31Projects is an online platform that helps connect such graduate students with companies and organizations in need of business expertise. It bills itself as “a project marketplace connecting organizations with top MBA and graduate students through real-world projects.” The site maintains a network of prescreened students interested in solving real-world business problems—it’s open only to full-time students and recent alumni from the top graduate management programs in the US. Organizations in need of assistance can then post those opportunities on the 31Projects site. Postings can take the form either of challenges—crowdsourcing-style competitions whereby a company poses a business-related challenge and students compete to develop the best solution—or short-term consulting projects, which are done by a single student or team of students. Either way, 31Projects plans to charge a small posting fee along with a variable project fee based on the student compensation awarded once the project is done. [Springwise Annotation]

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