Help for students
Short term interns platform beats fund-raising target
Morrow brothers: building partnerships
A Scottish start-up which provides a platform for short term internships is expanding after a successful funding round.
Udrafter – short for the University Draft – was founded by brothers Luke and Daryll Morrow and launched in Aberdeen last year.
After closing their latest funding round 30 days early after it was oversubscribed, they have opened an office in Edinburgh as they expand into the Central Belt. It has already received a £10,000 Scottish Edge Award.
The Udrafter platform offers businesses the chance to engage students looking for paid work experience on a range of projects from as little as two hours in length. It allows them to receive high-quality work at a relatively low cost and avoids tying up existing staff.
Founder and managing director Daryll Morrow, 27, said: “I attended graduate job interviews but was told I didn’t have enough experience. My brother and I kept hearing stories from friends who had just graduated about going for job interviews who had faced the same challenge.
“It was a chicken and egg situation as there was no way to get experience without a job, so we came up with the idea for Udrafter.
“It allows students to gain valuable, industry-relevant experience while being paid. And it allows businesses to get work done while building a talent pipeline to fill future permanent graduate vacancies.
“The feedback on the standard of work has been exceptional and we’ve already had examples of final-year students who took on projects for clients last year being hired into full-time roles.”
Udrafter’s mission is to end exploitation of students– Daryll Morrow
The platform also helps to address the issue of unpaid internships, with Mr Morrow adding: “Udrafter’s mission is to end exploitation of students through unpaid internships which only fit with the wealthiest in society.
“The Udrafter micro-internships platform will rebalance and reshape student opportunities regardless of background or network.”
A funding round through fundraising platform Seedrs in November aimed to raise £235,000, but the brothers had to close it 30 days early after investment reached £300,000. The money is funding expansion into the Central Belt, opening the office in Forres Street, Edinburgh, and has allowed Udrafter to hire three staff.
Co-founder and commercial director Luke, 29, said: “The plan was always to prove the concept in Aberdeen before expanding further afield. We are in the process of forming partnerships with Stirling, Heriot Watt and Abertay Universities with more to come.
“But the beauty of the platform is that – unless the student is required to spend time in the company’s office – a business in one part of the country can match with a student in another.”
Around 170 businesses in Aberdeen and the North-east of Scotland are already registered on the Udrafter platform, along with more than 1000 students.
Successfully delivered projects have ranged from logo design and videography, to engineering, marketing and architecture in sectors as diverse as restaurants, North Sea oil, satellite communications and gin distilling.