Virgin StartUp of the Week - Success At School
Startups that invest in the people of the future are important. Mitesh Bhimjiyani is the founder of Success at School, a startup that helps children make those all-important career choices, and which also helps connect employers and institutions with students. Let's find out more!
Ground to floor 1 – Explain what your business does
Success at School is a simple, interactive, engaging and informative platform that provides every young person the ability to make informed choices about their future. We personalise our platform to the requirements of each school/college, so they can ensure young people are work-ready when they leave education.
Our platform also connects employers and education institutions to students and their schools directly.
Floor 1 to 2 - Where are you based?
We are based in London but we work with schools and colleges nationally.
Floor 2 to 3 – What’s the business model?
We’ve pivoted quite a bit recently and our business model is to provide the platform to schools at a cost and charge brands to feature on it. We also diversified into producing careers content to sell to schools, which is what we used the loan for.
Floor 3 to 4 – Who are your competitors?
The marketplace has become extremely competitive recently but we pride ourselves in being able to innovate and do things differently. Organisations such as Prospects, Plotr, Not Going to Uni and All About Group are some of the names that are in the same space as us.
Floor 4 to 5 – What’s your USP?
We believe that everyone involved the education system has a part to play in ensuring young people are informed and work-ready – schools, the government, employers, universities and independent organisations.
Success at School’s USP is that it works with all of these stakeholders and brings everyone into one central place. It connects leading employers to students, helps schools to fulfill their statutory duty to provide careers advice, and gives students the information they need to make informed choices. It is efficient and provides the much-needed data facility to track a student’s progress over time, adapt and refine what schools deliver, give feedback and measure outcomes.
Floor 5 to 6 – Where did the idea come from?
Having always been passionate about education, when I left finance in 2011, I was looking at ways I could have an impact in the education sector. Having reflected and realised that I didn’t appreciate the career options available to me, I wanted to see what was available for young people to understand the range of career options available to them and the pathways to employment. I found that access to this information was very disjointed, and so I set about to change that.
Floor 6 to 7 – How much funding did you receive from Virgin StartUp?
Floor 7 to 8 – How are you going to use it to grow your business?
This was specifically used to fund the creation of posters which we have sold through our shop to schools and colleges to help us diversify and raise awareness of our brand and site. The posters help students understand what the potential careers are if they study a certain subject. UPDATE: The loan has helped us sell over 3000 careers posters to approx. 5% schools in the UK - it’s been a massive success story!
Floor 8 to 9 – Who’s your Virgin StartUp mentor?
James Draper - Bidstack
Floor 9 to 10 – What’s the best tip they’ve given you?
My first call is actually scheduled for the Monday after writing this!
Floor 10 to 11 – What’s your workspace like?
I end up doing a lot of work out my home office which is small and cosy. But we have a remote working policy, so anywhere that is productive!
Floor 11 to 12 – where will your business be in 12 month’s time?
Across our posters and platform we are working with 500 schools nationally and we hope to at least double this in a year. We want more schools to actively engage with the platform and hope to see more brands telling students about what they do and how to get there through us. We believe we’ve developed the products and have the personnel to be able to do this.