Featured Startup Pitch: MBA Project Search connects MBAs with startups and small businesses for short-term projects
Founder: Dan Mullaney
Headquarters: Washington, D.C.
Year Founded: 2012
Investors: Family and friends
Brief Company Description: MBA Project Search connects MBAs with businesses for short-term projects and internships.
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MBA Project Search is a platform that allows companies to post projects and jobs and be matched with our database of MBA students and graduates. Our typical customer is a small business or startup that needs the skills of a management consultant but can’t afford to pay a large, expensive firm. The site allows this person to find the expertise they need for exactly the amount of time they need it and at a price that makes sense for them.
As part of Georgetown’s required international consulting project, I teamed up with four other students to draft a business plan for United Arab Emirates communications provider Mobily, which was looking to expand into the business-to-business sector. I was struck by the expertise the MBA students brought to the table. We researched the market, outlined opportunities and drafted recommendations for the company. I recalled my own startup in 2005—an automated mortgage qualification service that never took off. If I had a team of MBA students pitch in, perhaps the business could have succeeded.
One of the first people I told about my idea were my brother and sister. They liked the idea so much that they decided to join me in helping me get the company off the ground. Each of them has an equity stake and bring different talents to the table.
Social media is a big part of our marketing mix. We’re very active on Twitter, both as a way to promote the positions on our site and for business development. We’ve made many valuable connects by listening to conversations and being helpful. We use Facebook and LinkedIn as well, but to a lesser extent.
In addition to this, we generate traffic to our site with Google Adwords. Finally, we’re very active in the startup and small business space. We constantly network with founders, owners, the press and whomever else we think we could help. Meetup has been very big in our networking efforts.
The market is growing very quickly, so it’s hard to pin down the numbers. When people think of outsourcing, they think of someone in a distant country, in a call center or perhaps a factory. This is no longer the case. Due to technological change and new economic realities, outsourcing partners are no longer just large corporations, but also small businesses and individuals.
Additionally, the rise of the Lean Startup movement has helped niche outsourcing grow. Lean Startup methodology encourages testing, constant iteration and creating a minimum viable product. Using these methods demands that you be able to shift quickly based upon what you learn from the constant experimentation. Outsourcing tasks that you don’t have the internal capacity to do efficiently is generally cheaper and ends up being done better.
Our research estimates that niche outsourcing is currently a $10 billion-plus market.
How We Differentiate From the Competition
Our database is composed solely of MBAs, most of whom are from the top business schools not just in the U.S., but in the world. No other site can compare with the quality of MBA talent we have.
Our business model is simple: we charge businesses $19.99 to post a project; $99.99 to post a full or part-time job or internship. We also offer bespoke recruiting solutions tailored specifically to your needs. The price for that service depends entirely on the job.
We’re very focused on building a great business. We would be open to bringing on an additional employee/partner on a strictly equity basis.
Raising funds is something we talk about from time to time. We’re open to the possibility if the time and valuation is right.
MBA Project Search – www.mbaprojectsearch.com