Below is our recent interview with Mariano Kostelec, CEO & Co-founder of StudentFinance:
Q: What is your story?
A: StudentFinance was founded in 2019 and is reshaping education financing through AI-powered Income Share Agreements (ISAs) to plug the widening digital skills gap. We provide the technology and data infrastructure for education providers to offer flexible ISAs for students, as well as data intelligence on the employment market to predict job demand. We have partnered with 35+ educational providers across Europe to date, and plan to expand into the UK and other European markets.
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Q: Any highlights on your recent announcement?
A: We are proud of the great list of investors that have joined to support us in our mission, including founder of Lendable, Bolt, and the former Digital Minister Ed Vaizey.
Q: Can you give us more insights into your offering?
A: The UK is one of Europe’s leading tech hubs, and there is huge demand to fill technical roles. With over 70% of businesses citing a lack of adequate digital skills as an obstacle to investment, and 22% of the UK still lacking basic digital training, it’s clear that work needs to be done to plug the skills gap in the UK. StudentFinance aims to provide students with a flexible loan repayment option, where repayments only begin at a proportional amount once a job is secured and a market-specific salary threshold is met.
Q: What can we expect from your company in next 6 months? What are your plans?
A: StudentFinance is currently operating across multiple European markets, and we expect to launch in the UK within the next 3-4 months, with plans to expand the team and provide localised services as a direct result of our seed funding round. We also expect to be able to support more than 150 institutions and generate £100m in ISAs within 4 years.
Q: What is a great thing about your company that people might not know about?
A: Our flexible ISAs model brings an opportunity for inclusion and upward economic mobility to everyone. In fact, we have already supported several refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers who have successfully completed an education course and secured employment through our ISAs. This is something that they would have otherwise found very difficult to access.