Changing the way incoming students can kick off their university experiences.

In just six weeks, we designed and built a communications platform that worked across all devices, irrespective of where a student came from. We overcame the unique complexities of regional tech blackouts and worked within Monash University’s existing systems and technology to create a welcoming digital experience for incoming students.

The opportunity

Upgrowth were engaged in partnership with the Beanstalk Factory to create a digital community platform that encouraged useful and positive social interactions between the international student intake, existing students and staff.

Monash University knew it was important for new students to have a support base when they arrived, but were finding that wasn't always the case for their international students.

Student Services saw an opportunity to make new students feel welcomed into the Monash Community from the moment they enrolled from the first steps of socially connecting, to finding friends and creating an ongoing support network.

The solution

A communications platform that encouraged useful and positive social interactions between new international students, existing students and staff.

Our delivery process included constant design iteration, incorporating feedback from many rounds of user-testing. It was essential we understood how the core users intended on using it, with usability catering for all different cultures and backgrounds. Within the solution, senior students were to act as moderators and we engaged them as a user cohort to understand their needs. Finally, University staff and faculty members were acting as administrators so their requirements and special tasks had to be understood and defined.

The platform we built allowed for instant group messaging and one-on-one chat in a safe, secure environment. Students were able to find like-minded individuals with similar interests before they’d even arrived, and an interactive map allowed them to see where from and how many others were studying the same course as them.

Our Expertise.


  • Design thinking

  • Journey mapping

  • Concepting

  • Design

  • Prototyping

  • User testing

  • Web application development

  • Alpha trial


  • React JS

  • Google App Engine

What we did.


An inclusive workshop involved staff, students, and business owners, generating diverse ideas, features, pain points, and emotions. Student journey mapping refined concepts, blending insights from stories and the ideation session. This evolved into a chat-social platform, aimed at fostering community and support for new Monash students, starting from enrolment.

Problem/Solution Fit

Monash conducted a successful Alpha trial, testing core functions and features with students and staff. Feedback informed prioritised feature development, validated by early adopters. This success led to an expanded release, including all current semester students and more moderators/staff.

Some of our other work.

Suncorp Marketplace

Elevating Suncorp to be the business partner of choice.

LJ Hooker

Creating a new digital business platform for the real estate industry.


Imagining a new financial experience for parents and their children.