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The journey of the winning Venture Academy team – Student-Helpr

15 January 2020

Last December Dorin Munteanu and Cristian Ciobanu won The Venture Academy program of fall 2019 with their start-up: Student-Helpr. Student-Helpr is a time and money saver for international students. It’s a platform where you can request and receive services tailored to your needs. We talked to the young entrepreneurs about their start-up, their experience during the 11-week program and the future plans of Student-Helpr.

Student-Helpr has a wide range of services they offer, but one of their tasks is relieving students from stress and anxiety. They save them time and help them save on exorbitant services. Student-Helpr tries to tackle the trend of students dropping out and losing talent by offering a general integrational platform based on community values and principles. The startup of Dorin and Cristian will ensure that young talent will receive the necessary opportunities, so they can focus on what they can master the best. ‘Notwithstanding, contribute to the general picture of making the Netherlands a more attractive hub for international students’ so says the Student-Helpr team.

Experience and passion
According to Dorin and Cristian the idea of Student-Helpr is based on two pillars: experience and passion. ‘Experience as international students in the Netherlands who lacked attention and advice. The passion for helping others came when we were in our advanced years at university, and friends who were coming to study in the Netherlands asked for our help and advice. We pitched in to help anytime, anyone. After a while, an idea emerged – what if we can do this for more students?  That’s how Student-Helpr came into existence.’ Dorin always had a passion for helping others and making an impact. ‘I do this in a way which challenges me and makes me be a better person. I think Student-Helpr is the right place for that.’ Cristian likes to find solutions to the problems that not many people can solve. ‘That is what Student-Helpr does, our solutions are unique in nature for problems that are highly regarded for several years already.’

Let’s get some validation  
Before the Venture Academy, the team felt like they needed an expert look on what they created so far. ‘That’s when we decided, now is the time. Let’s get some validation! And we were right, our idea is strong.’ Participation in the program has been an important step for the young entrepreneurs. ‘The Venture Academy is one of the best things that happened to us since we founded Student-Helpr. We’ve learned and improved a lot. More specifically, we understood how important it is to be adaptable to new circumstances, how to create and plan strategies and how to pitch in front of investors, experts and entrepreneurs.’

Being an entrepreneur is fantastic, but not easy. It takes time, dedication and consistency according to Dorin and Cristian. ‘PLNT is the right place to be when you are growing as a business. For us, it will resume to assisting us with legal challenges, networking and validation of certain strategies and ideas. There is a lot of potential at PLNT and future success and we want to be part of it.’ Student-Helpr has certain milestones ahead of them. One of them is to appear on google search engine on top 5 results for studying in the Netherlands, by May 2020. ‘Speaking in terms of the vision, we see ourselves in 5 years as the leading student platform in entire Europe with more than 100 employees and tens of thousands of students assisted.’

The young entrepreneurs are heading in the right direction. They are ambitious, they work with passion and the first important steps have been taken. They decided to give it a shot, a decision which led them to winning The Venture Academy!

The Venture Academy of spring 2020 will start in April. Interested? Read more here!


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