U niversity of Colorado graduate student Daniel Higgs and staff member Nathan Campbell are hoping to increase productivity and innovation on campus through a new website that connects students with specialized skills.
The pair launched cuskills.com about two months ago as a test site to gain feedback from users, but this week the site was introduced to all CU students in hopes of creating a database of student skills.
"It's about students helping students," Higgs said. "Students create an account and list the skills they have that they're willing to share with other students."
Users enter their own skills, which Higgs said can be anything other students could benefit from, and then rank their skill level using a five-star system.
The site motto, "linking students to peers who can help," exemplifies the site's pay-it-forward identity, Higgs said.
"Supporting and helping each other is really a strong sentiment in CU's entrepreneurship community and that's what we want to foster here," Higgs said.
The majority of skills listed on the site currently include web development, scientific skills and languages. However, Higgs said as more students sign up, the possibilities are infinite.
"Someone could post that they are good at plucking a cello," Higgs said. "We don't have a specific genre we're going for here so this could include any skill a student wants to share."
There are currently about 60 users on the site from the test phase, but now that the creators have opened it to the entire student body, they're hoping to exceed 500 users by the end of the spring semester.
CU graduate student David Knox joined the test site and listed his skills in computer science, which he is hoping to share with his fellow students.
"I have 30 years of experience in computers, so I feel like I have a lot to share," Knox said. "I'm an older student with experience that I think can help younger students and that's what I like about the site."
Knox said he's also hoping that when more students start signing up, he can find help from his peers , in turn speeding up his research and graduation.
"This could potentially save weeks of research time -- trying to decipher vocabulary and research you find online," Knox said. "This would allow someone locally to put the pieces together for you over a cup of coffee, rather than forcing you to reinvent the wheel."
Knox and Higgs agree that the site will become more successful with more users, expanding the range of skills available on the site.
"We talked to our friends and colleagues about it first, so there is a lot of research-related and web skills right now," Higgs said, "but once we open it up, we're interested to see where the users take it. This site is what I can do. Now, you show me what you're going to do with it."
Follow Whitney Bryen on Twitter: @SoonerReporter.