Providing a platform to support all international students come to Australia for the first time, using the platform, the new students can find a person who can pick them up at the airport, looking for a short term renting and also a job.
With over half a million enrolling to Australian university and college each year, international students contribute roughly $20.3 billion AUD to the economy, taking %1.6 GDP (Universities Australia, 2017). Although the importance of the international education industry, no special applications have been created to solve some problems that international students may come across, such as finding a short-term accommodation, finding jobs and airport pickups. These problems, if not resolved, will further hinder students’ first experiences in another country, or even scare them away from deciding to study abroad. We, the TAD Motion team, are aiming to deal with these ongoing problems, guide the students’ first steps abroad and make studying abroad seems less intimidating. How can we do this? By creating a website/mobile application that enables students to connect with each other, creating a sharing economy platform where everyone can look for accommodation to rent, jobs to take and people to pick them up when they arrive at the airport or to simply show them around their destination. Using this platform, students who are looking for service can save money and time, whereas the service provider will earn some quick cash in their spare time, or having their rentals advertised to many people. Moreover, we think all students would be happy to have someone who understands the differences in culture take them around, explain the common taboos, as well as cheap places to buy groceries.
But our assumptions didn’t come without actual data. We have created a survey on our Facebook page and received over 30 participants stating that they wished there was some assistance when they went abroad. Interestingly, we found out that there was a slightly higher concern for accommodation than the other options. Additionally, we went and talk with 5 international students in Canberra, and found out that all of them had the same problems when they first arrived, and 2 of them actually still have problems finding jobs unto this day. Last week, we hosted a live stream event on Facebook and hosted a live QnA. We noticed that a lot of students are unsure whether they should study abroad or not, because they are afraid of being lonely, or not knowing anyone that can help. Therefore, by creating trusts and providing a secure feeling for international students, we can encourage more people to study abroad, which further contributes to the Australian education industry. Universities, as well as educational agencies, will also benefit from our project, as we will increase the flow of students going abroad.
Our team members, 4 young and energetic international students all face various problems back when we first time landed in Australia. With the background in Software Engineering, Network Engineering, Information Technology and Media, we are eager to work with our very first startup ever. We develop our website app using Ruby-on-Rails, a trending web app framework which is easy to get used to and execute the code. By dividing the project into the different part, each will be responsible for writing the code in separated platforms (website, ios, android) and all of us will contribute to do the survey online and offline and expand our product base on the results. We currently have three Facebook fan pages and one website supporting and providing news for international students, which have more than 100.000 followers in total. Most of them are international students or planning to go study abroad, who will be our potential users when the venture is released. We are getting into contact with E29 and UC, settling our office in E29, but will work more on this to find other support and partner. We are pretty sure not even students but many universities will find our product helpful in a way to attract more and more international students from all over the world.
Since studying abroad has always been a good way to meet a better education environment as well as to seek for more opportunities, we can see the potential of these demands from international students in at least next 20 years. The need of housing, job, guide, and oldie who could share the tips and experience with the newcomers keeps increasing which ensures a number of users for us. In the next 2 months after release, we will try to engage with as many universities in Australia as possible, to gain popularity and guarantee among users. Together with achieving feedback, we are committed to improve the services. We also have a special deal with the property owners, encourage them to become our partners, giving them a training course online while examining their identity and property. After 1 year, we will expand the venture market, to some other countries which also attract lots of international students such as the United States or Japan.
Our expected funding would be around 7000 AUD. The live server AWS costs $500 initially. Offline and online marketing will cost roughly 3000 AUD, promotion sales and deals will cost 1000 AUD while training and verifying partners will cost 1000 AUD. Furthermore, if the business expands, we have to rent the office and staff, which we haven’t considered of yet
Universities Australia. (2017). International education generates a record $20.3 billion for Australia. [online] Available at: https://www.universitiesaustralia.edu.au/Media-and-Events/media-releases/International-education-generates-a-record–20-3-billion-for-Australia#.WdHwVq2B1Bw [Accessed 2 Oct. 2017].
In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of students studying abroad. International students all suffer problems related to accommodation, occupation, transportation and social issues, which may hinder their first experience abroad, or even frighten them away from expanding their studies globally. For these reasons, our team offers a platform to support all international students, where they can easily find jobs, housing, airport pickups and a forum where they can share their thoughts and experience.
By the nature of our business, our main customers will be international students, whose age will fall between 15 to 27 years old. There are more than 510,000 international students living domestically, more than 580,000 international enrolments in Australia (Australian Government Department of Education and Training, 2017). As they are away from home, they will have a high demand for short and long term accommodation, part-time jobs and airport pickups on their first arrival. We will provide platforms through websites and mobile apps, suitable for the consumers’ need. Additionally, the service providers will mostly be students also, so that they can make cash by house hosting or driving others. Furthermore, through these activities, both the consumers and providers will be able to make new friends, …
As we are all students, we have most understanding what international students need. To engage with the students, we right now have a web-news and a facebook page which are about overseas student life. The page has more than 39000 followers including international students and potential students. We believe this is our advantage when our project launched, the current international students potentially will become our partner, they will join the platform to offer house, pick up service and job.
As of right now, students only have access through agencies to know about the life abroad. All students, before they travel, will be dependent of agencies to do everything: university reviews, housing and airport pickups. This service is convenient and thorough, but sometimes the information provided will be wrong or exaggerated. Additionally, we consider AirBnB and Uber are ones of our competitor.
Using our platform, the user will have experience with people come from the same background culture, may speak the same language and always willing to help as they also students. Through the platform, user have their options in choosing which service is suited best for them, also help them to save cost and money as everything will be done on the apps or website.
“Studying abroad” and “Sharing economy” are the cores of our venture. The application and website will mainly serve for international students who are planning to study abroad but are still unfamiliar with that new city. Because the gap in education system between developed countries (such as U.S, Australia, Japan, etc) and developing countries ( most South East Asia countries,…) is huge, as well as the desires to experience a new culture, studying abroad was, is and will always be the trend in the worlds. According to statistics, the increase of more than 10% of international students choose Australia for education each year, which brings a great chance for all the services related to it.
Moreover, sharing economy, a peer-to-peer based activity by giving and sharing your own properties is the future of how the clients gonna pay for the service. We have seen many successes such as Uber, Airbnb, Lyft, etc, which they provide an economic selection for customers. Our idea’s platform will base on that, promising to provide a better choice not only in price but also in quality for international student when they need an airport pickup, short-term accommodation, or a fellow to share his/her very first experiences. Firstly, we will focus on market in South East Asia countries when their students first come to Australia. Therefore, we think our venture will have a secure and promising opportunity in this field.
There are more than 700.000
students from all around the world first coming to Australia to study in 2016.
This led to a great demand in services related to international students, such
as transportation, housing and job market. Moreover, everyone who study abroad
will need a friend who would share with them his/her essential experiences and
advices when they first came to a new city. It’s why we come up with an idea
about a website which provides many services serving the needs of international
students. By cooperating with partners whom are currently international
students and own properties to share, we help the newcomers easily getting used
to a new life. Our most relevant stakeholders in order are students,
school/university, agency, drivers, property owners, etc. Since our members are
all international students, we have been through many difficulties when we
first came to a new city, we understand the lack of information, preparation
and services the students want. Our mission is to provide these in a most
friendly and familiar way – becoming friends with the customers. We are also
looking for a mentor who has background and experience in IT to guide us on how
to successfuly execute our idea.
We have several ways to reach our customer as listed below:
– First, we’re contacting with educational agencies to cooperate with them in order to take part in their study abroad conferences where we can meet and interact with many students who are our potential customers in the future. That kind of educational conferences is a common thing in other countries such as China, Vietnam, South Korea and so on and usually, those conferences have hundred to thousand students come to learn more about overseas life, and to prepare themselves for the journey of studying abroad. Therefore, this is a good place for us to meet and interact with our target customer.
– Second, social media such as Facebook and Twitter are ones of our main channels to reach our customers. The statistic shows there are more 40 million Vietnamese people are using Facebook (Statista.com, 2017), and 65% of that 40 million people are age between 13-27 which is our main customer range. Besides that, with Facebook Advertising tools, we can easily focus a specific group of people based on their age, interests, location and so on when we run a campaign.
Third, Since we already have a website with more than 7 thousand visitors per day, and a Facebook Page with more than 40.000 people hit like and follow our posts. The website, Facebook page and Fellow Here (our project) have the same customer validation. So basically, we can say, we already have a number of customers are waiting for Fellow Here to launch.
The website and Facebook Page can be found at the links below:
https://duhocsinh.us (International student web-news)
https://facebook.com/cuocsongduhoc (International student community and support)
As we have mentioned, we already had channels which are a website and a Facebook Page where we have a lot of students to interact with. We will keep maintaining this relationship until our project launched.
We also contacted with some international student societies from UC and ANU to have their cooperation. As we are students, this is not too difficult for us to connect with them.
Since we are all coders and focus on building our platforms, so sometimes we forget to update and communicate with our audience on social media.
We really need a person who has well understanding about international student life to help us manage our social media and interact with the audience since these social media are really important for us in marketing later.
Also, we haven’t had a graphic designer in the team, this will great if we can find a graphic designer to join the team.
If anyone finds interesting in what we are doing, and join the team please contact us at email@example.com. We love to here from you.
You can always read all about us at: http://innovationact.org/teams/tad-motion/ this will be a good to learn more about our project!
expected funding would be around 7000 AUD. The live server AWS costs $500
initially. Offline and online marketing will cost roughly 3000 AUD, promotion
sales and deals will cost 1000 AUD while training and verifying partners will
cost 1000 AUD. Furthermore, if the business expands, we have to rent the office
and staff, which we haven’t considered of yet
We are getting into contact with E29 and UC, settling our office in
E29, but will work more on this to find other support and partner.