£80,000 prize boost for Woking start-up

A WOKING-BASED app that helps people find happiness in their career has been awarded £80,000 in a national prize for digital start-up companies.

Would You Rather Be was the runner-up in the CareerTech Challenge Prize supported by Nesta Challenges, which is part of an innovation foundation, and the Department for Education.

Would You Rather Be founder Phil Hewinson

“Would You Rather Be is an incredibly exciting solution. By presenting highly personalised insights and recommendations, this app can help people reimagine their futures, and plan their next move,” said Tris Dyson, the managing director of Nesta Challenges.

“Would You Rather Be was set apart by the wealth of insights provided to users, and their focus on career happiness – something which is often missing from the conversation about employment support.”

Nesta Challenges managing director Tris Dyson

Phil Hewinson, the founder of the app who lives in Woking, said: “I am delighted and really proud of the ground-breaking features we built in such a short space of time.

“We’ve already had 40,000 people use our app in the past nine months and I’m excited to scale this rapidly across the UK and beyond, to help every user find a career that they enjoy and can flourish in.”

Users answer 10 minutes of quick-fire questions and the platform calculates the careers they’d be happiest in, based on their interests, skills and qualifications and takes the impact of COVID-19 and the future of work into account.

The app then generates hyper-personalised pathways into each career for the user with to-do lists including time, cost and available funding.

As well as information from the 100 questions, the app also processes labour market information and also lists where to get help with CVs and interviews and what local jobs are available.

Woking Job Club manager, Colin Sherlock, said the club members have been given greater confidence by using the app.

“I am thrilled that our work has been recognised by such a prestigious prize,” said Emma Rosen, the Would You Rather Be director of operations.

“Career happiness is central to our mission because it has such a substantial impact on mental and physical health, productivity and retention – it’s a win for our users, employers and for the Government, solving the looming crisis that the UK economy faces due to the pandemic.”

The Would You Rather Be app

Emma said the prize money will help to significantly increase the scale and reach of the app, with the aim of making career happiness available to everyone and not just a very few.

She said it’s particularly helpful for people in industries that have been severely affected by the pandemic not only to find a job, but the right one that they care about.

“Career happiness impacts mental and physical health and helps to increase productivity,” Emma added.

Matthew Bradley, a partner and chief financial officer at Forward Partners, which invested £500,000 in the app, said the company is excited to be involved.

“The scale of the social impact the company could have to solve career discovery with better data is massive,” he said.

For more information, visit https://wouldyouratherbe.com/.

Recommended For You

About the Author: Editorial Team