The winner, called Hoot.me, was chosen by real-time SMS votes by the audience of some 500. Unsurprisingly, CEO Michael Koetting is a 20-year-old University of Texas student. What particularly impressed the audience was that Koetting had apparently figured out not only how to make the service work, but also how to make money from it. The solution: to charge students for access to tutors. Considering the cost of education, students could find paying for help to avoid failing a class to be a great bargain. And that made Hoot.me as close to a sure-fire winner as any startup has a right to expect.
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