Talking to Careseekers co-founder, Marissa Sandler, brings home the value of the NRMA Jumpstart program powered by Slingshot. Careseekers won round 1 and, as applications for round 2 are open, what better time to showcase their journey.
Careseekers co-founders Marissa Sandler and Lauren Hockley were working from Sydney on their website when they came across the NRMA Jumpstart program. Instantly attracted by the connection to NRMA, they saw the synergy between what Careseekers was about and NRMA members’ needs.
Careseekers directly connects people needing care with carers. It provides an affordable way to find in-home care tailored to an individual’s needs. Australia’s ageing population means there will be an increasing demand for accessible and affordable in-home care. This is obviously an issue that impacts many NRMA members who may have ageing parents who need care, or even need care themselves.
Seeing nothing to lose, and $30K on offer, they applied for NRMA Jumpstart. Marissa and Lauren were really open to the Slingshot accelerator experience and to where the program could take their business. According to Marissa, learning about the funding and investor journey, and the importance of being able to pitch your business, were the standouts.
“We had classes every Tuesday and each week was based around a theme, for example, user experience,” says Marissa. “Every Monday we met with the Slingshot guys to discuss where we were at with our business that week”.
Marissa recalls that the Monday sessions were “really hard work”. “The Slingshot guys really got us to thrash out ideas and explore our reasons for taking a particular course of action,” she says. “It was so helpful having objective people sit down with you every week to brainstorm your business.
“They really cared about how you and your business were doing.”From the Slingshot perspective it was great seeing how, although they’d been able to get their idea to a certain point, participating in the NRMA Jumpstart accelerator program lifted things to a new level.
Marissa says that the program added a lot of resources they could never have put together themselves in the time frame. “We got some capital, a collaborative environment and access to mentors. “Probably more important was the defined period of time to execute and get our product to market.”
There’s no doubt that the energy and drive that it is ‘creating’ is a great motivator.
“NRMA Slingshot allows you to do 12 months learning in 12 weeks,” Marissa says. “It accelerates your business and gives you the confidence and tools to tackle issues as they arise down the track.”
So why should other people give NMRA Jumpstart a go?
Marissa believes that it’s ideal for people with business ideas or who are in the very early stages of their start-up. It is particularly useful for people wanting to make their business “investor ready”.
Since completing the NMRA Jumpstart program Careseekers has been full steam ahead! The site has launched and they have had over 800 users register with our site.
The Careseekers team is now focused on building their user base through marketing, strategic partnerships and brand awareness.There is no doubt that Marissa and Lauren are passionate about facilitating affordable and tailored in-home care for people and their families. While currently NSW focused, they aim to be Australia wide.
You can meet Marissa and ask her all about NRMA Jumpstart and Careseekers at the Canberra Roadshow event to be held Wednesday evening 14 July, 2015.
Canberra Wednesday 15th July. CBR Innovation Network, Level
5, 1 Moore St Canberra ACT
2015 Jumpstart applications are open now and close 6 August 2015. More information at the NRMA Jumpstart Website http://www.mynrma.com.au/jumpstart.htm