22 June 2020

SBE students use artificial intelligence to provide career coaching

Jumping into the world of entrepreneurship can be scary. Many SBE students have an entrepreneurial mindset, but feel that they need a little extra guidance before making the leap. That is exactly what Kibo is for! Kibo, founded by Robin, Ramses and Ronan, is a personal career coach powered by Artificial Intelligence. Its three founders met each other at SBE where they launched their first entrepreneurial venture.

In this article, they tell us what lead them to a career in the start-up world and more about their most recent project Kibo.

Kibo SBE alumni

The idea for Kibo germinated here at SBE, where the three alumni were able to get insights from their fellow students during tutorial sessions. These insights were not limited to academic insights, they also learned about their fellow students’ states of mind and the problems they often faced: ‘This is certainly a benefit of PBL, some courses allow you to understand people on a deeper level and to be able to identify what drives them. From this, we were able to draw first-hand conclusions about what might be missing in the student community and use this as a basis for our problem validation.’

Based on their insights in the student community, these guys launched their first entrepreneurial venture StudentUp during their "Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management" course. After graduating, this initial project even took them to Silicon Valley! Studentup and its initial users (400+ on the Beta) enabled Robin, Ramses and Ronan to see the bigger picture and the "real problem", which lead to the development of Kibo. 


Kibo application

Kibo is a career coach driven by artificial intelligence based on research that shows 80% of students have faced career anxiety in the past two years. Career counselling can be expensive, difficult to arrange, and not always at your disposal when you need it. But Kibo wants to change that. Kibo takes the proven concepts of career coaching and conveys it to users in a way that resonates for them. 

Programs for Kibo are built with professional career coaches. Currently, the app contains 23 coaching sessions built on a static-flow model with elementary NLP. Within the next months, this NLP will become more advanced, making it feel as though the user is actually talking to a human. Kibo not only helps students to ease career-related anxiety, but also helps them discover new opportunities for growth with fun bite-sized exercises and games (think Duolingo for career coaching). Another interesting fact that makes Kibo an interesting venture: studies have shown that Gen Z prefer to share their thoughts and fears with a chatbot rather than with a stranger. 

Kibo SBE

When talking about entrepreneurship at SBE, Ronan explains: ‘Courses such as Marketing Management and ESBM really exposes SBE students to the start-up culture . Many SBE students have entrepreneurial drive and just need that extra little spark of motivation to start something. Slowly, the European culture is also starting to adapt to the ‘Silicon Valley culture’ of seeing ‘failure’ as the best teacher and encouraging students to turn their ideas into businesses. There is no better way to learn than by doing, and we're happy that SBE is now actively promoting entrepreneurial stories, successful or not.’

Kibo raised a pre-seed investment in March from Kevin Bojan and his Azure Capital which allowed them to quickly develop Kibo’s first programmes. A beta version was released in April to Kibo’s first 50 users! To learn more about Kibo head over to their website. Want to stay up to date? Follow them on social media

Thank you Ronan for sharing your story, keep up the good work.