In Italy, many young talents are forced to miss their opportunities to pursue high-quality educational programs due to the severe lack of merit-based scholarships. Currently, most scholarships available for Italian students are income-based, which implies that financial aid excludes the young talents coming from middle income families. According to Eurydice Facts and Figures, only 9% of Italian students received scholarships in the academic year of 2016/2017. Furthermore, student loans are not appropriated to finance a risky investment such as education, because the repayment is not linked with post-graduate student’s income. Culturally, it also has been a norm for parents to take loans on behalf of students. In response to this pressing issue, Pier Giorgio Bianchi, Vito Ciciretti, and Paolo Alberico Laddomada founded Talents Venture (TV). They wanted their start-up to offer innovative service that allows tying the cost of education to student's future income, similarly to what has already been available in North America for decades. TV attracts the best talents from different backgrounds, offering them an ecosystem of services useful for a successful path of personal and professional growth. The main goal is to finance the best students according to the selection model that estimates expected future salary for each student. Students have to repay only when and if they earn salary. The instalment, therefore, represents a percentage of their future income. TV help best talents to attend the best universities regardless of their economic and social background. Besides financial support, TV also wants to provide bright students with internships and job placements through partnering up with large industry players.
TV is currently targeting only Masters and MBA students in Italy to validate its model before offering services to a broader range of students all over Europe. At the moment, the focus is also on three specific education programs: Business, Finance, and Engineering. While the founding team is wrapping its investor relations and waiting for the approval from the Bank of Italy, it would like to have a head start on marketing ideas to raise awareness among young talents who plan to enrol in postgraduate programs in the academic year of 2018/2019.
Learn more about TV here: http://www.talentsventure.com/
Talents Venture plans to utilise the combination of online and offline channels to best inform Masters and MBA students about this newly available merit-based opportunity to fund their future.
Specific recommendations to be developed by the Consulting team are:
1. Develop a marketing plan to educate prospective students about the benefits of TV services
a. Develop an understanding of students’ attitude towards financial aid and identify best ways to address their possible concerns, while communicating the benefits of TV’s services
b. Clarify Talents Venture’s value proposition and define the overarching message for all marketing activities
2. Develop online and offline marketing campaigns targeting prospective students for 2018/2019
a. Gather best practices from similar organizations and adapt them to TV
b. Create social media campaigns to encourage students to apply for this new funding opportunity
c. Provide promotion campaign ideas to engage university partners (Ex: Student ambassador programs, campus events)
The managing team of Talents Venture incorporate your recommendations when operational, tactical and strategic decisions are to be made in the near future.