Inventing a task marketplace for university students
Find a high quality tutor isn’t easy. Many are found through personal networks or pricy agencies, and scheduling time around the lives of the tutor, children and parents can be a challenge. In addition, many international students don’t live in the same country as the available tutors, so can’t do in-person sessions during the holidays.
Beevr bridges these gaps by making it easy for parents to find great tutors, wherever they happen to be based. Parents can post jobs to a community of students, who can apply for the jobs they’re most suited to. Once accepted the tutoring happens primarily over video call. So the parties involved can get high quality tutoring anywhere in the world.
The platform is only open to students from top UK universities. This guarantees a minimum level of academic ability, adds to trust for the parents, and makes the vetting process easier. Students also tend to have more flexible hours, and tend to expect a lower hourly rate than full time tutors.
When the founders of Beevr approached us, their idea was to build a generalised task marketplace for students and local residents. After conducting some initial research at Cambridge University we found that that most interest was in tasks related to tutoring, and that the prospect of an affordable Cambridge-educated tutor was highly appealing. The students themselves provided some insight into their experiences with tutors, and the difficulties they’d had finding tutors as overseas students.
We went back to the founders with these findings, and the decision was made to focus on what users were telling us they wanted. This was crucial information – all uncovered before a single line of code was written.
With the vision in place we set about building the product. After a rapid 5 week build we had a working product that allowed students to sign up, create profiles and browse jobs. With a neat validation process that required a university email address and ID submission, we started recruiting students.
For the employers we built a simple dashboard for posting jobs, accepting applicants and communicating with them once they’d accepted. They also had profiles, so students could check them out before applying.
Beevr has been growing rapidly since launch, and is expanding to new universities throughout 2018.