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SenseiHub.com: a talent marketplace for the on-demand sharing economy

Through SenseiHub, users at enterprises like Verizon, HCL, Wharton Equity Partners instantly offload work to PhDs, MBAs, Undergrads at universities around the world. Students leverage local resources- professors, labs, libraries, databases, peers to deliver a high quality work product. Students gain valuable experience and get paid. Enterprises get quality work, brand recognition and future business leaders.

Photo of Aditya Sudhakar
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I launched SenseiHub in Boston because of  a need I had myself at school and then at work. I've always been interested in industry university partnership. Universities have fantastic resources that industry can leverage. 

Who does this idea benefit, who are the main players and what's in it for them?

This benefits enterprises (corporations and non profits) students (Undergrads, Grads, PhDs, MBAs) and recent alums.

How is your idea specifically increasing access to employment opportunities and pathways for young people?

Because engagements are short and handled remotely, we reduce the cost, hassle and risk. Enterprises are more willing to take a chance on a student and vice-versa.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

SenseiHub.com is live and we have paying clients. We're far from the finish line though and are working hard to make more projects happen more frequently. Whether you're a registered non profit or for profit, hundreds of students are keen to get started. Do get in touch at adi [at] senseihub [dot] com.

What skills, input or guidance are you keen to receive from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

I'd love to receive all ideas, input, guidance. The more honest the feedback, the better! Some specifics: 1) There are gaping holes in the marketing department: Press, Social and SEO 2) Much improvement can be made to the website: Pop-up help wizard for 1st time users, UX, A/B testing, back end automation, etc.

The idea emerged from:

  • A group brainstorm

How do you envision your idea being implemented?

  • Keen to prototype it, find partners and pursue implementation

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Photo of Sergio Marrero
Team

Great concept, have you considered high school students, lower income schools, communities in need?

Photo of Aditya Sudhakar
Team

Sergio, I would love to do that (I saw that that is what you're working on). It's unfortunately been hard enough to convince enterprises to work with Harvard and Stanford students. I'm hoping to be able to build a brand first and definitely move into those markets. Maybe there's a another way.

Photo of Cindy Toh
Team

Agree with Sergio, there is a huge opportunity to extend it to a larger pool of students, and they do not necessarily need to be from harvard or stanford.

I was fortunate to be offered such work/project opportunities while i was in school. The ability to work on actual products and events make the learning so much more meaningful and realistic. The opportunities came from the lecturers' personal contacts, which means projects are few and sporadic.

In the previous organizations i worked with, I approached my ex-polytechnic for students to work on a medical e-book project. The lecturer swiftly gathered a team for us. We provided the content and the students would work on the graphics/animation and content layout. The output was great and at a fraction of the cost if i had used a design house or publisher.

For university students, we offered them to conduct a health awareness research. The students conducted the field surveys and shared their analysis (though the project was caned midway due to unforeseen circumstances).

You could possibly look at different type/level of tasks to match with the appropriate level of students. For example, a firm is looking to celebrate its 10th anniversary with a big celebrations. Students taking event management could be brought in to plan and run the event together with the firm, students taking public relations and communications can be roped in for PR and social media efforts.

Hope this helps ;)

Photo of Aditya Sudhakar
Team

Cindy, all great points! Who do you recommend reaching out to in an enterprise? How did you get their attention? How did you get them to keep the ball rolling after you finished your conversation with them and they got distracted with their everyday work?

Photo of Cindy Toh
Team

It would vary based on what the students can offer and what the organizations need. Perhaps you want to consider grouping your offerings into categories, e.g. Research (Surveys, Focus Group, Consumer Trials, etc), Design & Animation (logo, advertisements, etc), Event management, etc. The event management task can be pitched to various audience ranging from the corporate communication team, marketing team or even the HR team.

in terms of keeping the ball rolling, it would be mutually beneficial to sum up the working experience with some feedback/review. Not only does this help them to recollect their "good/bad" experience, it can help others to make their decision on engaging students. I personally think Email newsletter are not dead and are still vital communication piece where you can remind your audience of your presence and offerings. ;)

Photo of Aditya Sudhakar
Team

Thanks Cindy, appreciate your thoughts and help : )

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