A look back at 2019 and the vision for 2020
It has been 3 years since the very first batch of VIISA Acceleration Program. We have been through 6 batches with 32 graduated startups. To wrap up the year, we invited Mr. Duy Nguyen, Co-Founder of Ella Study - VIISA Acceleration Program Batch 2 startup to join our short interview to share about his journey with Ella Study.
What was your most memorable experience with Ella Study for 2019?
Our most memorable experience in 2019 was that we decided to focus 120% on supporting customers and education product development. The result surprised us: We helped hundreds of students promoting their careers in communication, marketing; getting offer letters from the top 4% global universities with their desired development pathway (industry, subject, country). Therefore, without any big campaigns of marketing or advertisement, our students and universities loved us, and organically referred us to their friends and partners. As a startup, when we put all our heart in what we are doing, team and customers’ engagement tells the truth.
What was your most challenging experience with Ella Study for 2019?
The most challenging experience also came with Growth. From 8 people at the beginning of 2019, we now expand to 26 staffs, managing 2 brands: Ella Study & Markus. Growing in the number of team members and customers also put pressure on cashflow. Whatever we earned from, B2B or B2C, online or offline, we needed to stay alive without any support from the outside. But challenges always bring us great joy and practice of staying focus on what we do, rather than looking for elsewhere.
Looking forward to 2020, what are you looking forward to for yourself and for Ella Study?
I and our founding team always look forward to better resource status (HR, finance, cashflow) to grow more on what we aim, which is supporting 10,000 students in career orientation and overseas study by 2021. But moving ahead with an all-time resource limit is always the responsibility of the entrepreneurs.
In 2020, we plan to develop more customized products to better support our students and university partners. This will relate to blended learning, and initially connecting to the labor industry as the output for Ella’s talented & great experienced students, especially for those with global experiments. In 2020, we aim to grow, support 2,000+ students and 100 partners while raising 15% of our team members’ earnings.
In VIISA Investment Day #6, Khoa Do, Co-founder & CEO of Ella Study, came on stage and shared about their remarkable achievements throughout the latest 18 months. From the initial idea of building the overseas-study platform connect students with Alumni, Ella has pivoted to be an Education organization, providing orientation, overseas study and career mentorship services to students. All these services are provided through blended learning (online & offline) by connecting with insightful peer-group alumni and mentors.
Over the last 18 months, Ella has assisted 180+ students to study abroad - nearly 50% of whom got offer letters from the top 4% best universities worldwide. Ella also supported more than 1500 students in career mentorship & training, with another brand named Markus School. Another service named Ella Uni has supported 28+ universities to recruit more than 400 students into high-quality and international programs in just 20 months.