Chiara Cicenia and Dejan Strbac, two MSc students of Politecnico di Milano in Italy wanted to give some advice to big companies about their products, marketing strategies and operations, but couldn't find an easy way to do it. So they created Aleveo, designed along the principles of the good old-fashioned suggestion box.
Similar in principle to Uservoice, Get Satisfaction and other consumer feedback services, Aleveo's USP is that its user base is restricted to students.
The model assumes that students posting ideas and feedback to companies will be talent-spotted by recruiters, or at the very least be able to take credit for successful ideas in their CV. Companies get fresh, new and most of all free ideas.
As a student-centric service, their product is free for students and companies to use. Companies and small teams can use the tool for soliciting and evaluating internal ideas, receive external ones on defined tags.
The model is however a classic freemium with other two plans available. With the “supporter” plan companies will be able to post “public challenges” for USD30/month, while for USD 100/month you can become an official sponsor of the project (as well as getting everything in the other plans).
Dejan Strbac says the research he and Chiaria conducted in setting up Aleveo indicates a strong presence of discrimination in organizations against students. The hope is that the platform will allow students to narrow the gap between the expectations of skills between the worlds of education and work.
What I see in the future of this project is a merit-based job-marketplace, with students competing for jobs through their ideas.
The guys are really aiming high, but we're still not sure if they will go for the corporate route or keep small businesses in the game.