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College of Business Administration

Bookstore Set to Stock Student-Created Page Protectors

Kevin Li and Johnathan McGowan stand next to TakeNote Global protectors

Two Cal Poly Pomona College of Business Administration students are moving a step closer to becoming successful entrepreneurs this spring when their product hits Bronco Bookstore shelves.

Computer Information Systems student Kevin Li and second-year Management and Human Resources major Johnathan McGowan are the founders of TakeNote Global, manufacturer of ultra-thin sheets of plastic with a low-tack pressure adhesive on one side and a proprietary film that allows ink from writing utensils to stick on the other.

“The TakeNote Clear Note is our solution to rented textbooks - a surface to keep your books and pads clean and pristine while still being able to write out to your heart’s content,” the TakeNote website says. “Clear Notes will allow you to write on nearly any surface with no staining or damage to the contents underneath.”

Assembled shortly before the 2016 Bronco Startup Challenge, Li and McGowan were in the group of 10 finalists competing for $10,000 of seed money. Although they fell short of winning, the contest had its upsides.

“The Bronco Startup Challenge offered us a way to validate as well as receive feedback on our product,” says McGowan, who also made a valuable contact while preparing for the event. “The [Student Innovation Idea Lab] has been most helpful to us and the other teams – we have been able to find mentors as well as seek legal counsel.”

The iLab is an on-campus center supported by the College of Business Administration with the mission of supporting student creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. According to the iLab’s Ericka Olguin, the staff assisted TakeNote Global in securing the Bronco Bookstore as a client.

McGowan says the sheets will be available first thing this spring quarter and 50 are included in a $9.99 package. McGowan recommends one to two packets for the average college student.

It took just over a year for Li and McGowan to evolve an idea for assisting students in obtaining top dollar while selling back books at the end of the quarter to a tangible product available for purchase in retailers. The two agree TakeNote Global is still in its infancy.

“Short-term, we want to launch the product and finish development of our Note-Taking collaboration sharing software,” McGowan says. “Long-term, we want to reach more schools, put our resource division into full implementation and start building more services to help students succeed."