This is an article about 21212 startup Zoony.co, a platform connecting university students to internships. The Zoony.co team originally entered our acceleration program with a different goal in mind for their business. Their platform was called Zona Universitária and it was a place where university students could organize their entire student life online from finding housing to connecting with people for carpools. During the market validation process, the team discovered a bigger issue: students were having a difficult time finding companies that matched their profile and experience and, at the same time, companies struggled to find the right talent for job openings. For that reason, they evolved and transformed to be the best they could be. Renaming themselves the catchy Zoony.co, they are now focused specifically on one area — internships.
For university students, the challenge to find an internship can feel endless. Today in Brazil, students aren’t just looking to intern at any well-paying company, but one with a positive image and a strong identity that they can relate to. “Students want to feel satisfied with the work they are devoting their time to and if a company doesn’t show a clear identity that they connect with they won’t want to work there,” says Marcelo Melo, founder of Zoony.
Companies are also having an increasingly difficult time finding qualified candidates who fit their open positions due to the fact that these people get hired quickly and don’t have to spend time searching. In addition to this, the traditional methods companies have used to find interns, such as looking on an online resume bank, career fairs, or posting an ad in a newspaper—are now failing. In this evolving recruitment environment, how can students find their ideal internship and companies find their perfect intern? That is where Zoony.co comes in — an online platform created to match students with companies, finding the perfect fit for both. The platform consists of two main sections where students and companies can organize their information and objectives. University students use Zoony.co free of cost to create an account where they can catalogue their past work experience and awards and set clear objectives for the future. Once these goals are selected, the platform gives step by step advice to guide the student on the correct path to reach the final goal. When the student first enters the platform, there will be a few questions to answer, such as “what do you dream of accomplishing,” with the purpose of making him stop and think with clarity about his true goals so the platform can be used the most effectively. As the student progresses and works towards his objectives, the platform catalogues the process, giving rewards along the way for each success. The other part of Zoony.co, allows businesses to create an account where they can post their internship openings and search for the perfect candidate. Zoony.co uses a complex algorithm that analyzes the profiles of each student, matching the most qualified with the job position and giving a percentage rating that reflects the strength of the fit. The higher the percentage, the more expensive it is to “buy” their contact information. In addition to creating an efficient and effective way to match students to internship opportunities, Zoony.co is also helping transform the entire environment where these connections take place. They place the highest value on the knowledge and achievements of the students, not just on the university they attend. Zoony.co broadens the spectrum of qualified candidates by allowing anyone to have the chance to get their dream internship — all that is required is a clear focus on personal goals and determination to achieve them.