CourseCafe is a search and social bookmarking tool for students that the founder, Puneet Gupta, demo’d at TagCamp last weekend. The company is located in Mountain View and is angel funded.
At first blush, the question came to mind as to why students can’t just use existing search tools like Google and social bookmarking applications like del.icio.us to handle their research needs. After the demo I understood why CourseCafe may be compelling for students to use on top of existing services.
The site, which is currently under closed beta, has automatically uploaded entire course schedules for most colleges and universities in the U.S. Students can quickly add the courses they are taking. As the company gets some history behind it, the bookmarks saved from previous semesters in the same course will stay available to students, giving them a good start on finding relevant web documents.
Search is integrated directly into the site using Yahoo and Google APIs. A bookmarklet is also available for sites found outside of CourseCafe. Bookmarking and tagging a link is straightforward and functional. All students of a course that bookmark items will be able to see other’s bookmarks, creating additional value for students (and reasons to use the site). There are other great features as well, such as limiting searches to .edu sites.
There are obvious product extensions as well, such as hosting notes and other course information.