The notebooks that were once part of every classroom were gradually replaced by portable computers or tablets until today, when interactions between students and teachers are increasingly digital, especially in what is already considered the era of Intelligence Artificial.
The AI trend caught the attention of Nikola and Dominik, two Swiss exchange students who studied at Nova SBE during the spring semester of 2023 and acknowledged the challenges some students have in reconciling full-time studies with an active social life.
"After talking to people at Nova SBE, as well as students in Germany, Switzerland, and Canada, we realized that the main challenge for many was not organizing their study materials, but rather the time-consuming process of creating them (e.g. writing study summaries and flashcards)," explain the former students.
As part of the Entrepreneurship course taught by Professor Miguel Duarte, Nikola, and Dominik joined forces with three other Nova SBE exchange students from Canada and together came up with the idea of creating a platform that would help students study while making time for their social lives.
Nova SBE's Entrepreneurship course was a key factor in the students' idea of becoming what it is today: an AI-based platform that helps students create study cards. "Opening a company wasn't our initial plan," explains the team. However, motivated by Nova SBE professor Miguel Duarte, Nikola, and Dominik began to turn their idea into an actual project.
"The professors at Nova SBE, especially Miguel Duarte and Teresa Mannebach, were a fundamental part of our journey. They genuinely wanted to help us succeed and their personalized support made a huge difference. Nova SBE provided the perfect environment for us to go from an idea to a successful startup, turning our entrepreneurship course project into a reality," says the Studyflash team.
During their time at Nova SBE, the two students developed Studyflash's initial prototype, including the landing page and a minimum viable product (MVP).
Even after leaving Nova SBE and Portugal, Nikola and Dominik continued to work on their project with the support of Nova SBE. "We kept in regular contact over the summer and were even allowed to present our project at Professor Miguel's new entrepreneurship course," explains the team.
Today, with the help and support of Nova SBE, Studyflash is an established online platform. To use it, students only need to upload PowerPoint slides or PDF summaries and the platform will automatically generate flashcards with the subject summarized in a few minutes. Then, "an integrated spaced repetition mode facilitates efficient learning and demonstrably improves knowledge retention (supported by scientific consensus)," explains the platform's creators.
At the moment, Studyflash has a user base of thousands of students. The team looks to the future with hope and is now working on some new features. "We are actively working on technical advances, such as the implementation of image processing, which will improve graphic processing and expand our user base (for example, crucial for medical students to learn anatomy). Our vision goes beyond memorization; our goal is to provide a comprehensive learning experience. As well as improving recall, we aim to promote understanding by introducing an AI assistant capable of explaining complex topics," says the Studyflash team.