How Minite creates access to relevant work for driven students

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    • Story
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Source: Minite.Works

Minite is the first and the biggest platform in The Netherlands designed to match freelancing students with companies. Founded by Micky and Linky Chen startup is on a mission of turning today’s students into tomorrow’s workforce. 

At the young age of 7, Micky and Linky already got in touch with their entrepreneurial spirits, as they built their very first company, a Harry Potter platform. Later in life, Micky joined Salesforce. Where she would eventually come across the idea of Minite, based on a common challenge that a lot of entrepreneurs had: a need for talent. 

The idea came together after identifying a real need. Combined with her own perspective of being a student and the lack of opportunities for students to work in a job that allows them to build their CV, increase their skills, knowledge, and network and it all being relevant to their current studies. The idea was a win-win situation for both company and the student. 

Minite’s growth, adapting to a creative approach and turning down investments 

Founded in 2020, Minite did not expect such rapid growth. The platform currently has over six thousand students and more than 450 companies as users. What started with 3 students, turned into a snowball effect through networking and word-of-mouth recommendations. It is now estimated that one new student brings in another 12 to 15 new ones. Also, employers find their way to Minite organically, with no less than 60% of the companies coming from referrals.

Minite was bootstrapped for 1,5 years before getting its first investors. Micky and Linky had to get creative with their approach to attract students and companies. However, in January 2022, when they publicly announced their funding need in Quote magazine, responses and proposals followed quickly. “Because of that, we are set for next year. And my dream would be that we don’t need to raise additional VC funding ultimately” said Micky.

But big ideas come with big responsibilities. With the increase in investors’ proposals, they had to make a decision when turning down more investments than they actually needed. “We spoke to a lot of investors during the investment journey. ultimately, the more money you raise, the more you will spend. So it’s not about the amount you raise but the right amount for you to grow to the next level.”

In their fundraising journey, the sisters also had to deal with the challenges that come with being female founders more than once. “One time I was speaking with someone from my ecosystem and he told me: unless you have a man on your founding team no one will ever invest in you because you two are just not it”, Micky elaborates. “That was a low point because it makes you realise that there are still many people out there who do not want to modernise and change the ‘traditional way’”.  

Learning to mould with the company as an entrepreneur who wants to do it all 

Although it might look like Micky has it all together, it was challenging to find her way from being a founder to being a CEO. A growing company includes learning how to delegate and going from “I know how to do it so I’ll do it myself” to “I’ll teach you how to do it and then you do it”. However, one thing remains important for Minite, and that is that anything that can be done with a machine or computer should be done by a machine or computer. “There are some things that you have got to do yourself and should never be automated. I always say 98% automation and 2% human touch, and that 2% is our USP.” 

What is next for Minite?

For now, Minite is set to focus on the Dutch market, as there are many directions they could still explore here. “I wanted to do it for the next generation so they can have a better work/student experience. We are passionate about helping them and creating something impactful for them. It was a problem worth building a business on ” explained Micky.

Listen to the Up!Rotterdam podcast with Micky below, or check all the episodes of the Up!Rotterdam podcast here: https://podcast.uprotterdam.com/

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