Santa Clara University

Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Alumni Entrepreneur Spotlight

In each quarterly newsletter, the CIE features an Alumni Entrepreneur Spotlight article. Have an alumni entrepreneur you'd like to see featured?  Contact the CIE with your suggestion.

Changing Education, One Book Rental at a Time


When Colin Barceloux '03 (pictured below right) was an undergraduate at Santa Clara University, he felt the pinch on his walletundefined every quarter when it came time to buy books. He worked at two jobs and, like over 60 percent of students at Santa Clara, Barceloux received financial aid. However, books were an out-of-pocket expense. Buying the books was not even the worst part. The real pain came at the end of the quarter, in the midst of finals, when Barceloux waited in line to sell his books back. Half of the time the store would not give him a penny.


"I started thinking about the process: you buy the book, you use it, then you try to sell it back. The sell-back is really a rental," said Barceloux, now the President of allows students to rent their books
for the term of their class and then mail the books back in
pre-addressed postage-paid envelopes. Students
can even use the company's erasable highlighters to highlight in their
books, but still be able to return them in "like new" condition. The rental cost is about one-third of the cost of buying books. Currently, is the only company offering this service.


"Our goal is to try to make education more affordable," Barceloux said, "I won't be satisfied until everyone can rent a book." launched a year ago, and this year
will focus its efforts on pilot programs at Santa Clara University, San
Jose State, and Harker Prep School.


So how did a kid two years out of college become the President of his own company? Barceloux took his Santa Clara education and applied it to the real world, with a little networking help from his alma mater.


"Colin is highly coachable. With a couple of mentors, he can go very far," said Andy Hospodor, Santa Clara professor and CTO of


graduated in the middle of the dot-com bust in 2003 but landed a job as
a contractor at Google using his degree in Operations & Management
Information Systems. He eventually found permanent, full-time work at an ad agency. With his book-renting idea burning in the back of his mind, he started contacting colleagues to make his idea reality.


"Our management team (pictured left) is a good mix of seasoned veterans and up-and-coming go-getters," Barceloux said.
That team consists of Hospodor, VP of Technology Ra Roath, VP of Sales
and Marketing Joe Ramsey, CFO Valerie Burniece, and Director of Customer
Service Patrick Russell.


Barceloux has also used Santa Clara's Center for
Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) for support and will present to
its eCouncil, a group of alumni who give back to the university by
providing consulting, connections and encouragement for new startups.


"CIE has been an outlet for me. (CIE Director) Kevin Holmes '01 has offered peers for me to relate to," Barceloux said. "We are really excited to be involved with the Center and wouldn't be as a far along or successful without it."
Starting a company in his mid-twenties has not been without its
challenges but the CIE has helped remove barriers for his startup:
"Starting a new business, every day you wake up and are faced with new
obstacles. Hopefully, when you go to bed, there are fewer obstacles than when you woke up."

For more information, please visit




Colin Barceloux




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