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OK RDY

OK RDY

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OK RDY is a mentorship and skilled-volunteer matching platform with an initial focus on connecting students to professionals and organisations; helping improve employability, diversity and cultural outcomes.

The Idea

OKRDY aims on bridging the gap between university students and corporations. The average university student pursues academia, however, beyond the books they often lack guidance to help them pave their way through this constantly changing corporate world. That’s where the OKRDY platform intervenes, it is a student mentor matching service which matches students to potential mentors who work within their relevant industry. The service will be web-based and will be on all the accessible platforms available to your average student. 

The Market

OK RDY provides access to flash mentoring services for both graduate and undergraduate students. The platform also provides the ability for professional development within a workplace and mentoring for those who wish to partake in workplace community service. During on campus surveys it was found that among the general student population 76% of felt that they were under prepared to enter the workforce. From community engagement with these students it was determined that the platform needed to be able to provide networking as well as flash mentoring opportunities as students in general we’re not prepared to move into a professional work environment and required guidance.

Business and Industry will also benefit from integration of the platform into there community service, professional development, and employment stream systems. From meeting and engagement with business it was determined the feedback benefits through the development and having a more workplace ready student population would be extremely beneficial. Student institutions (Universities, TAFE, Business Schools) would also benefit from a wider implementation of the platform as graduates and alumni would finish there education with a higher level of employability.  

The Competition

Currently mentorships are sought through two categories of channel. Either through existing associations such as Old Collegians, industry bodies or close connections. Usually these mentorships are managed through the use of excel and an assistant doing their best to assign people. Our product fundamentally improves this method by using an ergonomic platform to match willing mentees with devoted mentors. This allows both parties to build connections outside of their usual spheres, while exposing mentees to possible future careers.

 

The other channel for mentorships and connections is through the use of Facebook and LinkedIN. These two platforms allow the mentors/mentees to connect easily and quickly. OKRDY however is more suited to mentor matching than these two services. We will have greater engagement with students and young people than LinkedIn, yet because of our partnerships with Telstra, IBM and other professional bodies we will have a large source of professionals using the service. 

The Vision

Numbers:

While our initial focus will be on the approximate 60,000 students studying Information Technology, the OK RDY platform is designed to be an agnostic tool that can facilitate career preparedness and development opportunities across all fields. Education figures show student enrolments have increased every year since 2001. Current (2015) Australian Department of Education and Training figures list enrolments over 1.4 Million and globally student numbers are forecasted to reach 262 Million by 2025.

Our realistic go-to-market with a continued focus on only Information Technology students for bootstrapping only from the ACT region:

Year 1 – 200 students 

Year 2 – 400 students

Year 3 – 800 students

If we are able to secure minimum scale up funding and support our aim would be to expand to ACT and NSW, growing from 5% to 20% of technology students within the first 3 years. This in combination with our strategic partnerships and community engagement we also will on board mentors from organisations to ensure sufficient supply and demand within the OK RDY marketplace.

Geographically:

Year 1: research testing, development and Canberra-based launch focus on STEM and communication careers

Years 2 – 4: domestic expansion to other locations and professions 

Years 5+: International expansion.

Mentor Pitch

Bill gates and Mark Zuckerberg started out their journey with mentorship, and what better way to inform our mentorship matching platform than with our own mentor to guide us. The OK RDY platform is a mentorship and skilled-volunteer matching marketplace with an initial focus on connecting students to professionals and organisations; to help improve employability, diversity and cultural outcomes. We’ve already partnered with some of Australian world-leading companies and universities – we are looking for a mentor who can help us expand our networks, provide insights on growth strategies and ultimately steer us in the right direction as we scale the OK RDY platform.

Video pitch

The Customer Experience

In our case, we have different groups of customers as the platform provides  different value propositions to distinctly different groups, therefore, the models are designed differently with respect to consumer acquisition and communication goals. Solely focusing on the student consumer base our channels are as follow:
Our Brand Awareness and Engagement Channels
a) Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
b) University Brand Ambassadors
c)  Website and Search Engine Optimisation
d)  In person
Given the platform is designed to be compatible with both mobile and desktop based platforms, we decided to initially roll out a web application. The channels above should redirect our consumers to the platform. After our consumers reach the platform we focus on interactive engagement through the creation of profiles and providing to updates. 
Ways to communicate : 
-Facilitating the interaction on the platform, by
Fleshing out platform activities / online matching to offline mentoring conversion  
– Gaining public exposure, by 
Creating content/posts/feed/updates on both the application through web notifications and the website and social media presence on the platforms above.

The Team

Our team is well suited to execute our venture as given certain members of our team have history in working in the sector, hence, we know who to contact within the technology and communication space. For instance, we have already contacted and partnered with various industry leaders. 


Furthermore, the team also consists of a diverse set of both 
University of Canberra and Australian National University students (our Brand Ambassadors) who would be our target market, therefore, through the various student channels we can maximise our exposure. 


The product is primed to enter the closed beta phase. OKRDY is hosting a launch event on the September 20th at the Canberra Innovation Network. We have over 100 participants signed up.  

Our Partners

In order to make our venture reality, we need to gather more students to utilise the platform by raising awareness as our product is ready for closed beta. We can achieve this through giving our consumer awareness channels a strong emphasis. Ideally, they should be updated frequently. 

Potential collaborators can contact one of our Brand Ambassadors (Sherbaz) at sherbaz@okrdy.com to get involved or suggest pathways to achieve our goal of further brand awareness.