A dream I have - would take some time to achieve
Shared by manojranaweera · 137d ago · 10 comments

Would you consider the following as transformative or just another meh?

You bring an idea for a tech startup.

2,885 volunteers at www.skilledup.life

- Validates it
- Help build the idea into a product
- Acquires users on your behalf
- Convert them to customers
- Provides customer support
- Build the team

Pre-Seed Investors watching what's happening put some money into you, as SkilledUp Life has de-risked the opportunity for them.

You end up hiring some of our volunteers after the volunteer term has ended.

Is that too much to foresee? Is that just another meh!


Background to above - an investor friend was having a go at me saying none of what I do is transformative. People take one look and assume they know it all.

user_1234 · 118d ago

This is definetly awesome. I can sense your idea has huge potential. I'm not expert & i maybe wrong but i have some advice for you
1. First of all make it completely free for both demand & supply side. Have some vanity check in place for startups. Don't fall in MRR game at initial stage you can play this game later.
2. Focus on buzz marketing. If you create some buzz around skilledup.life on startup communities such as IndieHackers, twitter etc. then you can grow fast.
There is a similar startup like yours that you need to take inspiration from - https://internshala.com/
Best of luck.

manojranaweera · 118d ago


If I make this free, we will have thousands of tech startups. But I would also need to have more capital to support the operation. Free also means having to provide a lot more support.

I also want to see whether I can get to £10k MRR without any external capital. I also want to get our companies to reach the same goal of £10k MRR. Free goes against this. I want to practice before I preach.

Once we got to £10k MRR, we will have the opportunity to experiment more.

I also want to avoid what https://internshala.com/ does - offer paid and non-paid. Our market will always be smaller than theirs as we are in the business of building tech companies - not just providing free labour.

user_1234 · 118d ago

I get your point. That makes sense. Good luck.

manojranaweera · 118d ago

In terms of buzz marketing, I'll give some thought. I've recently started contributing to Indiehackers. I am in a few other places as well. They all contribute.

manojranaweera · 118d ago

https://internshala.com/ founded in 2011. Going to have a chat with their CEO.

Wole · 137d ago

It would be transformative. But you would need to stage your vision. It sounds more feasible and fair if the volunteers are tasked with building an MVP with freely available simple tools (bubble etc), not necessarily the actual "product". They can also get some initial test users and lots of early feedback. That should be sufficient for the entrepreneur and pre-seed investors to have derived a lot of value from your service.

joshbrill · 137d ago

I find it very weird to make people pay for access to other people working for free. That doesn't sit right with me for some reason.

manojranaweera · 137d ago

I think it would have been wrong if we charge per person - that's what most people tell us to do. We are charging for running the service.

You need to open your eyes and see the positive impact we are making. Here's a good case study https://youtu.be/KliqXCebdLc.

None of these roles are full time. The minimum commitment is 1hr+ per day for three months. SkilledUp Life is not for everyone. It's only for those who value Experience over a few quids.

kendsouza · 137d ago

It will definitely be transformative if you can pull it off. But that's a lot and could take several months for each idea..even years. Are the volunteers willing to work for free for a long period without reimbursement?. Also me thinks you will need skilled and experienced folks at each stage. Understanding the 'problem', validating it and building a solution which will attract customers will be the hardest and take the longest. Marketing and sales is tough but doable if the solution built is right..providing customer support could be the easiest..still a certain level of fluency will be required in the markets being targeted.

Sendoff · 137d ago

Hi Manoj, I think this is the new direction a lot of startups are taking; being an incubator for other startups. Selling the shovels instead of digging for gold. Your investor may be correct in that doing that by itself is not "transformative".

But, the addition of volunteers and actual experience with real world problems takes it to another level for me. If the startups succeed and the volunteers get a path into employment or start thet own startups at a later stage then it truly becomes transformative. The trick is in getting that process right, making it repeatable and then scaling .