Get to know ACE startup founders & find out what drives them!
The ACE-List: We are proud and excited to introduce our awesome startup founders. The ACE-List is a regular installment where startup teams from the ACE Incubation Program introduce themselves and share a little insight into their startup journey!
Industry: Platform, Gig economy
Founded in: 2020
Meet the founders!
The venture is founded by Micky Chen and Linky Chen. Micky is a creative maverick: she built and monetized a Harry Potter platform at age 7, which won Benelux’ Best Children’s Website. She worked at Salesforce and IBM and loves new ideas and all things tech. Linky is the resilient executor: she was the first employee at a startup turned scaleup. She also worked at Indeed and has both corporate and startup experience as well as in-depth recruitment and matching knowledge. Together, the team is on a purpose-driven mission to bridge the education-business gap by turning today’s young potential into tomorrow’s workforce!
Minite is turning today’s young potential into tomorrow’s workforce.
How did you come up with your startup idea?
As ambitious students, we wanted to prepare for our future but we both struggled to find relevant, CV-building work that also fit our busy schedules. Hundreds of thousands of students are in the same boat every year, and they end up missing out on the right career opportunities due to lack of experience, skills or knowledge. Meanwhile, when Micky worked at Salesforce she spoke with over 1000 SMEs who all lacked resources and didn’t spend nearly enough time focusing on their core business because they were too busy doing everything else. Many of those tasks could be delegated to ambitious students: we call them High-flyers. And the idea of Minite was born.
What is your company’s unique proposition?
We’re offering SMEs in demand skills, on-demand through verified student freelancers. This allows them to save resources so they can focus on growing their core business. It’s also a great way to meet the future workforce in a low-risk setting.
Students build and boost their CV through relevant, meaningful work that is also flexible so it can accommodate their schedules. Our Tasks help them increase and enhance their skillset, meet future employers and accelerate their future careers.
What has been your ACE moment?
When we signed our first launching customers and they thanked us. Many people will say they love your company, but how many of those will actually pay for it? As we learnt early on in the ACE Incubator: you don’t have a company until people are willing to pay for your service. There’s no better feeling than signing launching customers after all the 100-hour weeks, and then getting incredible feedback from both companies and students. That’s when we knew that what we’re doing with Minite is important and impactful.
How has your academic background benefited you in running a company?
While nothing can ever fully prepare you for entrepreneurship, having that solid foundation of critical thinking is one of the most important benefits we acquired in university.
How did the pandemic (positively or negatively) affect you in the past year?
The pandemic was hard on all of our stakeholders. Students had internships, exchange semesters and part time jobs cancelled, and needed to find ways to build their CV and fill up that time. That led to an influx in new users for Minite, since we’re focused on remote work. And while some SMEs were struggling, others were thriving. For those that were deeply affected by the pandemic, we saw deals fall through and uncertainty rise. There was definitely a ripple effect, but we tried to help wherever we could and were ready to pivot if necessary. Remote working will stay the norm long after the pandemic, and with Minite we will continue to lead that trend for students and SMEs.
What is the best advice you could give someone who wants to start their own business?
Acknowledge what you’re good at, what’s going to help your business grow and what only you can do. If a task doesn’t contribute to your core business, delegate it to someone who’s better and faster at it than you. Trust us, you will grow so much faster with this mindset!
What are your next steps for the new year?
We have a lot of exciting things lined up for 2021! We’re working with some of the most innovative, inspiring startups and scaleups and look forward to expanding our partnerships and client base. We’re also actively working with Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and several student organizations to help young talent find their career path and prepare for their futures. Platform-wise we’re exploring innovative, advanced ways to further utilize and harness data to elevate the user experience and further optimize our onboarding, screening and matching process.
How can someone who is interested in you or your startup contact you?
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