Connectme is a start-up that provides a platform to better search, evaluate and book services and is proudly being incubated by Turbine. Jason Delorie, Co-Founder of Connectme, shares how his entrepreneurial journey started.
Tell us about your story.
I am Jason. I have always had a love for creative problem solving. I enjoy looking at things from a different perspective to come up with innovative, simple solutions. Ever since I was young, I was constantly telling my parents about my many ideas. From motorised roller blades at the age of 8, to The Seatcase (a suitcase you could comfortably sit on when queuing) when I was 11. As I got older and realised that my passion was to one day bring these ideas to life, I enrolled in University to study entrepreneurship. I learnt, amongst many other things, that everyone has great ideas but what makes the difference is the business behind them. I then spent the next few years focusing on making ends meet, starting my career washing dishes in the F&B industry to becoming a manger at several prestigious events such as the Winter Olympics in Russia, the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup. I then made the life changing decision to move to Mauritius in 2015, starting as a business development consultant to recently being appointed innovation co-ordinator of the ENL Group. Although there have definitely been challenges, I haven’t looked back!
As an expat in Mauritius, I was filled with exhilaration, excitement, uncertainty and well, fear. An intense cocktail of emotion that spiked my adrenaline and curiosity daily. As life settled and the mundane took over, all the usual stresses of the world set in. My shower broke, ‘Where do I get a plumber?’ Not knowing where to even start looking, I was faced with several weeks of cold showers before I was able to find a, not so reputable plumber, through word of mouth. Then of course, the electrics blow! I once again suffered trying to find an electrician to come to the house. The pain of going through the same issues again and again, over several different service providers, was the birth of Connectme.
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What is Connectme?
There has to be a better way to search, evaluate and book services. And that became mine and my co-founder’s mission. We are creating an easy to use platform which enables users to search for service providers while focusing on what is important to them; whether it is price, location, availability etc. We want the user to evaluate and compare profiles by using testimonies and ratings for each service provider, thus giving them peace of mind that they’ve found the right person. The user would then be able to check availability, book and pay, all in one place.
As we experienced the same issues in almost every service industry, from plumbers to tutors, we understood the need to develop a separate website for each niche. This enables users to have a more specified and targeted experience of searching and quoting, while knowing an industry expert has vetted each service provider.
As my co-founder, Eva Graham, is an experienced teacher and tutor with first-hand experience of the issues mentioned above, we turned to the prevalent tuition industry for our first product/website, tutorme.mu. Further research has proven that such issues are wide spread within this profitable industry. My niece at the time was needing some specialized extra support, but her mother was unable to find anyone with the required experience. Like any parent, she was worried about making the best decision for her child, to not compromise her child’s education. Our goal at tutorme.mu is to give parents and students peace of mind, knowing that they have made an informed decision that was right for their specific needs.
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Not only do we want to give parents and/or students a better user experience by saving them time and providing trust, we also want to offer benefits for each tutor that signs on, to address the pains tutors face in the industry. Among other features, we will help tutors advertise their services, organise and schedule their time, and ensure they receive payments on time and in full. Allowing them to focus on what they do best, teach!
Tell us about your journey with Turbine.
This business idea became a reality when we entered the Testdrive program at La Turbine. Participation in the test-drive gave budding entrepreneurs, like ourselves, free access to tools and start-up knowledge, enabling us to test the viability of our idea with the added bonus of possible incubation. Through this experience we received vital advice from entrepreneurs who have walked this road before, the stuff you can’t read in a textbook. From workshops on how to take advantage of free software and the many tools out there, to getting your potential customers involved and engaged from the start, as well as learning about how it all works in the Mauritian context. The advice and direction proved to be invaluable and we were lucky enough to be offered incubation for Connectme, after a final pitch day where all contestants had the chance to pitch their business to industry leaders and potential investors.
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After incorporating our company in January, we are now well on our way with our Connectme journey. We have been engaging with our tutorme.mu customers and education experts to develop our first website. Our journey is about to hit its first big milestone by launching to the public in the next few months and we are excited to start delivering on our mission. For now, you can check us out on Facebook and Instagram.
We are currently seeking tutors interested in pre-sign up and being a part of the tutorme.mu. community. If you sign on before 1st of April we are offering a deal of 6 months free premium membership (with a value of over Rs 3,000). Premium services include free promotional advertising, free invoicing tools to track your payments and access to shared resources (such as lesson plan templates), on top of all the features of a regular tutorme.mu account. For further information click on the link bellow.
If you would like to get involved and share your insight regarding any potential industry for connectme, please do not hesitate to contact us.
CEO and Co-Founder connectme
Co-Founder connectme. and Educationalist