SUCCESS STORY #2 – Nelson & Milaana

Impact Project: MILAANA

Organisation – Milaana Pty Ltd   Supervisor – Hollie Gordon

Student – Nelson Granja   Position: Technology and Innovation Intern

Project: My internship with Milaana all started focusing Nelson 1
on developing the international expansion strategy. However, given the circumstances of the company I decided it could be more helpful to undertake other projects like a competitor analysis, analyse the technology tools to be used and undertake research to support the strategy for a crowdfunding campaign.

Goals & Objectives: Analyse the main competitors in the industry, develop guides for the technological tools to be used in Milaana, research how to undertake a crowdfunding campaign, tools and strategy and support a recruiting campaign.


Tell us a little bit about yourself

I am passionate about innovation as a way of living, design thinking as a way to explore the world and make that innovation happen and social entrepreneurship as the way I want to contribute to the world. I started my career from a technical perspective and then realised that I wanted to be the bridge between technology and people by creating memorable experiences, adapting technology into the culture and driving creativity and authenticity. My dream – I want to be an entrepreneur who challenges misleading perspectives and contributes in some way to improve society.

What did you work on for this project?

This was my first experience on a start-up and it was awesome! I really enjoyed contributing to create a crowdfunding campaign and transforming a vision into a story, a goal and a reality. I gained skills in creativity, strategy and marketing analysis.

How did this help prepare you for future employment?

Hollie is an incredible leader, who has great skills to inspire people. I learnt from her how to organise and push teams towards a goal. I learnt how to develop a strategy, put it clear and ready to present to potential investors. Furthermore, my goal was not only focused on getting a job later on, instead I wanted to explore the life of a start-up ant this experience made me realise that entrepreneurship is a matter of discipline, inspiration and great teams.

Nelson 2


Highlights of your experience?

The crowdfunding campaign was a big insightful dream that became real. It made me explore something completely new and opened up a whole world of possibilities and ideas that I am going to apply in the future.

Great inspiring leadership and being proud of the company I was part of!

How has this project changed/shaped your views on community engagement?

Before joining Milaana I was looking for something like that, so that’s why I was so comfortable to work there and at the end it ratified my vision that companies can make more than just money.

Any advice for other interns undertaking impact placements?

Be ready to change the vision universities teach you about business.

Think big, act small, be part of the team, trust your leader and raise your hand when you think you can help.


Nelson 3


Why was this project important to your organisation?

Getting the start up off the ground, Nelson’s research and actual recommendations for the areas of competitor analysis, technology tools for team management and setting up a crowdfunding campaign were extremely useful.

How did this project contribute to the community?

Milaana’s vision is to empower our youth through increasing their job readiness and community engagement. We can’t do this without an operating organisation or a clear understanding of how and why we are doing what we do. Nelson’s work really helped us understand who we are in relation to others in the space, to work together as a team and to set up what turned out to be a really successful crowd funding campaign! This campaign helped us to raise $15,000 to go from prototype to a real, functioning platform!

How did Nelson contribute to the event?

Nelson’s expertise in technology and passion for start-ups meant he came up with so many great ideas and tools that we would have otherwise been completely unaware of!

What were you able to offer Nelson in terms of experience?

A real start up experience! Nelson was able to truly experience the early development stages of a start up and more specifically, a tech-based social enterprise start up! He saw how you can take an idea and develop it into something tangible and just how much his influence and engagement helped to shaped and grow this idea.

What would you do differently next time? 

As a start up, EVERYTHING was being done for the first time so everything was almost like a pilot and a lot of lessons were learnt. Key things we further developed are our structure for meetings, outlining and tracking projects and providing more support to everyone involved in Milaana. We also saw that out limited group face time really reduced how much we could learn from each other so have integrated more time for social catch ups and embedded brainstorming and collaborative intelligence sessions into our meeting plans. We could have done a lot better in terms of the handover, Nelson had to return home and we weren’t fully able to congratulate and thank him for his incredible work as a whole team (consider this our online ‘Ode to Nelson’!). Going forth, all team members also do a closing presentation on what they have learnt to share with other members. All these learnings are thanks to pioneers like Nelson who was willing to come and help us at our earlier stage!

How did you find your experience with Milaana?

I am obviously a bit biased in this! But essentially Milaana’s approach is being crafted to truly align the needs and motivations of students and organisations so they both receive tangible benefit, whilst also benefiting the community! Simple concept but the execution and reality of this is where experience, creativity and constantly challenging the status quo really come into play. We want to practice everything we preach internally so any advice we offer to orgnisations is based off Milaana’s own experiences from both the student and the organisations perspectives. Through these case studies you can see the incredible students who’ve been making Milaana what it is today and learn alongside us.

A HUGE MILAANA THANK YOU to Nelson for being such a vital part of Milaana’s early stages! A big part of Milaana will be sharing these stories of community engagement and impact to inspire more organisations and students to get involved!

Visit to see what great projects are waiting for you and become our next wonderful success story to share!

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