Two budding innovators in 2019 met over a cup of coffee and embarked on a journey to create a space for college students to connect and collaborate.
Three years later, Ed Magema and James Kimani brought their idea to life through Univus, a social network that allows students to create communities of friends around the world.
As the name suggests, Univus is “the universe of students” where they are free to live chat, learn and network in a fun and easy environment.
The app lets you start or join audio chats and ask questions about topics of interest with other students on campus around the world.
Univus was conceived after Magema noticed a gap in the educational technology (EdTech) space regarding students.
“Over the years, students on campus have been the least well served in terms of learning apps,” Magema said at the app launch in Nairobi.
“However, with Univus, they can now interact and connect with each other on a global scale and unlock their social capital,” he added.
Additionally, according to Kimani, its co-founder was looking for a way to connect students seeking opportunities to study abroad at elite universities such as Harvard and Cambridge.
Magema has a mathematics degree from Harvard while Kimani holds a degree in computer science from the University of Nairobi.
“Due to the tedious process needed to gain admission to these institutions, he decided to refine the idea by coming up with a way to bridge the gap between students from all over the world,” Kimani explained.
He continued, “Ed reached out to me and shared his idea which I was happy to jump on board and help build Univus.”
To join Univus, all you need is an active university email address, which you will use to log into the app once downloaded, free of charge.
Like most apps, Univus lets you create a student profile where you describe yourself – your institution, area of study, and career aspirations – and attach your profile picture.
The app also allows you to follow other students. In the coming months, the founders plan to add new features like real-time commenting, where users can comment on chat sessions as they happen.
They also plan to create a messaging feature for other social interactions. Univus currently has 500 users to date and is on its way to becoming the first African EdTech that merges social interactions with education.