Start-Up Project

Project Overview

My first real start-up idea was GrowUp Media. GrowUp was an app-based networking and media service that provides access to professional and personal resources to today’s youth, as they make the daunting transition into adulthood. Our resources would include informative curated content, insightful advice, and locally verified professionals. By providing our platform, we aimed to create a community that enables productive communication & education amongst those who are experiencing or have experienced similar life situations. Aside from the app itself, GrowUp aimed to branch into markets of collegiate events, ad-hosting & media production; all with the same goal of facilitating a smoother transition into the “real world”.

Download Business Plan
Services: Product Design / Start-Up Project

The Problem

Did you feel unprepared to face the hard realities of adulthood?

In a time where all the information in the world is in the palm of your hand. It is fascinating that today’s young adults are being left so unprepared by colleges & universities, specifically when it comes to the everyday struggles of adulthood. Whether it’s applying for an auto loan, not understanding your health insurance terms, or even something as scary as preparing to move to a new state, everyone can use some advice when in the face of a new “challenge”. 

Those who are fortunate enough, usually, receive these important lessons from either their parents or mentors, however, they may be offered a limited perspective on which they are advised. But those who may not have this privilege, often have to navigate the hurdles of adulthood through trial and error. Today’s society is ever-changing and the obstacles we are presented with today are not those of the past. At GrowUp we strive to learn & grow together, with the goal to lessen the burdens of adulthood so that our youth may thrive.

The Solution

GrowUp provides an easy & direct way for our users to engage in quality discussion on any topic imaginable. Via the hashtag method, we are able to categorize each topic and file all related posts under the according topic. Users are able to engage with each other’s posts in the following three ways: commenting, grading the advice as either a thumbs up (Useful) or thumbs down (Non-useful); each user is only allowed one “grade” value per post (so no spam voting), but can change vote indefinitely. The order in which the advice posts on each Topic feed will appear is based on the Useful Rating of each post; the higher usefulness a post has, the higher it will appear on the feed, giving our users the ultimate power to determine the value of each post. In addition, we will provide “Grow up Consultants” that are available to help our users deal with some of their everyday challenges, local professionals, and services (i.e. accountants, lawyers, financial agents, etc.) by our staff. Through the verification process, we can guarantee the highest quality of service for our premium members.

Curated Content

Editorial articles, videos, images, podcasts & more content will be created, providing our users with a variety of possibilities to learn something new.

Personalized Advice

Utilizing the data we learn about our users, the goal is to provide personalized advice/recommendations to each user.

Verified Professionals

Vetted professionals can utilize our platform to connect and educate our users while simultaneously advertising their services.

The Opportunity

Learning is a life-long process that is pivotal to our success, especially in our younger years, that is why our key audience is young adults primarily ages 16 to 30. Therefore our opportunity limits are exceptionally wide; but to look at some key potential user demographics, reported by the National Center for Education Statistics: About 3.6 million students are expected to graduate from high school in 2018–19, including 3.3 million students from public high schools and 0.4 million students from private high schools; About 19.9 million students are expected to enroll in college/university this year; During the 2018–19 school year, colleges and universities are expected to award 1.0 million associate‘s degrees; 1.9 million bachelor’s degrees; 780,000 master’s degrees; and 182,000 doctor’s degrees. These statistics alone represent a significant number of adults who will be entering the workforce & society as independent adults. In a country where smartphone usage is projected to reach up to 270 million people by 2022, it’s key that we funnel our service through these major platform providers; an estimated 5 billion global smartphone users. At a market value of $188 billion, the app market is this decade’s biggest boom. Of that market, about 39% of the market is dominated by social media apps; even with just a small margin of this market, our growth potential is untelling.

The Model

Stage 1

With the goal of building a loyal following & brand identity, we will be creating and distributing top-quality curated content via the following verticals: Podcast, Video Series, Interactive Social Media Images/Videos, curated posts & more. We will be implementing high-quality digital media campaigns while making them as interactive as possible; with the interactiveness aspect of our content, we will be collecting data (content/users) for future use in the app development.

Stage 2

Throughout stage 1, continuous research, development & data collecting will be taking place in efforts for the launch of the app. At this point, the exec board will take into consideration total brand awareness & effectiveness of the “proof of concept”. We will then decide on whether to approach a VC/PE Investors for funding, hire 3rd party developers on our own, bring on a developer, or take it to silicon valley. All options will be weighed out and voted on.

Stage 3

Partner with universities across the U.S. by hosting events, seminars, courses, etc. Ultimately expand globally, (GrowUp Canada, GrowUp Europe, etc.)

Download Business Plan