Kimberley Aarts and her startup OneTwoModel

May 23, 2022

Alumnus and Commercial Economics (CE) teacher Kimberley Aarts has teamed up with Computer Science students at Hogeschool Leiden to realize her startup OneTwoModel. “Working on something that is put into practice students enjoy.”

After completing her education at Hogeschool Leiden, Kimberley pursued a master’s degree in ICT & Business at Leiden University. Kimberley has been interested in the modeling industry since a young age as she had an affinity for becoming a model herself. However, she already ran into some things during this period that she felt could be better. During the CE study, she was first introduced to facial analysis technology. During her master’s studies, she continued to study the subject and was able to combine her acquired knowledge and her interest in the modeling industry.

From student to teacher

After completing her studies, Kimberley started teaching Commercial Economics and started her start-up OneTwoModel: a modeling platform in the form of an app that is accessible to everyone, provides honest information and encourages diversity in the modeling world.

Kimberley says, “In addition to my own experiences, I started doing extensive research within the modeling industry to find out the pain points. After all, when starting something new, it is important to address and/or solve a pain point or problem. During the market research, one of the things I found was that aspiring models are often scammed by ‘fake agencies’ and there is little transparency within the industry.”

Accessible platform for all types of models

“I then thought: we can offer good information, transparency about the modeling industry as well as good modeling and casting agencies with our app. We have a good relationship with all the agencies linked to our app. That way we make sure our users only get in touch with agencies that take good care of our users. Where one agency is looking for more specific looks for certain assignments, another agency is looking for everyday faces. This makes the platform accessible to everyone and gives everyone a fair chance. That is the strength of the platform.”

Collaboration with Computer Science students

The OneTwoModel platform was built from the ground up and realized by students from Leiden University of Applied Sciences. Kimberley: “To make this platform a reality, I started working primarily with third-year Computer Science students. Within this program, students can specialize in areas such as Interaction Technology and Software Engineering. These students were looking for a cooperative internship, but because of corona, it was difficult for them to find internships at that time. Because we are in the product development stage, it is possible for us to provide fun internships for students in this way. After we hired one student for a six-month internship, both parties were so pleased that my start-up was recommended as an internship within the program.”

“The Computer Science students have been involved from the beginning. They set up the whole app and created all the functionalities you see. I started brainstorming with them and they also contributed their ideas. I notice that they really enjoy working on something that is also put into practice.”

Computer science students Alex, Kasper and Daniel add: “Through a former computer science teacher we came in contact with Kimberley of OneTwoModel. The knowledge we gained at OneTwoModel in such a short time is enormous. You could compare it to what we would normally learn in an entire year in school. The reason behind this is that the company is still young and therefore gives enough room for expertise and knowledge as well as value our input. This gives us the opportunity to further develop ourselves on many different fronts. This ranges from redesigning a database to putting an app online.”

Pilot phase

Currently, the platform is still in the middle of its pilot phase. This phase finds out if there are any major bugs and where are any areas for improvement. “A survey has been created that asks questions for each page of the app that allows us to find out how users experience the app and to see if improvements are needed. This check is important because it allows us to see if users actually understand what they should and can do with the app. It is great if we can get real-time feedback during this pilot and simultaneously fix small bugs. We are therefore looking for as many pioneers as possible, who want to try out the app during this pilot. All help and feedback is appreciated!” said Kimberley.

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