København S, Danmark
We are currently in our first funding round, so far, we have bootstrapped, but we are now ready to take it a step further.
In total we are looking to raise 1 million DKK, and we have split that into 250 lots worth 4000 DKK each.
50% has already been reserved, which means we have another 50% / 125 lots to go - which is what we are offering on Capino. So far we got 11 smaller investors, who have reserved everything from 2 lots (8000 DKK) and up to a lot more.
The convertible loan is on the following terms:
We offer them at an interest rate of 3%.
A discount at 20% on conversion.
A loan length of 3 years.
Funding round ends on the 28th of February 2021
The conversion is offered if we within 3 years raise another total 2million DKK outside of this round. We are happy to explain in detail how the convertible loan works if needed.
When we have raised a total of 1 million DKK, we will approach Vækstfonden and inquire about the Early Engagement Loan which potentially could secure us another million DKK. An alternative to Vækstfonden could also be a Keystones or DanBan Business Angel Syndicate. We are planning to apply for an Innobooster grant in 2021 as well to help with the development of our matching algorithm.
The target for 2021 is 2 million DKK raised in total.
With 2 million DKK we should have enough runway to find our initial product-market fit, which would lead us to the next investment round (estimated 2022) which is also the round where we believe that the convertible loans from this round will convert to equity.
The money will be used to employ 3 full-time employees, a number of part-time student workers and add a bit to the marketing budget. It is not the plan that the founders take a salary until the next funding round. The overall goal is to achieve product-market-fit, which unlocks the scaling to all 8 universities in DK and triggers the next funding round.
We have made a bunch of forecasts, based on a number of parameters which will be validated throughout 2021, but we believe we have been fairly conservative when doing so;
If we succeed to get 5% of the total number of Scandinavian students on board, we project 9.7M DKK in yearly revenue. At 25% that increases to 48,7M DKK. At 50% that increases to 97,4M DKK and at max (70%) that increases to 136.4M DKK.
To give a grasp of the further potential, in the UK and GER, 680.000 students graduate yearly. Around 2.5million students graduate yearly in Europe.
We have already built a working platform, it can do all the core functions, obviously, it needs improvement especially in the matching algorithm area, but ultimately you invest in something that already works.
Looking towards the future, we imagine that thesis collaborations will be just one of more ‘products’ we will offer. It's easy to imagine other products such as ‘students jobs’ ‘mentoring’ graduate programs’ and ‘jobs’. But most significant of all will be the data we hold about the students. Who else has data on all graduating students in the Nordics? We would know; What they studied, what they wrote about in their thesis, their interests (work-related), personality profile, etc etc. Partnering with the likes of recruiting companies, maybe even LinkedIn could be an option.
The big hurdle to overcome is to make it obvious to all companies that this is the new way to hire graduates. Luckily, this is already what the large C20 companies are doing, but we need the rest to follow suit. Until now, it has been a tall task for the smaller companies to find and engage with students and make it a natural part of how to hire graduates - But that is exactly the strength of Excelerate compared to our competitors. - I will leave that as a cliffhanger, and I am happy to explain why we believe so, at a meeting :)
You can read more about Excelerate and the funding round here:
We have invested 450.000 DKK and a lot of sweat equity to get to where we are now, but we feel ready to ask for other people’s money to accelerate Excelerate.
There is a gap in the space between universities and companies.
To list a few of the issues;
- 1 in 6 Danish academics are unemployed 1 year after their graduation.
- 1 in 5 Danish academics are working in a job they are overqualified for.
- At the same time companies are hungering for talented graduates preferable with experience and industry knowledge.
We believe we have the solution to bridge that gap.
Our research showed that 95% of students would prefer to write their thesis in collaboration with a company, however, in reality only about 33% have some sort of contact with a company when writing their thesis. Students are struggling with finding a thesis collaboration, their network is limited, and it takes a lot of resources.
We have built a digital platform that allows students to list their thesis topic with a profile of them and their thesis group.
Companies, who are spending time promoting themselves at universities, spending hours and hours on LinkedIn (only about a third of graduating students are on LinkedIn, but it still the best channel to hunt for talent) looking for candidates, screening, interviewing, testing - only to find out ½ a year into the employment that the employees is not a great cultural fit, or doesn't have the skills and have to be let go.
Now with Excelerate, the process of hiring a new graduate is faster, cheaper and the chance of hiring the right candidate is significantly higher.
Because we have all the student’s thesis proposals and their profiles, you as a hiring manager, can browse Excelerate, find the best-suited student groups with a thesis that is aligned to your business, interview the group, if all agree then have them work on-site for 4 months on their thesis, spend 1-2 hours per week on average split between different people. Hire the best candidate, that you have now worked with, knowing their skill level and know how they fit culturally.
We charge the company a small fee (2499kr per student) once the collaboration is agreed and a larger amount 19999kr if they choose to hire a graduate. Once we have enough companies on the platform and we have found our product-market-fit, we are switching to a subscription model.
Companies will see us as a Talent lead generation channel and students will see us as a means to get closer to the companies they do not have access to.
Kaspar Hansen, CEO, 12 years of project management/digital producer Experience
Christian Werner, CTO, 10 years Development Experience
Vera Liscinska, Marketing Lead, Paid full time
Katrine Pedersen, Marketing Assistant, Intern part-time
Fausto Bottini, Digital Creator & Photographer, Intern part-time
Alisa Pleska, Content Creator, Intern part-time
Nikolina Savic, Social Media Manager, Intern part-time
Jacob Holst Mourtizen, Marketing Expert
Adrian Webb, Serial Entrepreneur
Tina Mose, HR Expert
2019 August - Research started
2019 October - Development of Prototype started
2020 January - Prototype failed field test
2020 March - Changed core functionality based on feedback.
2020 October - Launched the beta platform, with all core functionalities.
2020 October - Marketing towards ITU, CBS and KU
2021 January - Started funding round.
Since the launch we have achieved:
164 student signups.
34 thesis topics created.
Established ourselves well on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram
13000 flyers and 400 posters distributed on ITU, CBS and KU
We are close to hitting a high enough number of thesis topics for it to make sense to contact the first companies. We are aiming to get the first confirmed thesis collaboration in February 2021
2021 will be a test year - where we will focus on the product, building the right thing for both the students and the companies. We will remain at the three universities until we have a product that is ready for scaling up to the rest of Denmark. We believe we can be ready to do so in 18 months. In 2023 we aim to enter Norway and Sweden. The total market in Scandinavia is 150.000 graduating students yearly, and we believe Excelerate is relevant to 75% of them.
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København S, Danmark