Meritful Launches A Student CRM Platform To Help Recruiters Keep Tabs On Campus Talent


College recruiting is becoming increasingly competitive. Companies have begun to realize that top graduates not only bring a lot of talent and energy to the table, but they also tend to cost less than more experienced prospects. But in order to successfully woo those fortunate enough to have their pick, businesses need to begin the recruiting process earlier. If they’re going to stand a chance, they have to build long-term, non-spammy relationships with students and educate them on the opportunities and culture unique to their business.

This is especially true for startups and SMBs, which usually lack the campus mindshare (and budget) of the Googles and Facebooks of the world. University of Michigan and UPenn alums Azarias Reda and Lander Garcia are launching Meritful at TechCrunch Disrupt NY today to provide startups and SMBs with a solution to this recruiting problem.

Essentially, Meritful aims to help the little guys start winning the Talent Wars by enabling them to build long-term relationships with top grads. To follow through on this mission, the Michigan-based startup wants to address two unique features of college recruiting.

First, when companies visit campuses for career fairs and information sessions, they meet a lot of students. Second, those prospects remain in the pipeline for a number of years before they are actually ready to apply for a job. To solve these two problems, Meritful is building a student-centric CRM platform that helps recruiting teams build and mange their relationships with students over time, starting early in their careers.

In an effort to create a simple, one-to-many method to engage students, the platform allows recruiters to invite their best student prospects to connect with current employees or alumni of the company. For example, a company can create challenges for students to work on, providing a way to directly test students for certain aptitudes or skills.


On the flip side, the platform lets students showcase projects they are working on using multimedia displays, or ask pertinent questions to alumni from their school or those who’ve worked in their prospective, future role. This allows companies to use their best ambassadors, their employees, to show off who they are, how they’re different and help them find students who are the right fit.

As to how it works: When a company signs up on Meritful, recruiting teams are asked to choose some of the employees at the company to become ambassadors and invite them to the platform. These ambassadors can be other recruiters, engineers or alumni. When companies meet promising students at career fairs or through their student career pages, they invite prospective students to connect with them on Meritful.

Once connected, companies can then interact with students and keep tabs on the projects they’re working on, their challenges, successes and so on. They can also create challenges for students to work on, which could be programming, design, business or research-related, to which students can submit solutions, while interacting with ambassadors in the process. The idea is for this to become another way for recruiters to find the best talent, and the right match.


Similar to portfolio platforms like Pathbrite, students can showcase projects they’re working on — in or outside of class — and ask for feedback from ambassadors. They can use source code, pictures or video to describe the projects, giving companies a fuller picture of their academic and professional abilities. Recruiters can also engage students through Q&As and share content and, over time, can keep track of their progress, projects and completed challenges, for example.

Prior to launching at Disrupt, Meritful spent six months in private beta, working with companies like Twilio and Cengage learning. Going forward, co-founders Reda (who previously worked at LinkedIn) and Lander Coronado-Garcia (ex-Accenture) say that they’ll be looking to build out its roster of companies and build out its student engagement tools.

Meritful recently won a startup competition at SXSW, taking home $100K in prizes, and will be looking to begin raising its seed round this summer.


Megan Quinn: Will you use this for internships?

A: One of the pools of students we want to engage with, want to help them build relationships with students from the beginning so they don’t necessarily have to be interns.

Hilary Mason: What kind of tracking and data collection will you include?

A: Tracking how long a student stays at a company, how well that company retains their talent, ongoing recruiting is definitely part of the plan.

John Frankel: What’s the breakdown of internships to full-time hires?

A: Either way you slice it, the key to Meritful is matching the best talent to the right company. We want companies to use this for internships, but also want it to breed full-time hires as well to build value for the company over the long-run.

More TechCrunch

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine

IndieBio’s Bay Area incubator is about to debut its 15th cohort of biotech startups. We took special note of a few, which were making some major, bordering on ludicrous, claims…

IndieBio’s SF incubator lineup is making some wild biotech promises

YouTube TV has announced that its multiview feature for watching four streams at once is now available on Android phones and tablets. The Android launch comes two months after YouTube…

YouTube TV’s ‘multiview’ feature is now available on Android phones and tablets

Featured Article

Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

CSC ServiceWorks provides laundry machines to thousands of residential homes and universities, but the company ignored requests to fix a security bug.

13 hours ago
Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is just around the corner, and the buzz is palpable. But what if we told you there’s a chance for you to not just attend, but also…

Harness the TechCrunch Effect: Host a Side Event at Disrupt 2024

Decks are all about telling a compelling story and Goodcarbon does a good job on that front. But there’s important information missing too.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Goodcarbon’s $5.5M seed deck

Slack is making it difficult for its customers if they want the company to stop using its data for model training.

Slack under attack over sneaky AI training policy

A Texas-based company that provides health insurance and benefit plans disclosed a data breach affecting almost 2.5 million people, some of whom had their Social Security number stolen. WebTPA said…

Healthcare company WebTPA discloses breach affecting 2.5 million people

Featured Article

Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Microsoft won’t be facing antitrust scrutiny in the U.K. over its recent investment into French AI startup Mistral AI.

15 hours ago
Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Ember has partnered with HSBC in the U.K. so that the bank’s business customers can access Ember’s services from their online accounts.

Embedded finance is still trendy as accounting automation startup Ember partners with HSBC UK

Kudos uses AI to figure out consumer spending habits so it can then provide more personalized financial advice, like maximizing rewards and utilizing credit effectively.

Kudos lands $10M for an AI smart wallet that picks the best credit card for purchases

The EU’s warning comes after Microsoft failed to respond to a legally binding request for information that focused on its generative AI tools.

EU warns Microsoft it could be fined billions over missing GenAI risk info

The prospects for troubled banking-as-a-service startup Synapse have gone from bad to worse this week after a United States Trustee filed an emergency motion on Wednesday.  The trustee is asking…

A US Trustee wants troubled fintech Synapse to be liquidated via Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cites ‘gross mismanagement’

U.K.-based Seraphim Space is spinning up its 13th accelerator program, with nine participating companies working on a range of tech from propulsion to in-space manufacturing and space situational awareness. The…

Seraphim’s latest space accelerator welcomes nine companies

OpenAI has reached a deal with Reddit to use the social news site’s data for training AI models. In a blog post on OpenAI’s press relations site, the company said…

OpenAI inks deal to train AI on Reddit data

X users will now be able to discover posts from new Communities that are trending directly from an Explore tab within the section.

X pushes more users to Communities

For Mark Zuckerberg’s 40th birthday, his wife got him a photoshoot. Zuckerberg gives the camera a sly smile as he sits amid a carefully crafted re-creation of his childhood bedroom.…

Mark Zuckerberg’s makeover: Midlife crisis or carefully crafted rebrand?

Strava announced a slew of features, including AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, a new ‘family’ subscription plan, dark mode and more.

Strava taps AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, unveils ‘family’ plan, dark mode and more

We all fall down sometimes. Astronauts are no exception. You need to be in peak physical condition for space travel, but bulky space suits and lower gravity levels can be…

Astronauts fall over. Robotic limbs can help them back up.

Microsoft will launch its custom Cobalt 100 chips to customers as a public preview at its Build conference next week, TechCrunch has learned. In an analyst briefing ahead of Build,…

Microsoft’s custom Cobalt chips will come to Azure next week

What a wild week for transportation news! It was a smorgasbord of news that seemed to touch every sector and theme in transportation.

Tesla keeps cutting jobs and the feds probe Waymo

Sony Music Group has sent letters to more than 700 tech companies and music streaming services to warn them not to use its music to train AI without explicit permission.…

Sony Music warns tech companies over ‘unauthorized’ use of its content to train AI

Winston Chi, Butter’s founder and CEO, told TechCrunch that “most parties, including our investors and us, are making money” from the exit.

GrubMarket buys Butter to give its food distribution tech an AI boost

The investor lawsuit is related to Bolt securing a $30 million personal loan to Ryan Breslow, which was later defaulted on.

Bolt founder Ryan Breslow wants to settle an investor lawsuit by returning $37 million worth of shares

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, launched an enterprise version of the prominent social network in 2015. It always seemed like a stretch for a company built on a consumer…

With the end of Workplace, it’s fair to wonder if Meta was ever serious about the enterprise

X, formerly Twitter, turned TweetDeck into X Pro and pushed it behind a paywall. But there is a new column-based social media tool in town, and it’s from Instagram Threads.…

Meta Threads is testing pinned columns on the web, similar to the old TweetDeck

As part of 2024’s Accessibility Awareness Day, Google is showing off some updates to Android that should be useful to folks with mobility or vision impairments. Project Gameface allows gamers…

Google expands hands-free and eyes-free interfaces on Android