Oneflare, the Aussie local services marketplace, is the newest sponsor of the University of New South Wales (UNSW) co-op scholarship program, aiming to help young entrepreneurs kick-start a career in the world of start-ups.
The three-year-old start-up has just entered a four year sponsorship with UNSW’s co-op scholarship program which will grant three co-op students the opportunity to work at Oneflare for six months each, among other companies such as Coca-Cola Amatil, Macquarie Group and Atlassian.
Over the next four years, Oneflare will also feed $67,000 into the program, to go towards scholars’ fortnightly payments from the University. The UNSW co-op scholarship program provides selected students with $16,750 for every year of study and 18 months of relevant industry training with up to four different companies.
The return of the gallant alumni
Oneflare’s participation in the program follows the trend of high growth tech companies tapping into universities for talent. The founders of Atlassian have sponsored the program for a number of years, after completing the co-op scholarship themselves.
Having also been co-op students themselves, Oneflare’s CEO Marcus Lim (pictured above) and COO Ken Tabuki, wanted to give back to the university and equip students with the same skills and experience they gained from their work placements.
“Sponsoring the co-op scholarship program is a direct fit with Oneflare’s long term strategy — our main asset is human capital so investing in that is a real priority,” says Lim.
“The program is mutually beneficial — we’re very open to the prospect of hiring scholars to work with us once they have graduated.”
Manager of the co-op program, Kay Carey, says the team is very excited to have another co-op program alumnus’ start-up sponsoring the program.
“We believe it is important to create and encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation in our scholars, enabling them to think beyond the ‘job’ and become leaders of the future.”
“To have alumni sponsors that are successfully living that dream is the perfect scenario for the program,” she pointed out.
What will the co-op students learn at Oneflare?
Oneflare’s work placements will be open to students enrolled in an accounting and business management scholarship and will cater to three students who are particularly interested in the start-up scene.
“Start-ups just weren’t a real option when Ken and I started Uni in 2006. Now that there’s a real ecosystem around them, we want to help students who are keen to go down the start-up path after Uni”, Lim explained.
He revealed to Anthill that at Oneflare, they intend to help the selected students develop:
- Relevant skills in business tools such as MS office (Excel), SQL and Tableau, Xero
- Financial forecast and budgeting skills
- Ownership of business development projects
- Understanding of the local service online marketplace in Australia
- Competitor analysis framework
How did the program help Oneflare’s Marcus Lim?
Lim encourages co-op students to make the most of the program, as he puts many of his everyday business and teamwork skills down to the three placements he completed in three organisations selling very different products and services.
“Having worked at Telstra, British American Tobacco, and QBE Insurance, the program gave me a lot of diversity in my understanding of business, exposure to how big organisations work, and the experience of working with three very different teams,” he shared.
At QBE, Lim was an assistant project manager developing strong PRINCE 2 project management skills and framework and at Telstra, he was a sales forecast analyst developing financial models that predicted proforma revenues from existing customers.
At BAT, he was an IT business analyst for the marketing department – this involved understanding business requirements from various teams in the marketing department and translating them to technology functionality by way of marketing software.
“The combination of all three work placements provided me with a detailed and broad understanding of business which better equipped me in my journey as an entrepreneur.”