Blooksy started out with the audacious goal to create more novelists. But as the Atlanta-based startup grew over the last year, founder Anthony ‘AJ’ Joiner recognized a number of users weren’t necessarily using the platform to write the next great American novel.
Instead, Blooksy had been organically attracting professors who needed to streamline the process of researching and writing academic papers.
That stems from the common mantra echoed around universities: Publish or perish.
“If you’re at a research institution and you’re a professor, you must do a certain amount of research every year,” Joiner told Hypepotamus. Professors started using Blooksy’s AI platform, its writing templates, and its built-in collaboration and voice-to-text tools to make the academic article and dissertation process easier.
Often, researchers rely on a combination of Word, Dropbox, email, Microsoft Team, and other communication platforms to collaborate with colleagues, leading to headaches and mishaps throughout the editing process. Blooksy looks to bring the research and writing process into one dashboard.
Another part of Blooksy’s recent growth has come through the rollout of Aven, an artificial intelligence writing assistant built into the platform. Users can write or speak about a topic and the deep learning platform creates original content in paragraph form.
Aven is not designed to make writers obsolete or replace the research process, Joiner told Hypepotamus. Instead, the artificial intelligence platform can help writers uncover parallel topics to make their research deeper and richer. Named after Joiner’s grandmother who had a knack for natural storytelling, Aven uses deep learning and its understanding of the overall writing and language process to build better content.
“If you’re sitting there with a blank page, this can kickstart your writing,” he added.
Southeast Universities Take Note
It was just about a year ago that Blooksy pitched at Panoramic Ventures’ Startup Showdown, taking home the top prize and a $120,000 check from the monthly startup competition.
The recent push into academia is a natural fit for the AI writing platform, as it opens up an entirely new customer base for the early-stage startup.
Kennesaw State University and The University of South Florida have already signed on, with several other institutions showing interest in the platform. Blooksy has even caught the attention of the schools that want to teach their students to write a book over the course of a school year.
Right now, the team is focused on growing its sales team to keep up with increasing demand and building out its roadmap, which includes the addition of a plagiarism checker and a citation tracker.
While the academic side of Blooksy has been attracting eyeballs in the academic world recently, it hasn’t forgotten its roots in creative writing. Joiner said that the fiction/non-fiction portion of the website — designed to help users write memoirs, fiction, self-help, and poetry books — has continued to grow organically.