I think your idea to create an alternative ranking system for universities that truly reflects the best fit for an individual student, is a great one. As an international student studying in the United States, I faced the exact problem that you and your team mentioned, while deciding where to apply as well as where to study once I had gotten acceptances. I think that one thing your team could do, to increase the amount of data available for potential students to see, is to incentivize existing students at various universities to write reviews or answer questions that your users are asking, so that they can get real insights from current and past students who have actually attended the school. This totally eliminates the problem of the marketing power of universities, because your users will be able to get raw, unfiltered information about the questions they have.
Since you want the platform to be targeting specifically the question of 'the university’s ability to help grow future leaders in terms of impact', this could be a preliminary question asked to all current students at universities. For example, the question could be 'What steps has your university taken to help grow future leaders and are there any specific examples that you would be willing to share?'
I think your idea is a great one, and I love how interactive it makes the learning process. I had a few clarifying questions for you, that would help me better understand the concept of Future School:
1. How reliant do you hope that students become on Future School? Is the application supposed to replace traditional classrooms completely, or just be a supplement to what students learn in class? I ask specifically because the name "Future School" makes the application seem like it will replace traditional schooling. 2. You mention that this app is great for students who love learning. How do you plan to engage those who see learning as more of a chore, rather than something they enjoy doing, on the application?
I think your idea is a very innovative one, and one that I could see really working well. As a sophomore in college, I can truly see the importance of having a good network of people, and I am starting to see how much more important "who you know" is, compared to "what you know". Your idea really fills a niche gap in the market, but I have a question for you, regarding the application's scalability. You did mention that scalability will come from the network effect, which I agree with, but how do you plan to reach the critical mass of both mentors and mentees that is needed to kickstart the network effect? With regard to your concern about the expansion of benefits to BOD members, I think that the most key thing is to really emphasize the fact that they will be creating a lasting social impact. Additionally, I would also mention that as mentors, they have the important role of guiding mentees (who are the next generation of the workforce) in the right direction and this once again leaves a lasting positive social impact.