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Anish Vinayak and HelpYouApply
Anish Vinayak was in his second year of a History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science BA when his light-bulb moment for a new business struck.
He was applying for internships with major graduate recruiters, mainly banks, and after one-too-many sessions of filling in the same standard information – name, address, qualifications – he thought that there must be a better way. There wasn’t.
And so the idea for HelpYouApply was born.
Knowing he was onto something, Anish sought out the advice of Lillian Shapiro, one of UCL’s student business advisors. She provided practical advice, support for his idea and encouraged him to apply for a UCL Bright Ideas Award, which aim to plug the gap many start-ups find themselves with when looking for their first funding.
Introduced by UCL in 2008 in recognition there is a particular problem for those businesses that emerge from unconventional beginnings or where they have a seed of an idea, but are not yet ready for venture capital investment, the university has made a total of £50,000 available in loans for students to get their businesses up and running.
Specifically, it is hoped that the money will allow the winners to reach the next crucial milestone in their development, whether that be the first prototype or support for landing the first customer.
Anish beat off stiff competition to win £5,000 in funding from UCL to kick-start the development of his business.
“The Bright Ideas award is not just another business plan competition – you are securing a business loan from professionals who believe your idea can work in the real world,” he says.
Thanks to the loan, Anish launched the site in August 2012, for when the applications round for the next major tranche of internships for summer 2013 open.
All internships with major graduate recruiters are listed, and people can simply tick a box to indicate whichever one they want to apply for, as well as sectors, geographical location, etc.
The applicants will fill in one form on the website and this will then be automatically filled in on all the other official graduate recruitment websites.
For those who don’t get a place, Anish is planning to work with local businesses to place students with them as another benefit of using the service, so they have access to world-class talent.
Of HelpYouApply, Anish says, “It’s win for students, who can apply for more positions, a win for employers, as they can access more of the best talent, and a win for universities, who will see more of their graduates eventually end up in good jobs.”
Page last modified on 12 mar 13 12:39