Samantha and David Nicolaides are firm believers in supporting the next generation. From developing their online education tool, Scriibi, to bringing Swinburne students on as interns, they have a knack for helping young people to develop their skills.
As one of the four startups in the 2019 Swinburne Innovation Precinct Accelerator Program, the husband and wife team say it can be hard when you’re first starting out, but the help of Swinburne interns has been essential.
“With startups, the founders are doing it all themselves, so interns can have input to the business and are making contributions from week one,” says David.
The wide range of skills their interns have brought to the business have helped Scriibi to further develop its website capability and user experience. The program has also enabled students to expand on their existing skills, with the added convenience of Scriibi being based on campus.
One of these interns is Alec Gozali, who is currently completing his third year of a Bachelor of Design, majoring in User Experience (UX) Interaction Design.
“I heard about the opportunity at Scriibi through my amazing UX coordinator Jeni Paay at Swinburne,” says Alec.
“I immediately contacted David. He told me about their product, their goal, what they’ve achieved and I loved it!”
During the internship, Alec worked on a wide range of projects -from improving the website functionality, to developing a video explaining the tool to potential customers.
Despite having little experience in video creation, Samantha says Alec was able to present Scriibi in a whole new way, turning the business message into a simple, animated video.
Alec’s video was posted on Scriibi’s website and within a few days it was seen by 200 people. This led to a number of calls from schools who were interested in the program.
From one opportunity to the next
After the semester-long internship with Scriibi, Alec landed a second internship as a user experience designer with London-based startup, Hollabox.
“I don’t know if I’d be going to London had it not been for the Scriibi internship. I’m much more prepared to take on any challenges that I encounter while I’m there,” says Alec.
As well as the professional experience, Alec has been able to immerse himself in the startup culture, attend events and meet industry experts. David and Samantha made a conscious effort to bring their interns along on their journey.
“We’ve introduced them to mentors and people in our network and they’re becoming connected in the startup ecosystem,” says David.
“If you can gain skills in these areas, and build those relationships you’re one step ahead of everyone else.”