Oz Waknin’s student loan debt stared him down. Oz faced a situation many young college graduates encounter, uncertainty about how he was going to pay off his student loans. Eating with a friend one night, Oz relayed his situation, to which his friend responded, "I believe in you. If I could invest in you, I would." Entrepreneurially driven, Oz took up the challenge, "How would that work, and how do we empower future students?" Oz and his friend immediately outlined a solution. The plans for Nuntiux were in place before sunrise.
Nuntiux provides an alternative source of higher education funding through its online marketplace by facilitating Income Share Agreements (ISAs, see below) between students seeking funds and investors looking to invest in students.
"The student loan industry is rife with bad actors and it handcuffs students at a stage where they have few options," Waknin said. "Banks are in the business of interest rates and bottom line, instead of mutual agreement and student success. Nuntiux is here to solve that problem."
How it works:
Students create profiles describing all relevant information, such as school, intended major, amount of money needed for school, achievements, ambitions, and financial terms of the arrangement the student is seeking.
Investors go onto the platform, evaluate student profiles, as well as utilize Nuntiux’s uniquely built three-tiered artificial intelligence/machine learning functions. These consist of data analytics, metadata, and video-driven analysis. Then investors use a mix of Nuntiux’s tools as well their own preferences to invest in students who they believe will succeed.
No company in the world is utilizing this elaborate of an AI/ML system in the higher education ISA realm.
The money raised through the platform is sent directly to the student’s school, streamlining the direct payment by investors to the student tuition fees.
About Income Share Agreements: The student agrees to pay a percentage of income back to the investors for a set amount of years, beginning the month after the money is raised. Don’t worry, if you aren’t making any money while attending school, you won’t owe anything! Post-graduation, if you are unemployed and your income is $0, you won’t owe anything until you start making money again. If you get a raise, you’ll pay more money to the investors, but it’ll be the same percentage of income no matter how much or little you make.
ISA+: Nuntiux takes the ISA model a step further, introducing ISA+, a step toward empowering students to retain their financial freedom. ISA+ gives each student the ability to set their own financial terms for their arrangement before potential investors see their profiles. There is no negotiation involved, either investors sign up under the students’ terms or they pass. This ensures students will never take on any financial pressure they didn’t introduce to the arrangement themselves.
"Unlike predatory private student loans, students set their own financial terms on their profiles before investors ever get involved," Waknin said. "This empowers and teaches the students to take control of their futures instead of handing that control over to banks that take advantage of students during one of the most vulnerable time periods in their lives."
Nuntiux co-founder Sofie Adler Kleborg says her discussions with students about their needs academically and financially helps drive Nuntiux’s vision and product.
"The primary topic of conversation when I see these students is the fear of being burdened with debt before they even start in the professional world. We’re setting out to ease those fears and solve these problems that plague the financial side of the higher education world."
Oz would have used Nuntiux when he was seeking funding for business school at London School of Economics. Instead, he went and created it, so students coming after him wouldn’t face the problems he and so many others face every year when preparing for college.
How Students and Investors Can Access the Platform: Students and investors can access the platform now by filling out their profiles at Nuntiux.io and clicking the "Sign up now" button on the top of the home page. Currently, investors must be accredited investors as defined by the SEC.
How Institutes of Higher Education Can Get Involved: email@example.com