Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Kimeshan Naidoo – His journey from South Africa to London and founding Unibuddy

Last updated Thursday, March 9, 2023 12:38 ET , Source: kingnewswire.com

Dallas, Texas , 03/09/2023 / SubmitMyPR /

Prospective students face many challenges during the process of choosing a university. They have so many questions and concerns, including the degree they want to choose, the quality of teachers and the quality of students, and the affordability of the fees. It is natural for many students to feel overwhelmed while deciding on a degree, as the decision to pursue higher education is the first important decision made in a  lifetime. It makes sense for prospective students to be concerned at the early stages of the enrollment process and opt for the right university by evaluating several factors.

Kimeshan Naidoo, a South African computer scientist and technology entrepreneur, founded Unibuddy to help empower students to make more confident decisions about their future. Unibuddy has helped many international students who could not visit the university even before the pandemic. Naidoo has covered a long journey from South Africa to the United Kingdom to study for his master’s at UCL. As for his time living and growing up in South Africa, he attended Northwood School from 2004 to 2008. He was also a member of the Synergy Team, which won the ThinkQuest South Africa 2008 web software competition. He earned a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from the University of Cape Town in 2012. During his time at the UCT, he was also chairman of the United Nations Association of South Africa from 2010 to 2012.

His arrival in the United Kingdom set the beginning of his entrepreneurial journey. Part of his voyage started when he began teaching himself to code at the age of 12 in South Africa. He read a Python book and started experimenting with programming. It had captured his attention. Since then, he’s been fascinated with coding and software development.

For Naidoo, the idea behind creating Unibuddy was to bring the power of peer-to-peer to the higher education student decision-making process, something Naidoo himself had to deal with. The lack of information about a university becomes a problem for many students. Engaging students in a conversation with the university they research is a helpful way to have students make better decisions. To cope with this, Unibuddy acts as a bridge for prospective students to acquire more information about the university.

For Naidoo, leaving South Africa and moving to the United Kingdom to pursue a master’s degree was a strategic decision based on where he wanted to be rather than the actual university. Most students evaluate several factors while selecting a particular university, including prospective career opportunities in a particular city or country. Upon realizing the difficulties of adapting to a new country, Kimeshan Naidoo, along with Diego Fanara, came up with the idea to set up Unibuddy in 2015. Through the Unibuddy platform, prospective students may communicate and connect with current students to evaluate the opportunities and challenges related to the university.

Naidoo has been a member of the technology sector and the startup world while also being able to develop innovative solutions in the EdTech world. Naidoo and fellow co-founder Diego Fanara were included in Forbes’ 2020 30 Under 30 list of European social entrepreneurs. Between 2016 and 2017, Kimeshan and Diego were also sponsored by UCL Innovation & Enterprise at BaseKX, UCL’s entrepreneurial hub. They received free business guidance and office space. They then relocated to IDEALondon, UCL’s premier tech hub that assists new enterprises in growing. In 2021, Unibuddy raised $20 million in a series B financing headed by Highland Europe, with additional participation from Stride. VC.

On his journey to where he is today, Kimeshan Naidoo dealt with some uncertainties about choosing his next education destination. With Unibuddy, he aims to eliminate the barriers for the current and next generations. He understands the students’ challenges because he has been in their shoes. Naidoo’s leap of faith in building a tech startup to solve his problem has led to Unibuddy helping nearly 2 million students make better higher education decisions to date. It has become the leading peer-to-peer platform for prospective students around the world.

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