What is Minite?
Minite.works is a platform that matches pre-screened top students to study-related freelance jobs. Think about positions in digital marketing, sales, research, analysis and IT at startups and scaleups.
What makes this platform unique? The screening, says co-founder Micky Chen: ‘We don’t focus on the masses, but on the most ambitious high flyers. That’s why we screen both students and companies.’
This screening takes place largely automatically and partly in person through a 15-minute interview. 98 percent of matches are successful. In the end, around one in five applications end up in the student database. ‘That way we can guarantee quality.’
Also interesting: Minite also takes over all legal, administrative and financial processes, so that both companies and students do not have to worry about this.
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Entrepreneurship is not new to sisters Micky (29) and Linky Chen (32). They started their first company when they were seven and nine (!). Linky Chen: ‘We got behind our father’s computer and built a Harry Potter platform together. With a million hits it got a little out of hand. Now we are building another platform, but for the next generation.’
During their own college years, the ambitious sisters lacked meaningful work. ‘A job in the hotel industry was fine, but it didn’t exactly add to our CV. Later I ended up at the larger companies, where I worked a lot with startups and scaleups. There I learned about the need for smart, flexible people, such as college and university students. At the same time, Micky gained experience from a startup that became a scaleup and later at Indeed, where she learned about recruitment. We now combine that knowledge and experience within Minite.’
Who’s waiting for it?
The target group is twofold: HBO and university students and startups and scaleups. Micky Chen: ‘I war for talent start-ups are looking for up-and-coming talent to grow with them. At the same time, the students want to gain relevant work experience and come into contact with future employers. We bring together these two target groups and their needs on our platform: The students add value with their current skills and fresh perspective. At the same time, they learn what they like and don’t like, so that they are better prepared for the labor market after graduation.’
How far is Minite?
Minite was founded in 2020 and is located on the Erasmus University campus in Rotterdam. The startup now has six thousand screened students in their database from various educational institutions. Most matches continue on a monthly renewable contract.
Linky Chen: ‘In our first year, we financed everything from our own revenue, which then showed a monthly growth of 78 percent. We spent zero euros on marketing because students came in organically with an average of twenty new students to one existing one. We owe these numbers in part to our society. Because our office is located on campus, we are literally close to the students. We know what they need and how they add the most value to companies.’
We take care of the entire invoicing process for students
Minite is currently working on scaling up – of universities, colleges, but also disciplines – in the rest of the Netherlands. Cooperation with partners such as Erasmus Enterprise and The Student Hotel Collab and close ties with Erasmus University Rotterdam help the startup with this.
What is the revenue model?
Minite charges companies a 15 percent service fee and a 10 percent administration fee to students. Linky Chen: ‘For students, this means we take care of the entire invoicing process and ‘being a freelancer’.’ Quanta questa? A lower limit of 20 euros per hour. ‘A nice amount for students, which competes nicely with more expensive professionals.
Current sales figures cannot yet be shared by the Chen sisters – from their investors – but they say it’s all looking ‘very positive’.
Do you still need money?
In February, Minite achieved a froground of 300,000 euros. The money comes from a number of prominent people from the business world, including the former operations director of the student placement agency Aethon. The money will go towards further automation of the platform and an expansion of the team, which now consists of eight employees.
The sisters are currently making good progress, but are already looking around for further growth in preparation for a future round of investment. ‘We are now building on, but we are moving towards a follow-up round within a year. If an entrepreneur or a party with relevant platform experience comes, we’d be happy to have a cup of tea with them.’