October 19, 2012
A new company working to connect business startups with college students has taken its mission on the road. Readyforce's Hacker Tour 2012 is stopping at 27 U.S. college campuses to provide companies such as Etsy and StubHub with the opportunity to meet science and tech students who could potentially fill internship and full-time positions.
Readyforce is a startup that aims to connect young and tech-savvy job seekers with potential employers through a website that, according to Ann Arbor, is part social media site, part job listings hub, part “dating site” that links young talent with companies that would be a good fit for their career goals and capabilities. Anna Binder, vice president of Readyforce's client services, told Ann Arbor that the initial goal of the company was to help Silicon Valley-based companies branch out of their "bubble." More companies with recruitment needs based out of Austin, Baltimore, Brooklyn and even Bulgaria and Germany have joined Readyforce.
"We have all kinds of companies on board," Binder said.
Startups may be attracted to the tour concept because it takes recruitment efforts and expenses out of their hands. It also gives them a presence on college campuses, a recruitment move traditionally reserved for larger companies who could afford spots at career fairs, a Marketwire press release reports. The benefits of Readyforce’s business model were evident in the 2,000 students who registered during the Readyforce tour’s stops.
"I've interviewed five great students that I found and connected with on Readyforce," Dan Whaley, CEO of hypothes.is, said in the MarketWatch press release. "As a small, growing startup, this is powerful as I don't have any other way to find these types of candidates." The Hacker Tour started on Sept. 12 at Cornell University with a sponsorship of 26 initial companies. Mashable and MarketWatch reported that more than 120 new companies have joined the tour. Stops at schools like Ohio State, Penn State, the University of Michigan and Virginia Tech have already helped students link up with potential employers.
"Readyforce is the quickest, easiest, and most effective way to contact a company and show your interest on a more personal level," Robert Wagner, a senior and computer science major at Virginia Tech, said in the press release. "It gives you a chance to really talk with employers, and not just sit on an application page for 40 minutes while you fill it out. Already, I've had six phone interviews with companies that I found on Readyforce."
Colleges are also taking advantage of the Readyforce tour. Corbett Morgan, a startup analyst with Ohio State University's commercialization office, told Mashable he invited the tour to stop at the school because he believes that Columbus could someday be a startup hub in the Midwest. "So many students have great ideas, but they just have no idea where to start," he told Mashable. "An opportunity to work at an early-stage startup is probably the best way to learn to build your own startup someday."
Upcoming Hacker Tour stops include various campuses of the University of California as well as Stanford University. For the full listing of remaining stops this fall, see the Hacker Tour website.
Compiled by Maggie O'Neill
"Hacker Tour Links Startups With College Coders," mashable.com, October 18, 2012, Fran Berkman
"Hundreds of Companies, Thousands of Engineering College Students Connect With Readyforce," marketwatch.com, October 18, 2012
"Tech Beat: Startup-sponsored 'Hacker Tour' comes to Michigan Engineering career fair," annarbor.com, September 26, 2012, Ben Freed