Andrei Marchenko, ProjectFellowsBy Andrei Marchenko, Project Fellows founder

ELEVATOR PITCH

Project Fellows is a platform where people who have an idea can find fellows to create some project together or find an interesting project to join. Also it gives opportunity to have a blog of the project to inform followers about project news, collect feedback and ideas.

PRODUCT/SERVICE DESCRIPTION

Attracting a large amount of people of different professions and interests will allow to find everyone who is needed not only to create some project but to release it. Indie game developers will find not only a mate to develop a game, but also a lawyer to register a trademark for the game. Music bands will be able to find not only a member to join the band, but also an illustrator to create artworks for their album and a web developer to create a website. And all of them will find community support and users, listeners, visitors for their products.

FOUNDER’S STORY

For a long time, I wanted to work on my own projects with other engaged people. Sometimes I had interesting ideas, but no team to realize them. Sometimes I had folks that were eager to create something, but we had no good ideas. I know people who wanted to develop indie games, but did not know where to start. I know a guy who has a cool idea, whose only teammate was not motivated at all; this could fail the whole project and even discourage this guy from doing something at all. We all felt like we are alone in our aspiration to create new things. I had a thought that there should be a lot of creative people around the world, but I didn’t know yet how to find them and how to start doing things together.

In April, 2014, I moved from Belarus, where I was born and lived for 23 years, to Poland. I still wanted to start my own project and I began to think about where to find companions for it. Besides, my problem was that for me it is difficult to communicate with unknown people. Moreover, I couldn’t speak Polish very well at that time. I had a thought to find a team on the Internet, but there was no well-known website for those who wanted to create projects on their own. And exactly at that moment I thought: “Evrika!” I realized that I can create such a platform. I decided to create a website where everyone would be able to find mates to realize ideas and ideas to realize, or just follow interesting projects and watch their creation. This site should be extremely well-known, that when somebody will have a thought of finding a team for his project or joining a project, he should know where to go.

ProjectFellows screen1

MARKETING/PROMOTION STRATEGY

My goal is to attract as many people with different skills and interests to Project Fellows. Now, almost every Internet user knows about startups. So for the beginning, I am going to attract people who are interested in startups, like indie game developers, game artists, web developers, designers, and others. Later, I am going to attract other creative people that are not interested in startups—musicians, artists, writers, actors. People can come on Project Fellows to follow some projects’ progress, and later join some other project.

I am also going to run a Kickstarter campaign to attract finances and to tell about Project Fellows in a place where a lot of interested people are.

MARKET OPPORTUNITY

Startups are now on everyone’s mind. Hackathons, startup meetups and other events are held all over the world. For now, some millions of people are involved in startup communities in some way. All these people are the target audience of Project Fellows. And that is only people who are about creating startups. There are also millions of musicians, artists, writers, actors and so on who are eager to create. But Project Fellows is not only for ones who create, it is also for those for whom things are created. And I roughly estimate the number of people who would like to follow some projects as five-to-ten times more than people who are willing to create them. So, in the best case, Project Fellows can grow to a huge wonderful community of creative people that will contain tens of millions of people.

DIFFERENTIATORS VS. THE COMPETITION

Project Fellows has competitors in narrow areas, but no wide analog. Developers are found on oDesk (but only ones that are working for money, not for ideas), artists—on deviantART, musicians—on Bandcamp and on local musicians forums. Everyone can create a page of his project on Facebook and post their news that others can follow. But there is no one place for everything like this. Project Fellows will allow to create a project, find people and to tell the world about it. I am not going to move artists from DeviantART or to become a new oDesk or Facebook—I want to create a new platform to connect different people together. A platform that does this does not exist yet, but is needed and should be created.

ProjectFellows screen2

BUSINESS MODEL

Project Fellows will have premium accounts. To make his account, a premium user will be charging some monthly fee (about $10). Users with premium accounts will be able to create private projects that will not be available for users not invited to see the project. Later, other premium opportunities will be invented. Also, it will be able to buy for a project placement on the main page for a day or more on auction.

CURRENT NEEDS

I am looking for a web designer and front-end developer for the website. I need also marketologs and SEOs to tell people about Project Fellows and start attracting users. And I am searching for funding for starting capital.

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ProjectFellowsLogoHEADQUARTERS: Poznan, Poland

WEBSITE: www.projectfellows.com

FOUNDERS: Andrei Marchenko

INVESTORS: Bootstrapped

YEAR FOUNDED: 2014