Graduating from college involves more than black gowns and senior celebrations. Most students have to find a job, and Collegefeed opened its digital doors nationwide today to help them do that.
Collegefeed is a social network along the lines of LinkedIn, but it’s geared toward students and recent graduates. The online career marketplace helps them find desirable opportunities and companies use the network to search for candidates without having to go from campus-to-campus.
Founder Sanjeev Agrawal used to be Google’s head of products. He observed college students struggling to enter the workforce and saddled by record amounts of debt. At the same time, companies like Google were struggling to fill open positions and willing to spend thousands of dollars to find the right candidate. LinkedIn and Monster.com are often not effective for students who don’t have the professional network or work experience to stand out, and on-the-ground recruiting is a time-consuming and expensive process for employers.
This is the problem Collegefeed is trying to solve.
“It is no easier to get a good start in life today than it was 20 years ago preweb, presocial, premobile,” Agrawal said in a Q&A. “Starting this week, 1-plus million new college graduates will struggle to enter the workforce. Almost 50 percent of them will fail, according to most recent research, but more and more companies understand that their future is somewhere in college right now. Think of Collegefeed as a social career platform that brings together students, employers, alums, industry insiders and college career services in one place.”
Students create short profiles with their work experience, skill sets, and interests and the system will search for matching jobs and internships. They can also enter the names of companies they like and a recommendation engine will suggest similar companies and jobs, “like Netflix does for movies.” Agrawal said this will help them discover new opportunities with companies they may not have heard of or considered before. Students can browse through custom news feeds with updates on their preferred employers. It also has networking and educational opportunities, and students can share experiences with each other.
Employers on Collegefeed benefit from access to a wider network of potential hires at a lower cost. They can push content to news feeds, sponsor contests, and get a newsfeed of their own with recommended students.
Collegefeed launched in private beta in March with Stanford, Berkeley, and Carnegie Melon. Agrawal said students have already secured interviews, jobs, internships, and financial awards with companies including YouTube, eBay, Facebook, Morgan Stanley, and Microsoft. Today, Collegefeed is open nationwide to any students and employer.
Agrawal said that over the past few years, multiple companies have popped up using social media to address challenges in recruiting and hiring, but “no-one has created a new social network that combines everything together in one place for both students and employers.” Competitors include LinkedIn, Readyforce, and AfterCollege. However, Collegefeed makes use of “push” technology and the popularity of news feeds to curate, aggregate, and present the information in digestible form to both students and employers.
The founding team of six has 10 college degrees between them and is based in Mountain View, Calif. It’s a bootstrapped company.