The problem our project solves

We at UpFind want to help people get the right information and education sources to stay well and healthy during this time of crisis. We are tackling mental health, parenting and child education problems that are seeing an increase due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Studies show that more than 50% of Americans are struggling with mental health issues during this pandemic, and it’s a similar situation worldwide. Mental health is one of the main topics on internet nowadays, creating an infodemic of mental health resources of various quality. For people looking for support to better cope with these problems, it’s not easy to know where to search for information, what to trust and how to make sense of it all.

The solution we bring to the table

We joined up with trained professionals – psychologists, psychotherapists and medical doctors – to handpick the most valuable resources for mental health and wellbeing from all over the web. We bring them together to one place – UpFind – so people can easily find great content that they can trust. Content is organized into topics – such as How to practice mindfulness, How to develop self-compassion or How to manage anxiety - with each topic designed to cover all one needs to know. From top articles on the most relevant issues, to best videos, books, courses, apps, support groups, and the most respected experts in the field. Together with the effort of our expert collaborators, we are adding smart recommendations (AI based) to learn what content goes best together and means the most to the UpFind community, so we can better bundle the content together and further speed up the information access to the whole community.

What we have done during the weekend

We’ve used this event to connect with relevant experts to help us build more content in the coming weeks. We’ve received precious feedback from fellow hackers and mentors on how to improve our platform, especially on how to structure our content in a more user-friendly way, so it is easier for people to find what they need. We’ve also defined more precisely our target audience, which are parents and children, and discussed potential channels to approach them, such as partnering with schools. We built a new feature - shareable content boards for experts. The purpose of these shareable boards is to facilitate our marketing strategy where all UpFind partners (experts, educators and content creators) work together to share the content to their audience and reach as many people as possible.

Accomplishments that we are proud of

Our content about the coronavirus, parenting and well-being during this time of crisis is being praised by many health and social workers that we collaborate with.

To support families during the pandemic, we've created a collection of best rated pandemic resources. You can find them here:

What’s inside?

Coronavirus: What you need to know Prevention, symptoms, flattening the curve, approved disinfectants – it’s all here.

How to talk to kids about the Coronavirus Age-appropriate ways to talk to kids and reassure them.

Homeschooling your kids Homeschooling apps, tutorials, tips, schedules and more.

Coronavirus: what to do while at home Ideas to keep yourself and your kids busy and entertained — includes FREE limited time offers from various companies.

Mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus Helpful practices to manage stress, anxiety, anger and other emotions that may come up. Including lots of great resources on how to practice mindfulness and self-compassion.

Impact on the crisis

We at UpFind want to help people get the right Covid-19 information and tools to stay well and healthy. We joined up with trained professionals – psychologists, psychotherapists, and medical doctors – to handpick the most valuable resources on Covid-19 and its influence on mental health, and the best resources from all over the web to preserve people’s well-being in this state of pandemic and infodemic. We bring them together to one place – UpFind – so people can easily find great content that they can trust.

With the UpFind platform, people can find on one single place, Covid-19 information that is verified by domain experts. Content is relevant and high-quality. Domain experts reviewed and approved the Covid-19 content, helping people to get the right information about the pandemic. Our content boards are built for easy social media sharing so that everyone can benefit from it in the pandemic.

The necessities in order to continue the project

Optimize the UpFind website so that people can easier find the content they need. Build further contacts with health care and mindfulness experts, add additional content to help people in the current crisis situation, collected valuable feedback from hackathon mentors, adapt the business and marketing strategy.

The value of our solution after the crisis

We are addressing the problem of time consuming process of collecting the best education content that is scattered on too many different websites. It just takes too much time and effort for many people to collect the content and come to the point that they feel their content is good and complete enough to take action and start really using it and learning. We talked with our friends and acquaintances and know from our personal experience that there is not much time to do web search, it's often too granular, you need to know the topic you search to get the best search results, you have maybe some minutes or maybe an hour a day, then you come back next day or after a couple of days and so on. Losing too much energy on search, taking little action to learn. On the other hand, there are many experts and educators, content creators, that are looking to find their audience, to get their content out there, share it and collect feedback about it from other experts and learners. Now also many educators that did their work offline seek ways to make transition to online, reach, build and engage their audience.

Value proposition: 1) for learners- quick access to a more complete high quality collection of content than they can collect themselves in a reasonable amount of time (time that doesn't delay their learning); 2) for experts/educators/content creators- reaching bigger audience, showing their content to other experts, building collaborations.

Marketing strategy: We talked with dozens experts/educators/content creators and two main points come across. They want to 1) reach broader audience (to have more people see their content, but also to be able to sell their education products to more learners) and 2) they want to get in touch with other UpFind partners (to learn from them, potentially share the audiences). Therefore, we are now thinking to do the following marketing strategy: create collections of complementary content from different partners and ask them to share each to their audience. They get benefit of bigger audience, getting to know each other and closer to collaboration, we get more people coming to UpFind through the channel these people already trust (the educators they already follow). We learn via our machine learning recommendation system which content is more valuable as a collection, which partners do a better job of reaching and engaging audience and in this way we get better in this way of marketing and later can even build this into a separate tool that is accessed via premium subscription for future UpFind partners.

Monetization: 1) Fee from education products/services that UpFind partners sell to UpFind community (initial focus will be on courses, webinars, workshops and books in the field of personal growth, later additional products will be added), 2) Premium subscription that will unlock access to premium features (advanced analytics that will help UpFind partners understand better the learners that are interested in their content, tools that help UpFind partners engage and collaborate with each other, share their audience, reach bigger audience, etc.), 3) Fee from own education products/services, 4) Targeted advertising (e.g. to a learner who follows tennis education we can show links to tennis shoes and other tennis equipment).

Our ultimate goal is to turn UpFind into a global, multiple-language content education platform, with 100+ million users worldwide. We plan to reach this goal in several stages over the next 5-10 years, starting from the EU and USA as primary markets. Our ultimate vision is to enable high quality education to people all over the world, no matter where they live and how wealthy they are, as well as boost usage of high quality education content by UpFind partners.

Competitive differentiation: Learning is a basic human need, and a complex one to do right, so there are many different ways to try, where small variations can have a big impact. We plan to focus on creating a community of experts, educators and content creators that will all serve as mentors to the learners and help each other in getting their content to the right audience. We plan to boost this by our analytics and smart recommendation system that will again help educators to share better content, collected to be more relevant and impactful to the learners.

Our team

Vedran Jelaca, Software/technology and business development: Experienced team leader, passionate about bringing new technologies to the market and developing smarter solutions to solve everyday problems. Has a PhD in Computer Science Engineering from Ghent University, Belgium, and years of experience in software development lead and building AI & data science algorithms. Serial entrepreneur, worked in software and business development, marketing and business/technology consulting roles. Brings to UpFind a substantial knowledge of building complex software solutions and global sales and marketing.

Vanja Jelaca, Creative Team Lead: Has a MSc. in Global Innovation Management from University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom, and Aalborg University, Denmark. She gained skills in technology management, research and development and product/service development. Vanja brings years of experience in creative work across different global markets: USA, UK, Balkans, Benelux, India, Thailand.

Nemanja Uskokovic, Product and Marketing Lead: passionate Senior Product Manager with 10+ years of experience in both Product Marketing and Product Management (eCommerce, telco, media, SaaS). He has experience in leading cross-functional teams and taking products through their entire life-cycle. Nemanja has MSc. in Business Administration and Marketing.

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