and just building something, you know, really quickly and inherently blindly in our offices so that we could go out and sell. We took our [00:41:00] time.
[00:41:00] Cooper Jones: Um, you know, everyone knows that earning the trust of institutions and the sales cycle and higher ed can be challenging. And so a lot of companies kind of take that approach. Let's move fast, let's break things. Let's sell this product as quickly as we can. [00:41:15] And ultimately those products don't do what you say.
[00:41:19] Cooper Jones: And those initial early adopters don't refer. They don't renew. And we see that a lot. And so we saw these outliers and like, well, let's do what they did, which was be [00:41:30] patient. So we spent from 2018 up until 2020, um, you know, partaking in or conducting a design partner program where we built raw from the ground up and, you know, spoke to [00:41:45] students and administrators and all of these other stakeholders.
[00:41:49] Cooper Jones: Daily. I mean all the time, it's actually make sure that what we're building would actually provide value and would actually work. And that was going really well. [00:42:00] And in February, 2020, It was in a very exciting time. And then March of 2020 rears its ugly head and all of that momentum, uh, is washed away.
[00:42:10] Cooper Jones: And, you know, we couldn't predict no one could predict, um, [00:42:15] you know, the last two years it looked like, but obviously higher than. I had a lot more important things to do then assess what software to move forward with. And we actually understood that. And so we continued learning, listening, fostering the relationships that we had [00:42:30] rather than trying to sell it at a time when it was inappropriate to do.
[00:42:33] Cooper Jones: And. That was scary. Um, because we almost went out of business. Uh, you know, it was a time when, you know, we are a business and so we need to show growth. We need to show revenue and [00:42:45] higher ed just wasn't necessarily listening and that's not their fault. They had, like I said, more important stuff to deal with, but a couple of months into the pandemic, we realized that if we could just survive.
[00:42:58] Cooper Jones: And ride [00:43:00] out, you know, this challenging time that this ultimately would be a net positive for our business. And I don't mean that to sound, uh, insensitive to how challenging last two years were. But during the pandemic, [00:43:15] you know, schools started to shift their mindset from being an institution centric to student centric, to focus on the student experience.
[00:43:23] Cooper Jones: And, you know, we read about these things. And the Chronicle and inside higher ed and everywhere else daily now, [00:43:30] and in 2018, that's how we were operating. And so the pandemic kind of costs institutions to really reprioritize or shift their focus to being student first, to being student centric and to the student experience.
[00:43:44] Cooper Jones: And we'd been a [00:43:45] benefactor of that because it wasn't a shift we had to make. We've been ready for that since day one. So, you know, it was a bit of a silver lining. You know, as a piece of advice that I've gotten, which is, you know, um, there's things like you can control and there's things you can't. [00:44:00] And so we couldn't control the pandemic, but we can definitely control our attitudes toward what we were going to do about it, to try to survive and come out, you know, for the better on the
[00:44:08] Zach Busekruse: backend.
[00:44:09] Zach Busekruse: Yeah. And it's such a, it's such an, a wonderful perspective. Um, and I think just a real Testament to. [00:44:15] Both how you and your team operate, but also sort of the, you know, the, the values that you espouse, uh, through raw. And I think that even just your initial approach in deciding to build [00:44:30] something of true value and understand.
[00:44:34] Zach Busekruse: Obviously in startup culture, folks talk a lot about like the MVP, right? The minimal minimum viable product. Like how do we just like ship product, right. And like, and then we'll see what [00:44:45] happens. We'll see how people respond. Um, and I think that you're, you're all sense around maybe higher ed as a market.
[00:44:51] Zach Busekruse: Um, that's, that's not the best fit for, um, and I think that the way that you approach. This, this build was, [00:45:00] was just nothing short of, of spot on regarding, you know, pandemic or not. And then, especially in light of what the past couple of years has looked like for the.
[00:45:09] Cooper Jones: Yeah. I mean, we were constantly testing, you know, design features and so on and so forth, [00:45:15] but we were kind of doing it in a large vacuum where we could break things where there was an expectation that we were going to break things rather than, you know, selling and there being into discrepancy between the promises made and the promises kept.
[00:45:29] Cooper Jones: Um, [00:45:30] and so we, as a team had to have. You know this sense of patience, a sense of humility, and also sometimes respectfully, you know, saying no, um, whether it be two institutions [00:45:45] at a time when we needed growth. Um, but also just to features, I mean, even to this day, we get requests and they're happening and you know, now we have the capacity to listen to them a little bit more often, but for, you know, changing a workflow from 20 [00:46:00] steps to 10 steps, You know, the question that we would pose respectfully was was that workflow going to impact the five people in your office or is that going to impact the thousands of students on campus?
[00:46:13] Cooper Jones: In that context, [00:46:15] it made it pretty clear what we needed to do and why we were there in the first place, because that's where the impact. You know, workflow higher ed is so busy overworked in a lot of ways. And so no matter that workload big 10 steps or [00:46:30] five, they are going to be busy. There's going to be things that they need to do.
[00:46:32] Cooper Jones: And so let's focus on the students and as it turns out, that is the downstream effect on making. Employees of an institution's lives easier. I'm making their work more fulfilling and kind of being that tide again, that rises a lot of boats. [00:46:45]
[00:46:45] Zach Busekruse: Yeah. Yeah. When, um, when you think about your, your skillset, what is, what's something that you're, you're really great at and then like, when you think about.
[00:46:57] Zach Busekruse: You know how your role in the [00:47:00] company, like, what are, what's a thing or two that you, that you're not so great at that you might even suck at? And like, how do you determine like where to throw your energy, um, with respect to the things that you are really good at and the things that you [00:47:15] might not be so good at, but that still requires some of your time and focus.
[00:47:21] Cooper Jones: Yeah. Uh, I'd say, you know, We talked about this, but I don't really like saying, you know what I think my best skill set [00:47:30] is. Um, but I'd say what I'm consistent at doing is listening. Um, and I think that that's really important about the most important thing to do as a leader, um, and something that, you know, [00:47:45] I've struggled with, but it's the best piece of advice that I've gotten from one of our investors is to not look at things through rose colored glasses.
[00:47:54] Cooper Jones: Um, you know, you need to kind of see things as what they are rather than trying to tie a [00:48:00] bow on them. And that ultimately helps you be a better. Uh, it helps you be a projective helps you communicate better, you know? And so I think that that's something that I had struggled with for a little bit, just because there's implicit bias as being the founder of something that's either going [00:48:15] well or has the opportunity to do well.
[00:48:17] Cooper Jones: Um, and you need to face reality. And I think that's a number one rule of business is facing reality and then communicating accordingly and acting and strategizing, uh,
[00:48:27] Zach Busekruse: accordingly. Um, [00:48:30] what's um, something about. It, you know, on your resume, your, your life resume that may or may not actually be on your, your LinkedIn profile that you're, that you're especially proud of, of, of accomplishing whether [00:48:45] that's working on a particular project, whether that's, uh, Taking on an iron man.
[00:48:50] Zach Busekruse: Like what, what is something, when you think about sort of your, your professional journey to date, that that brings you a lot of joy and satisfaction, even if it wasn't a particular role, [00:49:00]
[00:49:00] Cooper Jones: uh, the team building a great, great team. Um, and I think that starts with, you know, what I'm, you know, extremely proud of is the relationship that I have with my co-founder.
[00:49:14] Cooper Jones: [00:49:15] Um, and you know, us working together a little bit before starting raw together. Um, but just how that relationship has grown, uh, through really good times, tough times, great conversations, tough conversations, um, and how [00:49:30] that's kind of poured, you know, downhill in a positive way to how the rest of the team operates.
[00:49:35] Cooper Jones: Um, you know, 13 people on the team right now. Uh, there's about to be 18. Um, and I, [00:49:45] you know, it's my job, uh, to, you know, try to build them up, but I believe that all of them. Show up to work every day, excited by what we're doing by being happy by how we work together, how we communicate, how we treat each other and how we treat [00:50:00] others.
[00:50:00] Cooper Jones: And so that's what I'm most proud of and it will continue to be what I'm most proud of. Therefore it's a top priority because all software can be faster, better, cheaper, prettier. And so the number one differentiating [00:50:15] factor that we have and will have is our. And our team. And so whether that's teammate number two to teammate, you know, 1001 day, if we earn it, uh, all of them needs to feel that way and [00:50:30] you know, that's on them, but it's mainly on salmon, eyes leaders, uh, building a great culture and a place that, you know, encourages diversity and encourages different ways of thought and encourages change.
[00:50:42] Cooper Jones: Uh, and so that's always going to be the thing I'm most proud [00:50:45] of. And also the thing I'm prioritizing, looking forward,
[00:50:48] Zach Busekruse: couple of final questions for you for you Cooper. And the first one is over the course of your time at building Rog. And we're still, you know, just, [00:51:00] uh, just a few years in here, but what is, uh, what's the best and worst pieces of advice that you've received as a, as an ed tech founder?
[00:51:10] Cooper Jones: Um, The best piece of advice is what, um, [00:51:15] you know, are the two best pieces of advice are probably from our two main investors. Um, one of which, you know, said based reality. Um, and you know, don't look at things to their rose colored glasses, and I think that's helped me a lot. Uh, the [00:51:30] second is. You know, focus on your employees, focus on your teammates.
[00:51:35] Cooper Jones: We actually don't really say employees too often. We say teammates, um, because if they come to work every day and they're happy, then they'll perform. If they are [00:51:45] fulfilled, then they'll stay. Um, and that was from, uh, Dave Duffield who founded Workday founded PeopleSoft, which a lot of schools use. Uh, so that was something I wanted to listen to and still do.
[00:51:57] Cooper Jones: Um, As far as [00:52:00] worst pieces of advice goes, it's a tough question. Um, because you know, I try not to Harbor on those things, you know, you always listen. Um, but there's not really a bad piece of advice that's come to [00:52:15] mind. Um, but that's probably because I haven't, you know, compartmentalized it, I haven't internalized that just kind of focused on the things that have been good advice, but yeah, I'd have to think hard on that.
[00:52:27] Cooper Jones: Maybe it would be, you know, changing markets, [00:52:30] uh, or adjusting certain things. But those are all things that, you know, we quickly were like, no, that doesn't make sense, but that's not what we want to do. Uh, especially, you know, trying to tackle multiple markets at once is never a good idea. Yeah.
[00:52:44] Zach Busekruse: Yeah. [00:52:45] And my final, my final question for you is I know that we're Robert, his story is like, you know, fresh off the press.
[00:52:52] Zach Busekruse: We're, we're, we're just getting into things right now. Um, which is super, super exciting, but like, looking ahead, if, if you will. [00:53:00] To start another company let's say in the next five years, um, maybe 10, right? If you want to look at that, you know, that far out, what, what problem might you want to tackle or solve with this company?
[00:53:13] Zach Busekruse: What industry might it be [00:53:15] in? Um, and, and any ideas on sort of like how you, how you'd bring that company to them. Uh, procurement,
[00:53:27] Cooper Jones: just kidding. Uh, there may be some rooms for [00:53:30] improvement there, but it would be honestly, you know, I could see, you know, what we do today, being something that can go, you know, in other places, uh, at the [00:53:45] simple fact that, you know, in tech crunch and all these different publications and the media and VC dollars.
[00:53:50] Cooper Jones: Everyone's talking about web three and there's a lot of application there, but the fact of the matter remains is that people and human beings are still struggling [00:54:00] in real life. Access and equity are still massive problems that need to be solved. And those are the things that we focus on and things that we're making an impact on.
[00:54:09] Cooper Jones: And so I think that there's application. Well beyond higher ed. Um, so I guess that's [00:54:15] my, you know, founder answer. Uh, but the Cooper answer probably would be, you know, maybe a restaurant. I dunno my favorite thing to do cooking. Uh, and I think that, I don't know what has a higher failure rate if it's start-ups or restaurants, but those are probably one [00:54:30] or two, so maybe I like pain or I don't know what it is, but yeah.
[00:54:36] Zach Busekruse: Yeah, I can see it now, man, like a, an Italian wine bar, some, you know, great, great pasta. Um,
[00:54:43] Cooper Jones: all I've got [00:54:45] a, I don't know, I've got a smoker and so some brisket and some ribs that could be dangerous as
[00:54:51] Zach Busekruse: well. So who knows? Great. Well, Hey, uh, this has been a blast. I really appreciate you Cooper taking time out of your busy life to come in and chat [00:55:00] with us.
[00:55:00] Zach Busekruse: Um, for folks listening, we'll have links to website where the. Um, a lot about, uh, what you guys are doing, what you're building, we'll have your LinkedIn profile linked as well. So folks can kind of contact you and get in touch if they want to learn a little bit more about you in, in, in the [00:55:15] product. Is there any where else you might want to direct folks to, if they're interested in learning a little bit more about what you guys are building,
[00:55:21] Cooper Jones: uh, you know, to us, uh, you know, as a team, uh, we're all accessible, we're all available and we all love.
[00:55:28] Cooper Jones: Uh, and we all really like [00:55:30] to improve. And so, you know, uh, anyone that's interested in hearing about what we can do for the student experience, how quickly we can do that and how much that's resonating with the students themselves, uh, please reach out, you know, [00:55:45] Say that we're student first. And we mean it and kind of the evidence of our growth and the partnerships that we're having with schools like Michigan, uh, and the reception from students is kind of emulating or habit evidencing that.
[00:55:56] Cooper Jones: So
[00:55:57] Zach Busekruse: wonderful. Well, thanks again, man, for your time. I really [00:56:00] appreciate it.
[00:56:00] Cooper Jones: Thank you.
[00:56:04] Zach Busekruse: We hope you enjoyed this episode of starter stories. Starter stories is brought to you by Enrollify, a learning community for enrollment managers and higher ed marketers. Enrollify was built to [00:56:15] empower enrollment marketers with the ideas, the strategies and the tools that they need to optimize the resources that they do have to generate the results.
[00:56:24] Zach Busekruse: You can explore other podcasts or sign up for one of our newsletters or watch an episode of frideas, our weekly video [00:56:30] segment at Enrollify.org. And don't forget to hit that subscribe button or leave us a review. And if you like what we're about, share this content with a friend. Finally, if you know a founder in the ed tech or education consulting space that you think we should have on the show, [00:56:45] please send me an email directly at Zack that's Z A C H at Enrollify.org.[00:57:00] [00:57:15]
About the Episode
The what's what...
In just a moment, you’ll meet Cooper Jones — Co-Founder of RahRah, a Community Engagement System that provides a simple solution to give students the inclusive and supportive experience they need to thrive while on campus.
When Cooper was 5 years old, he came back from Sunday school one afternoon and proclaimed to his parents that he wanted to be a preacher and a motocross driver.
And while these dreams shifted a bit as he grew up, he does have a passion for community building and Iron Man racing — so, hey, there’s some consistency here!
After studying finance at Oklahoma State, Cooper went to work in consulting at Accenture. And it was there that he was placed on a project serving a higher education client.
Working with this university opened Cooper’s eyes to the incredible challenges that today’s institutions face…and before too long, ideas for how he might build technology to help address these challenges began to percolate.
Tune in to hear the story behind how and why Cooper started RahRah.
About the Podcast
Zach is the Founder of Enrollify. He thoroughly enjoys building new brands, developing and executing content marketing strategies, and hosting podcasts. When he's not working on Enrollify, he enjoys discussing life's quandaries over coffee (or a good bourbon) with friends, building Sponstayneous (his travel brand side hustle), trying out new HIIT workouts, and adventuring across the globe with his wife!
Cooper Jones is the Co-Founder of RahRah, a Community Engagement System that provides a simple solution to give students the inclusive and supportive experience they need to thrive while on campus. When Cooper was 5 years old, he came back from Sunday school one afternoon and proclaimed to his parents that he wanted to be a preacher and a motocross driver. And while these dreams shifted a bit as he grew up, he does have a passion for community building and Iron Man racing — so, hey, there’s some consistency here! After studying finance at Oklahoma State, Cooper went to work in consulting at Accenture. And it was there that he was placed on a project serving a higher education client. Working with this university opened Cooper’s eyes to the incredible challenges that today’s institutions face…and before too long, ideas for how he might build technology to help address these challenges began to percolate.
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Starter Stories is a podcast that explores the stories behind the world’s leading education technology companies and education consultancies...and the people who created them. In each episode, you’ll hear about the grit, the strategies, the wins, the failures, and the serendipity that transpired to take a half-baked idea and bring it to life.
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