Student entrepreneurs work to create an 'era of motivation'
Motivation for an era. Thatâ??s what a few Truman State University students are working to create.
â??Untapped potential, we have no idea how far the well goes,â?? said student Andrew Estes.
And thatâ??s where Motavera comes in.
â??Motavera is a Match.com for students and employers. Basically students can search using a variety of criteria to find internships, employment or volunteer opportunities. Employers also have access to even a more extensive search criteria to find students of their choosing,â?? said Estes, Founder and CEO of Motavera.
At a time when more and more students and employers are turning to the web, the demand for a matching service like Motavera is very high.
â??We did a market research survey before beginning the process and it was like 80% wanted a service like ours to find internships and 90% wanted it to find employment, so thereâ??s a huge underserved market,â?? said Estes.
â??As students weâ??re taught immediately, you go to school, you get a degree, you find a good job and you know you start a family, but uh, finding jobs is actually very hard,â?? said Nep Orshiso, Founder and CFO of Motavera.
Thatâ??s why, following a job fair in 2012, Estes had an idea.
â??I was reading about the Nobel Prize for Economics which was on matching theory, basically for every â??Aâ?? thereâ??s a perfect â??Bâ?? and that applies to jobs, perfect student perfect employer,â?? said Estes.
And after that the rest was history. The founders have spent many long nights planning and prototyping since then, facing their fair share of struggles along the way.
â??I mean, I guess one of the obvious challenges is inexperience in a way, because none of us have really done this before, weâ??re all students, weâ??re all really young, but I mean thatâ??s also one of our greatest strengths is that we have relentless energy and weâ??re downright devoted to you know the growth of the company and what we can achieve,â?? said Orshiso.
And all their hard work recently paid off. They earned the top prize at Northwest Missouri Stateâ??s third annual New Venture Pitch Competition. A prize valued at nearly $12,000.
â??What that served for us is that we see that all our hard work actually paid off, you know, the market in a sense validated our idea and we know that we have something, we have some really good potential right here,â?? said Orshiso.
But even beyond the validation or the prize money , they gained experience and valuable feedback for the future.
â??Weâ??re doing practical stuff, weâ??re doing useful stuff, weâ??re actually trying to make a difference for small businesses, for medium sized businesses, for students. I mean weâ??re trying to make a real impact to an underserved market,â?? said Estes.
Although theyâ??ve still got a long way to go, these young entrepreneurs are well on their way, and now they have a few words of wisdom for other student innovators.
â??I would just say, if you have an idea just start doing it. Thereâ??s not a lot of point in thinking about it for a long time and putting it off and then doing it, because youâ??re not going to learn until you start operating, until you start trying to create your business, youâ??re not going to know what licenses you need, youâ??re not going to know that much about your market, so I would say just start doing whatever you want to do, problems will come about and youâ??ll learn more and more about the business as you go,â?? said Dustin Staashelm, Founder and Director of Marketing for Motavera.
â??You will never know everything, so always read a lot, try to figure out what you want to do, and then find a mentor and try to get a product together,â?? said Orshiso.
Now that classes are out for the summer, the founders are using their prize money to establish a website and create a trademark.