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Benjamin Wald, 21, and Dean "Tyler" Jenks, 22
Forget social networking. The next big Web-based thing is going to be "knowledge sharing." So says Benjamin Wald, who dropped out of Babson College his sophomore year to start a business that capitalizes on this concept, with his fraternity brother, Dean "Tyler" Jenks, who also dropped out (he was in his senior year). Knetwit, which launched about a year and a half ago and moves out of beta on Sept. 16, encourages college students to upload their class notes (and any other materials they've created for their studies) and share them with others—promising to pay users who upload for every document downloaded. Revenue comes from ads sold on the site. As for worries about plagiarism and related concerns, a FAQ on the site advises users to consult their student handbooks regarding their schools’ ethics policies.
Wald, who considers himself a serial entrepreneur, says the 22-employee business has raised about $5 million through angel investors and venture capitalists. Although he declines to talk about revenues or whether or not the business is profitable, he plans to test the concept within the college market, then expand it to other industries.