By George! Leeds graduate's new app is winning top marks
University of Leeds graduate George Biddle is putting his entrepreneurial skills to good use with a digital venture that definitely gets the job done.
George is the man behind an app called Signin, which aims to bridge the gap between employers and students coming to the end of their courses.
Student users of the app are given a unique score based on factors such as grades, experience and attendance record at lectures.
The intention is for employers to use the scores to quickly and easily assess the merits of applicants for graduate jobs or placement roles.
Students can also apply directly to companies through the app and future upgrades are planned that will facilitate video interviews.
Universities, meanwhile, can benefit from the service by taking advantage of its lecture attendance data.
Signin was launched with the support of employers such as Bond Dickinson, with student-side testing from BPP University.
George raised £30,000 to work on the initial service and is now approaching angel investors with the aim of securing a further £150,000 for product development and marketing.
The 23-year-old is also in talks that he hopes will lead to the app being used by a number of top accounting companies and several mid-sized law firms.
And, confirming Signin as a true Leeds success story in the making, development of the service was handled by local business Calls9.
The young entrepreneur told Digital City: “There is a real need for students and employers to work closer together and match the right jobs to the right people.
“I’m confident that Signin will help this matching process and revolutionise the way firms recruit. I loved studying in Leeds and basing my business here was an easy decision to make.
“The place is buzzing with new talent and as the key digital centre outside of London it really is the place to be.”
George hit upon the idea for his app while pondering the difficulties posed by the packed graduate job marketplace as well as the trouble some universities have had trialling electronic registration systems for lectures.
“The lightbulb moment really happened when I combined the two problems into one, and Signin was born,” he said.
“It not only works, but it works on three different levels – for the students, companies and universities.”
Users of the app keep their attendance record up to date by inputting codes that are given out at the start of each lecture.
“Making the monitoring work was easy,” said George. “You’re actually offering the students something that can be directly affected by their efforts which gives them the incentive to take part.”
An entrepreneur since the age of 16, George set up his first profitable venture running events for sixth formers.
While studying at Leeds, he was awarded a University of Leeds enterprise scholarship, supported by Harrogate internet business InTechnology, and a business start-up award.
He was offered a job by financial giants Goldman Sachs after impressing during a year-long placement in Munich but turned it down so he could properly commit himself to making Signin a success.
The Yorkshire Evening Post runs a regular Digital City column in partnership with Sky Betting & Gaming.
The platform aims to highlight the giant strides being made by a sector that boasts around 3,000 organisations in Leeds.