By Claire West

MyKindaCrowd.com is the newly launched student crowd-sourcing website that connects companies with schools, colleges and universities. Companies are invited to set a real-life business challenges from which teachers and lecturers can select the most relevant, and implement them in their classrooms. In return, companies benefit from significant brand engagement and talent spotting future employees, as well as receiving inspiring ideas, new thinking strategies and solutions to commercial issues.

Co-founded by the UK’s most innovative learning and education provider, CragRats, together with advisor, Brent Hoberman, founder of Lastminute.com, MyKindaCrowd endeavours to sign up every secondary school, college and University in the country in the coming nine months. Since launching, just eight weeks ago, 70% of all UK Universities and 15% of schools and colleges have signed up. This calculates at over 700 schools and colleges.

Once challenges have been set, teachers and lecturers are encouraged to access the site for free, and select the most engaging and relevant challenge for their students. Students are then invited to work in teams or independently, responding via video, images or text with great ideas. The company rewards good ideas with internships, work-experience, mentoring, cash-prizes or merchandise.

The site cleverly brings together two interdependent communities in a mutually beneficial and meaningful way, a concept which has been positively received and supported by some of the country’s most established organisations. As winners of the Unltd’s Big Venture Awards 2011 that aim ‘to unleash the energies of organisations that can transform the world,’ MyKindaCrowd is unique in its approach to connecting employers with future talent and providing in depth brand engagement with a direct and target audience focused on your challenge and your company.

William Akerman, managing director, MyKindaCrowd explains:

“We are delighted to have organisations such as City & Guilds, UCAS and SSAT endorsing and supporting us.

Challenges have already been set by Thales, Sports England, The Eden Project and more! Magazine , and we are soon to begin working with many more including Fujitsu and Pineapple Studios. While MyKindaCrowd is an innovative idea, it also makes good business sense. These companies have recognised that connecting with schools, colleges and Universities will provide meaningful brand engagement, as well as access to the very best talent in their related sector”.

Nick Bradley, Group Director, City & Guilds explained why they were keen to get involved: “City & Guilds is dedicated to inspiring young people to unlock their potential and realise their career aspirations. Our experiences have shown us that there isn’t sufficient careers advice and tools out there, so many people are unaware of the array of opportunities available to them. MyKindaCrowd.com is an innovative, exciting idea that will give students the opportunity to engage in different sectors, whilst enabling employers to discover fresh new talent”.