As soon as it became evident that Corona was disrupting our daily lives, three fellow students and I felt like we should take action. Whereas we were working on another start-up idea previously, we felt we had to pivot and make an impact now. Initially, we wanted to dedicate our energy to volunteering initiatives, and use what we encounter as inspiration to expand our impact.
As soon as we started our research, we found it to be difficult to make a comprehensive inventory of inspiring initiatives where we could compare options. Simultaneously, we witnessed that many students in our personal and online networks called for help in their search to an initiative that fit their personal situation. At this point, we realized what we could do to contribute to society, especially during this time of crisis; we must make volunteering fun, easy and accessible for students.
This story outlines the conception of www.studentsvscorona.com. Currently, we feature over 80 initiatives only in the Netherlands! The city can be navigated by searching per country and city, respectively. At this point, we have expanded our team with a project management consultant, a web developer, and an experienced marketer - all volunteers.
Our short-term plans are to expand our offering both nationally and internationally, by leveraging associations and organizations in our network. The functionality of the system will also receive an overhaul, as we plan to implement an interactive search/advisory function that suggests initiatives suited to the specific characteristics of the user.
Initiatives that are featured on our website include ones that require dedication and training such as joining an emotional support hotline, to ones that require a one-time and minimal effort such as sending a card to the elderly, doing groceries for risk groups, or downloading an app that dedicates your mobile phone computing power to vaccine/medicine research while your phone is standby during the night.
Funded by Rotterdam (June 2020)