Student-led UConn Consulting Group Offered Helping Hand to Financial Startups
Two financial services startups were the recent beneficiaries of a helping hand from the UConn Consulting Group, an undergraduate, student-led organization that works on real-life business projects to both assist companies and broaden student experiences.
“By working on a project for a startup, I had direct access to the CEO and felt like the UConn Consulting Group was consistently making an impact on the company,” said junior Matthew DeLeon. “The trust that the company placed in the group allowed us to push beyond what we had done in the past.”
The group worked with two startups, one based in Connecticut and the other based in Boston. The companies asked that they not be identified due to the early stages of their product development.
The Connecticut-based financial services startup is in the process of building a proof-of-concept model. Given positive initial feedback from investors, the startup anticipated entering Series A funding in the future.
To assess the startup’s Series A thesis, the UConn Consulting Group researched key industry trends across three markets and conducted an in-depth review of 13 competitor business models to identify important competitive advantages, as well as potential risk factors. In assessing the client’s business model, the students estimated the potential user base for the startup’s product and its projected revenues over five years.
“Working with a startup was an incredible experience and exposed me to a whole new world of business models,” said junior Stephen Porcello, managing director of the group. “This project emboldened me to feel more confident about not only my consulting skills, but my understanding of what is necessary for startups to succeed.”
Students were equally enthusiastic about a second project, working with a financial technology startup in Boston that is preparing for its product launch later this year. After the creation of its online content and beta testing, the company sought the group’s advice in two key areas: developing its user acquisition strategy and determining ideal partnerships.
To meet these objectives, the UConn students fielded their own surveys and conducted phone interviews to provide insight into the target market’s behaviors, attitudes, and interest in the product.
In determining best partnerships, the students sifted through extensive amounts of academic research and additional interviews to recommend feasible, advantageous partners to approach. Going “above and beyond,” the group also projected revenues based on various models with these potential partners.
Less than one month after presenting their findings to the company’s two co-founders in Boston, the students’ recommendations already had an impact.
“The UConn Consulting Group did a fantastic job identifying key problem areas within our business and diving in to solve them with specific, actionable solutions,” the client reported. “We’ve already been able to implement some of their suggestions and have seen results far beyond what we were expecting.”
These two financial projects follow on the heels of the group’s work with the UConn Foundation and UConn Athletics. The student experiential learning group allows students to develop skills beyond the classroom. It is open to students of all majors.
“The UConn Consulting Group is an incredible organization because it affords students the opportunity to work with key university and community decision makers to solve meaningful problems,” commented junior Jeffrey Noonan. “I came to UConn looking for a community of talented, ambitious students, and that’s exactly what I found in this club. Plus, the ability to directly benefit our community is unparalleled, and that’s the magic that sets this group apart.”
For more information about the UConn Consulting Group, please visit uconnconsulting.org or email email@example.com.