Don’t want to wait in line for Ike’s? Then go to class!

Posted by at 11:22PM

No, I'm not kidding. You can cut the line at Ike's.

Let’s face it, most of us have skipped class at one point or another during our Stanford careers. Whether you missed class because you think that you can cover the material on your own or because you were tired because you were up all night trying to cover material that you missed in class or just because you didn’t feel like it, the thing is, sometimes we’re missing out on the incredible academic opportunities that we ostensibly came to this university for. Plus I’m pretty sure professors do notice when three times the regular attendance shows up to the midterms. And I’m sure it hurts. If only we had something more than world-class professors who care about us to convince students that showing up to class was actually a good idea…

Lucky for us, now there’s an app for that. Stanford grads Andrew Bellay and Weston McBride have released CreditU, an app (currently for iOS only but Android and other versions are in the works) that rewards students for getting to class on time. As they put it, “half of the battle is just showing up – literally.” How do they plan on getting students to go to class? Through CreditU, they’re offering rewards like “free coffee and burritos, signed footballs, and the ability to cut to the front of the line at Ike’s.” Wait, the chance to bypass the hours-long line at Ike’s? I’m sold.

So how does it work?

First, you download the app in the iTunes app store or by updating your version of iStanford since it’s a university-approved app, not two random guys trying to entice you to go to class with promises of free coffee and cookies (well, that wouldn’t be that bad). CreditU is on the second page.

In the app, you can add the classes you’re enrolled in easily on the classes tab at the bottom. When you start checking into classes, you’ll begin to see your statistics appear on this page as well.

Disclaimer: That is not my actual course load. A mere mortal can only dream of such a course load.

Checking in is easy. Just hit the big blue button on the main page when you’re in class. Every time you check in, you’ll get a token. One caveat: thanks to Location Services, you won’t be able to check in from the comfort of your bed. You’ll have to physically be in class at the right time. Well, if you really wanted to game the system, you could stand outside the classroom and check in, but if you’re already that close, why not just go to class and learn things?

Once you’ve gotten a few tokens, then you’ll be able to redeem some free coffee or if you’re a particularly diligent student, maybe even a football signed by Toby Gerhart. MetaNeer Labs (the start-up behind CreditU) has made deals with businesses all over campus and Palo Alto, including Coupa, the CoHo, and a couple of special deals like a Mystery Box that changes on a weekly basis. Some of the rewards are limited opportunities, like the football or cutting the line at Ike’s (because if everyone decides to cut the line at the same time, that just wouldn’t work). When you’re redeeming your rewards, you’ll have 60 seconds to show the screen to the cashier, so don’t redeem it before you’re ready!

Although the app is pretty enticing as is, Andrew and Weston have bigger plans, including new features, competitions for which dorm has the best attendance ratings (I predict here and now that a Row house will never ever win this competition), and bigger and better rewards. Not that a football signed by Heisman runner-up Toby Gerhart isn’t big enough.

Unfortunately, I don’t have enough classes left in my senior year spring quarter to get that Toby Gerhart-signed football, but I think that I’ll be able to cut the line at Ike’s sometime before Memorial Day. And when I get my sandwich in under five minutes at noon, I’ll be glad I showed up to all of my classes.

If you want to get involved with CreditU (which you can follow on Facebook) or have any questions about startups and stuff, feel free to contact Andrew or Weston!

Andrew Bellay

Weston McBride


5 Responses to “Don’t want to wait in line for Ike’s? Then go to class!”

  1. Isabella says:

    The problem is, not everyone on campus (yes, even at Stanford) has a smart phone. Isn’t it somewhat unfair to only offer special discounts and rewards to people who can afford smart phones and the expensive data plans that accompany them?

  2. jamal says:

    if you can’t afford a smartphone (or simply don’t want to buy one), that does not mean you are poor.

    you should delete your post dan, honestly

  3. Sarah says:

    What about friends taking friends’ phones to class and checking them in?

    “Ok- you go to class today, check us in, and I’ll meet you at the front of the line at Ike’s at noon!”

    Sweet idea tho!

  4. Purun says:

    @Isabella: Accessibility is an important issue for the guys at MetaNeer Labs, and I just wanted to let you know that they are working on versions for other mobile platforms and a version that doesn’t require a smartphone at all. It’s just that they’ve released the iOS version first (which means you can use iPod Touches as well). Hope that helps!

  5. Justin says:

    “I’m pretty sure professors do notice when three times the regular attendance shows up to the midterms. And I’m sure it hurts.”

    I strongly disagree. The majority of the faculty at Stanford- particularly in the STEM fields- are not personally offended when undergraduates fail to attend their classes on time if at all. I’m not sure the same is true for lecturers and instructors whose sole purpose is to teach.

    Sure, there are some professors who are dedicated to teaching undergraduates. Those professors are rare at Stanford an any other Research I institution. This also explains the overwhelming sentiment of disdain for the quality of teaching from professors.

    Do students really need the incentive of possibly cutting a line at sandwich shop or free coffee in order to attend class? If so, why? Is the quality of teaching at Stanford that bad (I’d argue in many cases, yes)? Or has the hunger for the academic stimuli decreased amongst Stanford’s applicant pool (i’d argue in many cases, yes)?

    Regardless, it’s pretty trifling. Stanford can do better.


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