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What problem does your solution solve?
Many high school students want to create an impact on the world. Whether it's through a non-profit, startup, community service outreach or research project, students lack a diverse team to work with that will ultimately build the projects they envision. Often times, students look to their friends and family but fail to find like-minded people with complementary skills and similar interests. Other students may not have access to resources such as labs and mentors or lack an idea to work on. ConnectMe aims to build a student community where local and international students can collaborate with each other to make their projects a reality.
What’s the market potential for your solution?
Our total addresseble market is around 324+ million students around the world who have the potential to create their own projects with other students. Our target market is every high school student in the U.S. and Turkey, where our co-founders live, who currently participates in extracurricular activities and projects. This number adds up to about 10 million students. Segmented further, our company aims to reach 1.68M students actively participating in extracurriculars in California, Massachusetts and Istanbul.
Who are your customers?
Our customer persona is an ambitious high school student with the desire to challenge themselves and start their own project or organization. Moreover, we aim to help students aiming to build a solid college application for the future. We are a B2C business because our platform is directly serving the students.
How will you reach your customers?
We plan to contact local high school counselors who recommend extracurriculars to their students and higher level educators to implement our platform into their websites and curriculum. Then, we will partner with nonprofit organizations who would be willing to feature their events on our website to recruit students. Currently, we use social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to create awareness of our product.
How will you make money?
We plan to make revenue from three strategies: advertisements, partnerships with nonprofit organizations and premium features such as a project portfolio builder for college applications. In the future, we plan to integrate our portfolios with the college application system, allowing us to expand our market.
What kind of partners will you need to make, support and distribute your solution?
We need to partner with high school administration to promote our platform along with nonprofit organizations to encourage more students to use our website.
What will your expenses include?
Our expenses include our site domain, marketing materials, advertisements, potential endorsements for successful projects on our platform and employees.
Who is your competition and how do you differ?
Our competitors include Facebook events, Linkedin, Meetup and Volunteermatch.org. Facebook events allow students to find teammates for their projects; however, they are limited to their friends. Moreover, their event is mixed with irrelevant posts, making it inefficient for students to build their teams. Linkedin helps students find potential teammates, but unlike ConnectMe, they do not promote projects. Furthermore, Linkedin is surrounded by professionals/adults which fails to build the student community that allows high schoolers to thrive. Meetup has a similar platform; however, unlike our company, their postings include activities such as coffee dates which do not emphasize the need for student-initiated projects and organizations. Lastly, volunteermatch.org finds community service opportunities for students, but in a recent survey our company conducted, we found that most students are interested in creating subject-based projects (ex: robotics) which our platform supports.