Solution Overview

Solution Name:

New Day Jobs

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One-line solution summary:

Enable Access to Higher-Income Earning Opportunities In Southeast Asia and Across the World

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Pitch your solution.

Southeast Asia has a growing talent pool of young developers with high-speed internet - development volume has grown 10-fold in 2.5 yrs. 

However, young developers, especially those in ASEAN, have limited access to global opportunities due to:

(a) Professionalizing skills - training in process best practices (e.g. dev/tech/IT/product)

(b) Compliance complications - company issues managing a workforce from multiple remote locations - easy payment, benefits, etc.

Remote Hiring is increasingly common.  Remote hiring has tripled in the last 10 years, and has grown 30-fold since COVID began.

Our marketplace solves this by

(a) Matching developers to remote work at international companies

(b) Providing key value-add skills training, and

(c) Providing compliance solutions for corporates too ease the process

We aim to build an inclusive global workforce.  Skills development and job access are key drivers for future economic development, and will facilitate higher incomes and more equitable income distribution. 

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What specific problem are you solving?

For a long time, access to good work has been largely defined by where you live.

We are solving the problem of equitable access to digital skills and access to higher income-earning opportunities.

Our initial focus is on Southeast Asia given its growing talent pool of young developers with access to high-speed internet.  In ASEAN, developer activity has grown 10-fold in 2.5 yrs. 

However, young developers have limited access to work opportunities, and average wages are 3x-10x less than developer salaries in other parts of the world.  

Key issues holding them back:

(a) Reliable platform to connect to job opportunities

(b) Professionalizing skills - training in process best practices (e.g. dev/tech/IT/product)

(c) logistics - company issues managing a remote workforce - payment, benefits, compliance...

(d) Costly middlemen that take a significant cut of wages.

At the same time, remote hiring and working has grown 30-fold since COVID began, representing a fundamental shift in how companies hire and work.

We have an opportunity to enable more equitable access to good work opportunities across the globe via remote learning tools, support, and jobs.

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What is your solution?

We built a web and mobile marketplace that smartly connects professionals to remote work and learning opportunities. 

We gather job seeker information and we use AI to assess dev talent, we recommend jobs that are well-fit for them, we recommend and provide access to key value-added training that complements their skillset and provides polishing skills for developers to be internationally competitive (most popular is Development Processes Best Practices course). 

We offer these trainings for free through our onlines resources and partnerships, such as with global companies like LinkedIn, and regional companies like course.com.  With funding, we are interested in providing them in more-depth, as a part of an innovative income-sharing models.

For companies, we help them hire by providing them the workforce they need, and taking care of payroll, benefits, and other key benefits.

We have over 45,000 monthly active users, and our users have completed over 10,000 courses with us over chatbot and web.  

We are building the foundations for an inclusive tech industry, where individuals are able to work remotely and no longer be discriminated against based on their current location.

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Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

We have an initial market size of 90 million people in Southeast Asia - industrious people in Southeast Asia who work in jobs such as customer service, IT, administration, etc.

Our first two markets are in Myanmar and Vietnam.

We work closely with our users to understand who they are, what they need, and how we can connect them with solutions to these needs, in particular tailored online learning and job opportunities.

We have an even split of women and men.  Our users are mostly university-educated, but also includes high school-educated, young professionals aged 18-40.

We talk to our customers every day through various mediums, including messaging, emailing, and (before COVID) meeting them in person in various public places.  

We use several analytics tools to see how people are using our product, what they are getting value from, where they are getting stuck or frustrated.

Over the past several years, we have been tailoring (and at times changing) our platform in order to meet the needs of our users, and be able to build a marketplace in which both sides (professionals and employers) are able to gain considerable value from it.

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Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Equip workers with technological and digital literacy as well as the durable skills needed to stay apace with the changing job market
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Explain how the problem, your solution, and your solution’s target population relate to the Challenge and your selected dimension.

We are applying for the Good Jobs and Inclusive Entrepreneurship Challenge.

Populations in our region have long been discriminated against and left out from job opportunities, despite having the talent and ability to shine in these positions.

Changing behavior amidst COVID-19, increasing digital literacy and connectivity, and an evolving global talent force, is enabling more equitable access to good jobs.

We are providing access to these jobs in an equitable, fair, transparent way.  One that benefits millions of young professionals who don't currently have access to good jobs and fair benefits.

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In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?

Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
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What is your solution’s stage of development?

Growth: An organization with an established product, service, or business model rolled out in one or, ideally, several communities, which is poised for further growth
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Who is the primary delegate for your solution?

Conor Smith, CEO

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More About Your Solution

https://asiaremotejobs.com

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Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new application of an existing technology
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Describe what makes your solution innovative.

The smarter we are able to collect and utilize the data of our users, the better we are able to identify and suggest best-fit online learning opportunities, and remote work opportunities.

We train our model over time to make smarter decisions on these recommendations.  We train our models manually, but eventually we would appreciate the chance to build RL models that can learn and improve automatically as they receive more inputs.

The closest competitor are remote freelance platformsWE  Upwork and Fiverr.  We are differentiated because we

(1) focus on full-time remote work opportunities and offer additional value-add services based on this

(2) offer and provide access to learning opportunities that will enable our users to build skills and earning potential

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Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

We are currently using developing the following technologies:

  • NLP (natural language processing) to smartly collect, read, and analyze data on our users that they are uploading onto our site and our chatbot.  The majority of our collected content comes as unstructured data via various free input fields and uploaded PDF/Word/JPG files.  We are using these as variables that we incorporate into our matching algorithms.

  • Using these variables, we are continuing to build and refine AI algorithms (built with tensorflow/python) to improve our matching of users to job opportunities. We have developed these with two Myanmar data scientists (one based in Myanmar and one based in MIT in Cambridge), alongside a MIT Masters student team and the MIT Media Lab’s AI department. The AI results lead to enhanced matching for jobs or training.

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Provide evidence that this technology works.

We are using matching engines that have been implemented successfully in other organizations and purposes.  For instance, we are using part of the Netflix recommendation engine, which is used to provide recommendations for movie and tv shows that users are most likely to want to watch.

We have used many other AI modelling techniques.  In fact, several were initially introduced to us by a project we did with the MIT Media Lab in 2018, and with an MIT PhD student.  We have a data scientist team that has continued to improve our models over time.

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Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning
  • Big Data
  • Software and Mobile Applications
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What is your theory of change?

We are looking to build a virtuous cycle of transparency, skills improvement, and access and connection to job opportunities across the globe.

We created a platform to do this.  All it takes is industriousness, digital connectivity including a strong internet connection.  This has become ubiquitous across emerging market regions such as Southeast Asia.

Our platform brings on job seekers / professionals and learns about them.  We access people no matter where they are, so location will no longer be an inhibitor to personal, skill, and income growth.  We will continue to offer a larger quantity and better tailored online courses to our users so that they can take the courses best fit for them to gain better access to work opportunities and earn more income.

The more our users come on our platform and use us to connect to learning and work opportunities, the more that our AI Recommendation Engines improve and are able to enable the best guidance and access to learning and working opportunities.

Through our platform, we can help the world build a more and more meritocratic, democratic learning and work ecosystem.  We can help to address systemic issues of upward mobility and income inequality.

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Select the key characteristics of your target population.

  • Women & Girls
  • Peri-Urban
  • Urban
  • Poor
  • Low-Income
  • Minorities & Previously Excluded Populations
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Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 4. Quality Education
  • 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
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In which countries do you currently operate?

  • Vietnam
  • Myanmar
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In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • Indonesia
  • Philippines
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How many people does your solution currently serve? How many will it serve in one year? In five years?

Current number: 46541 Monthly Active Users (124,000 userbase), 10,000 courses completed, connected 5,421 directly to job opportunities (many others indirectly)

In One Year: 200,000+ Monthly Active Users, 100,000 courses completed, connecting 20,000 directly to job opportunities (many others indirectly)

In Five Years: 10,000,000+ Monthly Active Users, 1,000,000 courses completed, connecting 1,000,000 directly to job opportunities (many others indirectly)

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What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?

We believe our solution can fundamentally impact tens of millions of lives in Southeast Asia, and hundreds of millions around the world.

We are on the tipping point for mainstreaming remote job opportunities for most digital oriented jobs.  We would like to make sure that these opportunities are distributed fairly and equitably across the world, and that we are equipping millions and millions of people that were previously excluded from strong earning opportunities.

We will achieve these by continuing to work closely with our users (both job seekers / candidates and employers) in order too create a great product that benefits both sides.

We have a working platform and key partnerships in place.  We will continue to build these out and systematize them so that we can scale across the region, and eventually across the world.

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What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year and in the next five years?

Risks/Challenges:

  • Building our curriculum: Being able to develop and refine our course curriculum, and subsequently our talent, quickly enough to meet the needs of our rapidly growing user base.

  • Investing in Free Training: Being able to invest in free training at scale might cause cash flow issues as we scale.  We will need to raise considerable funding for this.

  • Long-term Skill Development: Certain skills that take a longer amount of time to refine, such as language skills.  In our current markets, this hasn't been an issue.  In other markets, this might become more of an issue.

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How do you plan to overcome these barriers?

Building our curriculum: We will make sure that we are always building courses that are most needed by our users.  Having close relationship and understanding helps us to do this.  Also, we should continue to build out our partnerships, so that we can leverage the online content that is already available on the web.

Investing in Free Training:  It will be helpful to raise enough funds to help with cashflows for this.  We would eventually like to implement an income-sharing program for placed young professionals, similar to Andela's model.

Long-term Skill Development: Some skills take a longer time to build, like language skills.  In the short-term, we are focused on markets with strong enough language abilities.  In the long-term, it would be great to partner with more and more English training skills (we already partner with 6, but we can greatly grow this number) to be able to offer these skills.

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About Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

Hybrid of for-profit and nonprofit
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If you selected Other, please explain here.

n/a

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How many people work on your solution team?

12 full-time teammembers

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How many years have you worked on your solution?

4 years

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Why are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

Our team combines strong tech, ops, and entrepreneurial experience.  We also have strong advisors that have successfully built and scaled global marketplaces in the jobs and education space.

Below is further information on our senior team:

Conor Smith: CEO - Based in Southeast Asia since 2013 helping grow a MFI from 5 people in the head office to 400 staff.  He has background in data analytics working as a consultant and product manager.  Masters from MIT and is a  Certified Professional Scrum Master.

Aung Ko Thet: CTO - Has 5+ years experience leading tech teams.  Before New Day jobs, Ko Thet was technical lead for a travel technology startup, and was a technical lead for a food delivery company.

Bo Mee: COO - Has 4+ years experience working in startups and recruitment.  Has experience in management of operations and business development.

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What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?

Technology (AI / ML) - we are partnered with and currently collaborating with MIT resources - MIT Legatum Center, MIT Media Lab (initiative led by partner Joost Bonsen).

Community Tech Hub Partners - We have collaborated in the past, and would plan to continue to collaborate with community tech hubs Phandeeyar and Seedstars.

International Tech Ecosystems - We were part of the accelerator fund within GSMA, and we were picked Seedstars top startup in ASEAN, so we will continue to leverage the international community from these organizations.

LinkedIn - We partnered with LinkedIn in 2019 as their only strategic partner in Myanmar.  They provide us access to their resources, including integration of job opportunities with their platform.  We are in talks to be able to leverage their platform LinkedIn Learning as well.

Partners / Clients - We are working with various Software Solutions companies, tech companies, and corporates in ASEAN who we believe would be excited to support and take part in this initiative.

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Your Business Model & Funding

What is your business model?

Our business model is currently based on 3 channels: recruitment, postings, referral.

Posting - based on a certain number of job postings per month, which we sell in packages.

Placement - based on successful placement into a particular job posting.  We do this for key clients for which we get involved in the selection and screening via advisory and at times direct facilitation.

Referral / Advertising - while we offer free online learning courses, we also offer access to online courses for steep discounts with partners.  These partners offer a promotion code which gives us a referral fee.

*In the future, we would like to begin offering access to free in-depth classes for an income-sharing agreement.  For roles that our users land via our platform above a certain income threshold, we would get a nominal % of their initial income they receive.

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Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, or to other organizations?

Individual consumers or stakeholders (B2C)
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What is your path to financial sustainability?

We aim to reach financial sustainability in 2021 or 2022.  This is depending on funding we are able to raise, and thereby our ability to focus on scale over the coming years.

We will do this by continuing to build our relationships with current clients, being able to open and build relationships with new customers.

Additionally, building out an income-sharing program for our job seeker customers would facilitate our income-growth overtime, but we can gain financial sustainability without this program.  This program would be more powerful in terms of increasing our potential scalability while maintaining long-term financial sustainability.

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Partnership & Prize Funding Opportunities

Why are you applying to Solve?

We are applying to Solve because we believe we have the potential too build a global answer to one of the MIT Solve challenges.  We already have a product and a strong team, and with funding from MIT Solve, we will be able to continue to refine our product and scale it up.

We also appreciate the strong reputation and value that MIT Solve, it's internal team, and the Solver community, is able to provide for tech companies making strong social impact.  We would greatly appreciate the opportunity to become a contributing part of this community.

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In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Funding and revenue model
  • Board members or advisors
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Please explain in more detail here.

We have a scalable product, but we are in a location that has less access to impact investment funds.  

Also, we have strong mentors, but limited governance, and we'd appreciate the chance to use this platform to access key mentors or funders who can help us improve and scale our platform.

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What organizations would you like to partner with, and how would you like to partner with them?

We'd greatly appreciate the chance to work closely with MIT Solve internal team and the community.

We would also greatly appreciate the chance to get in touch with and learn from additional affiliated partners within the greater social impact and tech community.

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Solution Team

  • Conor Smith CEO, New Day Jobs
 
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