Five in Fifteen: Nada Miljkovic of GetVirtual.org
By Sarah Vickers-Webb
Production & Editorial Assistant
Santa Cruz Tech Beat
May 21, 2020 — Santa Cruz, CA
Non-profit pairs students with local business to build online presence and survive COVID-19
For this week’s Five in Five (or more like 15… what can we say, we had a lot to talk about!), we interviewed Nada Miljkovic of GetVirtual.org, a non-profit service that pairs teams of UC Santa Cruz students with local businesses that need help selling products and services online. This eight week program provides students with hands on experience using web, SEO, marketing and e-commerce tools, while helping local businesses survive the economic fallout of COVID-19.
Nada Miljkovic teaches courses on radio, business entrepreneurship and start-up entrepreneurship at UC Santa Cruz and Stanford University.
When local entrepreneur Toby Corey approached Nada after speaking with city officials about ideas to help local businesses survive the shutdown, she was ready.
“He reached out to me right after shelter in place. He told me about this idea of connecting students but didn’t have a hold on how to do that through UCSC,” said Nada. “The interesting kismet of this coming together is that, at the same time, UCSC is asking their provosts and their deans of students what are we going to do as a university to help COVID-19, the economic fallout.”
Nada is beyond impressed with the students’ work. “They’re doing extraordinary work, they’re amazing. I realized I just had to get out of their way and let them do it.”
And GetVirtual isn’t stopping there— they are partnering with colleges, local economic business development groups and technology companies to create a framework for cities in Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay, CA… and beyond.
“This is a prototype,” said Nada. “We want to bring this to the world, and we will have all of our processes, all of our documentation, in a starter kit on GetVirtual.org so that other people can be doing this.”