Innovation That Matters

Project marketplace connects businesses and MBA students

Work & Lifestyle

If businesses can benefit from the help of undergraduate students through UK-based Student Gems, it’s a safe bet that MBA students could be even more valuable. 31Projects is a new online platform that helps connect such graduate students with companies and organizations in need of business expertise. Now in closed beta, North Carolina-based 31Projects bills itself as “a project marketplace connecting organizations with top MBA and graduate students through real-world projects.” The site maintains a network of prescreened students interested in solving real-world business problems—it’s open only to full-time students and recent alumni from the top graduate management programs in the US. Organizations in need of assistance can then post those opportunities on the 31Projects site. Postings can take the form either of challenges—crowdsourcing-style competitions whereby a company poses a business-related challenge and students compete to develop the best solution—or short-term consulting projects, which are done by a single student or team of students. Either way, 31Projects plans to charge a small posting fee along with a variable project fee based on the student compensation awarded once the project is done. 31Projects founder and CEO Jon Reifschneider explains: “Our vision is to provide an open platform where all organizations, regardless of size or resources, can easily and effectively identify and recruit the talent they need to be globally competitive. The projects and competitions are win‐win situations for both organizations and students, and can be used by employers to create a highly effective pipeline of top student talent into their organization.” 31Projects will go live in August. One to get in on early—or to emulate in other parts of the world? Spotted by: Preston Hubbard



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