Miracle Olatunji, 18, of New Castle, DE is one of this year’s competitors in the i.Invest National Youth Business Competition. Olatunji is the founder of OpportuniMe, a technology startup with the mission to help high schools and their students by democratizing access and exposure to quality experiential learning, enrichment, and employment opportunities for passion, career, and self-discovery.
We spoke with Olatunji to learn more about her business venture:
Tell us about your start-up company.
As a high-school student, I experienced first-hand how difficult it is to search and apply for meaningful opportunities for high-school-age students. Therefore, I developed OpportuniMe, which is an early-stage startup with the mission to help high schools and their students easily find and apply to various experiential learning, enrichment, and employment opportunities. Currently, the OpportuniMe newsletter has hundreds of subscribers from the Delaware area, and I recently graduated from the very first cohort of DualSchool, an incubator for high-school student entrepreneurs and change-makers. OpportuniMe has been featured in Forbes, Mogul, Technical.ly, GoodWall, The Female Lead, Out & About Magazine, and several other publications and media outlets. OpportuniMe also won first place in the 2018 World Series of Entrepreneurship. The next step is to create and launch a fully-functional website platform that will allow users to find and apply to opportunities.
What inspired you to start OpportuniMe?
The decision to start OpportuniMe was inspired by a personal experience and a problem I identified among other young people around the country. The challenge is that the current process of finding these meaningful opportunities for high schools and their students is very disorganized, stressful, and time-consuming. Therefore, I decided to start OpportuniMe as a solution to this problem.
What makes OpportuniMe unique?
We will be leveraging artificial intelligence technology and machine learning to make the platform highly efficient and save users time. Our goal is to simplify exposure and access to diverse opportunities for the 25,000+ high schools and millions of students in the US, all on one secure platform. The student data that we collect will also be used to help students by matching them to those experiences and resources that will enable them to confidently pursue their collegiate, entrepreneurial, and career goals and to develop the skills necessary to be leaders in the 21st century.
How will OpportuniMe impact the world?
Opportunities are the keys that unlock the doors for students to experience passion, career, and self-discovery. Some of the most successful and fulfilled professional adults today cite that the early opportunities they had to explore and identify possible career paths and passions were keys to their success later in life. Outside and inside of school, experiential learning, enrichment, and employment opportunities allow students to develop a real-world perspective outside the classroom, to explore career and personal hobby interests, to foster personal development skills, and to begin to build their network. That is why a core belief at OpportuniMe is that it is important for high-school students to have the opportunity to explore possible careers and start finding or cultivating their passion before they head off to college. These opportunities can even encourage students who weren't considering higher education to pursue it.
What are the next steps for OpportuniMe?
The next step is to complete web platform development. We are also building a team of people with tech, design, business development, and other talents as well as a diverse advisory board of experienced professionals. We are also working towards fundraising for the company. The funds will be used towards product development, marketing, and sales and business operations. We plan to spread the word and market through partnerships with various companies, organizations, and universities, student and public figure ambassador programs, social media, and digital marketing.