$2,000 | We launch our platform with minimum viable features so that design students and employers can get connected and work together. And you helped us make it happen! Thank you so much for the amazing support.
$6,000 | Then we'll add our educational feature that allows students and alumni to create workshops to teach their skills and learn new skills.
$10,000 | If we make this we are going to release a feature that tracks student projects and generates an online portfolio for them to make them look great in front of employers.
"If you don't like how things are, change it! You're not a tree." - Jim Rohn
The percentage who are unemployed or “underemployed”—working in a job that typically does not require a bachelor’s degree—has risen, particularly since the 2001recession. Recent college graduates, specifically design students, are struggling to find jobs and more than 44% of them across the U.S find themselves still unemployed 6 to 12 months after graduation. Design students are inherently conceptual and often need time after graduation to transition into the real-world market. We call this “Navigating the Bridge." Students who are trapped on the bridge often end up accepting discouraging positions to gain knowledge of the real-world market, a situation which is earth-shatteringly unfair.
Our research on 200 hundred design students shows that recent design graduates needs to have 70% real- world connections and 30% relevant experiences to get their first job. The fact is they need job to get experience, while they mostly need a experiences to get job. Although internships may be useful in some cases, unfortunately, they require students to have significant financial resources. In fact, having huge savings at a young age or parents who are willing to be financially supportive has become a requirement to acquire an internship that makes connections and a valuable portfolio.
"There is no security in life, only opportunity." - Mark Twain
We believe integrating educational programs with professional work experiences is key for preparing design students. Our solution is Designedin an exclusive online platform for design students and alumni with .edu email addresses in order to establish a meaningful collaboration between the academic and professional world. Designedin is a comprehensive online platform that collects internal opportunities and real-world projects, gives students a project management tool, encourages students to learn new skills and teach others their own skills, all in one place. Such a platform leads students to discover their talents, gain real-world experience, make valuable connections, and ultimately get a firm footing on the ladder for life after graduation.
There are many valuable opportunities for students to design flyers, emails and other pieces at schools, but they are not organized, customized, and optimized for each student's skill and interest. In Designedin we are organizing all the internal opportunities and also adding some real-world opportunities by inviting external organizations to our system. So when students sign up and identify their skills and expertise, our integrated platform with campus authentication will inform them each time a relevant opportunity meets their criteria. Along with each opportunity, students can find transparent information such as previous interns' reviews for internships, visa sponsorship situations and more before they take any action. Not only will they receive customized notification on their smart phones and Facebook feed but also they can directly RSVP for workshops, apply for events, and take real-world projects in a few seconds using our system.
Designedin not only enables anyone within our community to post an opportunity but also increases alumni engagement and encourages them to hire students from their own network. With a cloud-based platform Designedin guides user through submitting a brief, pitching for projects, project kick off, delivery and payment. We receive & hold payments when the service agreement is made, so that students are guaranteed to receive payment upon confirmation of job completion. All of which will eventually help them break through a cluttered job market and realize their goals to succeed in their chosen field faster.
What differentiate us from other existing platforms?
1. Exclusive to Students | We are exclusive to design students, alumni and faculty with “.edu" email addresses, as well as valuable notable employers.
2. Educational Integration | Users can create workshops and teach their skills to other students and even schools, and on the other hand participants can gain badges and increase their skills level in our platform.
3. External & Internal Opportunities | We not only collect internal opportunities such as workshops, talks, and other events that happen around the campus, but we also bring in some real-world projects from external organizations.
4. Portfolio Integration | Our system collects students' info and records all their projects and activities and automatically generates a customizable portfolio for them.
5. Social Media Integration | Students can like, comment, and see reviews on every opportunity and this creates transparency for students who wants to consider an opportunity.
6. Project Management Integration | Students can receive customized opportunities based on their skills, pitch for real-world projects, sign online contracts with employers, submit their design and receive feedback, and ultimately get compensated all in one place through our platform.
7. Educational Badges | Each opportunity is assigned to some educational badges that student can obtain to showcase their extra activities to future employers, also improving their skills level in our system.
"Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.” - George Washington
Nearly one-third of the U.S. workforce — that is 42 million workers — are considered independent workers, according to the Freelancers Union. By 2020, freelancers are expected to make up 40% of the entire workforce. This means there is a huge need for students, particularly freelance designers, to have an effective resource to succeeded in the workforce.
We'll launch our community with students from Parsons The New School in the first six months and expand to all the other design universities in New York City within a year, eventually growing nationwide and internationally. In next five years, we see Designedin as one of the prestigious online resources for designers next to other huge organization such as Behance and Adobe.
"When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind" - I don't know
My personal passion and knowledge regarding web technology start-ups along with my partner’s skills uniquely set us apart. I was lucky enough to team up with amazing and talented people whose expertise and passions cover all the aspects of this project.
Shahrouz Varshabi | MFA of Design and Technology, Founder and CEO of Designedin, is handling most of the technological integrations.
Anthony Driscoll | MFA of Design and Technology, CDO of Designedin, is helping us convert traditional educational models to digital ones by analyzing the current market.
Effat Thunayan | BFA of Product Design Candidate, Parsons The New School, CCO of Designedin, is providing us with great information regarding the existing challenges in undergraduate programs.
By combining our skills, we seek to build out an innovative platform that will continue to be at the forefront of the intersection of design and education. Our drive to create this community has already sparked interest among our peers, and we believe that it will only continue to inspire the project as we move from prototype to development.
"Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough" - Mark Zuckerberg
Over the past two years we developed a working prototypes of Designedin and user tested with many students and employers. We currently stablished some required relationships with schools and organizations to kickstart our product. Now we want to take our prototype to the next level and develop it. With your help, we will be able to develop our back-end programing and necessary features to launch our platform. We are asking you to join us in revolutionizing the way our educational system works specifically in design industry.
Risks and challenges
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” ― Jack Canfield
Software development is inherently risky, but we have a fully functioning prototype that has been user tested with some students and organizations. Our initial users were not only excited about the idea, but they agreed with us that there is a crucial need for such a platform in today’s educational system.
Our team's versatility, expertise and, most importantly the passionate community around this platform, makes it possible for us to tackle all the unforeseen obstacles in our way to success. It's a great journey, and we thank you in advance if you can help make this ride possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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