Startup Social Hands wins Pocketbook-Zookal Scholarship

- June 23, 2014 2 MIN READ

A little over four months ago, fintech startup Pocketbook in partnership with textbook startup Zookal launched a scholarship for student entrepreneurs.

The primary purpose of the programme was to encourage students to see business ownership as a valued and rewarding career path, so that ideas can be transformed into something the world will find useful.

The scholarship was worth $1,000 cash from Pocketbook to spend on anything, and four textbooks worth up to $1,000 from Zookal. The main benefit is that students will be able learn all the intricacies of running a startup – and with the $2,000, if they choose so, they can buy a domain and start their own website or register a company.

On the Pocketbook blog last week, they explained how the ultimate winner was chosen.

It took the team a whole month going through all the essays and debating who we should award the scholarship to. We rated the applications by asking ourselves a few questions:

  1. How much effort was put into the essay? We received an essay that’s two paragraphs long – and one that’s 8 pages long.
  2. But length alone doesn’t meant anything. So the second criteria was: How compelling is the story? This is not about how well the story is written, but how much the story itself draws us in.
  3. How committed were they in implementing their ideas?
  4. Can we add value to their experience? If we do award the scholarship to a particular application, can we add more value than just the money to this person?
  5. And generally, how much hustle we felt was on show throughout their journey to build the business.

The grand prize went to Anthony Ryan, founder of Social Hands. The startup is taking on FindABabysitter.com.au, the largest player in the Australian market, to pacify parents who don’t want the wrong stranger in their house looking after their babies.

The company presents real-time availabilities so that parents can book a babysitter or nanny on the platform once they’re satisfied with their choice.

Launched last month, Social Hands has already attracted over 500 babysitters and 30+ parents through organic marketing.