The College of William and Mary will welcome its own Craigslist-type online marketplace with the re-launch of CollegeCambio.
CollegeCambio, created by Matt Sniff ’15 and Joe Laresca ’15 in 2011, re-launched Nov. 7 to provide students with an online marketplace specific for them, requiring a College email address in order to participate.
As part of the reboot, CollegeCambio streamlined its features and engaged in an online marketing campaign to raise awareness. The site can be used for a range of things, from selling and buying textbooks and electronics to securing rides home during breaks.
“We originally came up with the idea last September,” Sniff, who serves as the sites chief technology officer, said. “We were freshmen, and we were just thinking about what we could start at the school and what was really needed.”
Cambio user Sun Joung ’14 started using the site in its original state and liked what he saw.
“I heard about it last year for the first time from flyers all over the campus,” Joung said. “I have used it for selling textbooks. I haven’t sold anything yet but I think it’s an awesome [way] to sell or buy things.”
Around 1,100 students registered last year, but the founders saw room for improvement and strived to have the site become universally used on campus. Sniff credited his summer experience at a startup incubator with helping him to improve the site.
“Now, it’s kind of like an iPhone for the campus,” Sniff said. “Everything you’d ever think you’d do or need is on CollegeCambio. That’s the way I picture it.”
The new site includes a Twitter-esque news feed, a commenting feature and direct messaging.
Chief Executive Officer Laresca expressed that CollegeCambio’s efficiency lies within its exclusivity.
“Basically, we wanted to create something just for William and Mary,” Laresca said. “What this site does is put students on a website. It’s where you can search for and find what you need. You don’t have to go on Craiglist and go through city, state and country.”
As part of the reboot, the founders went to Student Assembly President Curt Mills ’13 to aid in getting the site to the entire student body.
“They pitched me this project over the summer,” Mills said. “I was pretty impressed with what I saw. I tried to give them some insight. I’ve also been in talks trying to integrate the site with the school. Blackboard’s not owned by the school, and if that can be linked, then maybe the College would be interested in backing a homegrown company.”
CollegeCambio Launch Campaign Manager Mackenzie Wenner ’13 has worked to increase the site’s audience and found the re-launch to be a success.
“In the last week, we’ve seen huge gains in both the website’s Facebook presence as well as participation in this new college marketplace,” Wenner said. “In my estimation, the campus is embracing this new service wholeheartedly and I am confident that our community will be the better for it.”