Virgin StartUp of the week: Missionly

When running a startup finding the right talent to come work with you is a tricky process. The latest business to receive funding from Virgin StartUp is on a mission to solve that, meet Chris Dalley, Will Duddell and Denis Sellu and their Bristol-based startup, Missionly.

We choose one Virgin StartUp company to be featured on each week. We ask our startups of the week to deliver the ultimate elevator pitch. What would they say if they had one minute in a lift with Sir Richard Branson? 

Richard B in lift

Ground to floor 1 – Explain what your business does

Missionly is an online platform that allows businesses to connect with and recruit both students and graduates for a range of opportunities including graduate jobs, part-time work, internships, freelance work and volunteering. We do this by combining the profiling and recommendations of LinkedIn, the trust and feedback systems of eBay and the intelligence of Google into a set of online tools. These tools allow businesses to quickly promote their job to the most relevant universities, course lecturers and external platforms with a simple click of a button. We then automatically collate and display information on candidates to make it easy for businesses to make the right hire for their specific opportunity and needs.

Floor 1 to 2  - Where are you based?

We are currently based in Bristol at the Engine Shed working out of the Webstart Bristol Incubator offices. Webstart Bristol is a great program for any new web based startups that are looking to accelerate their ideas.

Floor 2 to 3 – What’s the business model?

Missionly is a SAAS (software as a service) platform that businesses can subscribe to on a monthly basis to post opportunities. We believe that no one knows your business or who to hire within it better than yourself. That’s why we have focused on creating tools that give business owners  the power to recruit quickly and simply, yet super-effectively themselves without having to outsource to agencies they often cant afford.

Floor 3 to 4 – Who are your competitors?

The graduate recruitment market is very competitive and made up from a range of online job boards (such as GradTouch or Milkround) through to recruitment agencies (such as Aspire). Due to the time consuming nature of manually matching candidates to jobs, these solutions can be very expensive and inefficient with many agencies charging 10-15% of first years salary.

Floor 4 to 5 – What’s your USP?

Our technology takes all the time and confusion out of deciding who and where to promote your opportunity, as well as supporting you to make better decisions on who to interview and hire. Because this is all automated, we can provide this service at a fraction of the cost a typical recruiter would charge.

Because we help businesses engage with undergraduates, we acquire students much earlier during their educational lifecycle than most recruiters. This allows us to collect more data and information about students which allows us to make better informed connections than other services.

Floor 5 to 6 – Where did the idea come from?

The idea initially came whilst we were at university organizing a series of networking events called Start Up Drinks Bristol. We would have a collaboration wall at each event where businesses would post what skills they needed and students could offer their skills. On a typical night with a 100 attendees we could make up to 40 meaningful connections. Which got us thinking that if we create this much value in a small room on a random night in Bristol, how could we scale this to help many more businesses and students connect.

Floor 6 to 7 – How much funding did you receive from Virgin StartUp?

We received £20,000 from the Virgin StartUp Loan Scheme.

Floor 7 to 8 – How are you going to use it to grow your business?

We are using the funding provided by Virgin StartUp to launch a major marketing campaign that will allow Missionly to grow beyond the South West as well as allow us to further develop our technology behind the service.

Floor 8 to 9 – Who’s your Virgin StartUp Mentor? 

Our Virgin StartUp Mentor is Jon Nicholls from Blue Biz Consultancy who has been of great support and guidance ever since we started Missionly.

Floor 9 to 10 – What’s the best tip they’ve given you?

Jon has been very good at always asking us the right questions about our business and financial models. From this he has taught us to make sure we are always validating our assumptions and testing our ideas as quickly as possible.

Floor 10 to 11 – What’s your workspace like? (send us a pic from your phone)

(We use the open co-working space in the Engine Shed regularly.)


Floor 11 to 12 – where will your business be in 12 month’s time?

In 12 months, we aim to have grown out our service nationally and be working with the majority of universities across the UK.

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 Missionly are based in Bristol and worked with our partner Business West to qualify for funding

To find out more about Missionly visit their website, or connect on Twitter and Facebook.