Plenty of companies are looking to give brands and recruiters a way to connect with the ultra-valuable, soon-to-be-working, super influential college demographic, and University Beyond has just raised $300,000 in seed funding to do just that.
The round was led by Innovation Garden, with participation from two unnamed angel investors.
The idea behind University Beyond is to first connect brands with students who are interested in being in brand ambassador programs, and then facilitate that relationship through an online dashboard.
The first step is accomplished with a simple nationwide job board, but the back-end dashboard allows brands to assign and monitor student tasks, live chat through an inbox or videoconference, and handle payments through the system.
On the other side, obviously, students also have access to jobs as brand ambassadors and an easy online portal to see assignments and get paid. In fact, students can even download an auto-generated resume and certificate of completion for their college work as a brand ambassador.
“University Beyond is changing the landscape of ambassador programs through an educational focus,” said cofounder Doug Messer. “We are working to provide students not only internship opportunities for completing their ambassador program, but actual credit toward graduation.”
The project comes by way of cofounders Doug Messer and Brendan Weinstein, who first sharpened their entrepreneurial chops with a watch company called DBFLY. The watches sold well, and it led the guys to start an entertainment and events brand around DBFLY. As the company grew, Messer and Weinstein looked to infiltrate college campuses, but struggled finding good brand ambassadors and communicating with them.
And so, University Beyond was born.
The platform is free to use for students and brands until 2014, at which point brands will owe a flat monthly fee. The team has not disclosed how much that will be, but it is a different business model from other similar services who charge per posting, per university, etc.
The service is launching at a time when the space is hot, as competitive services like CampusLive are also starting to make a push.
To learn more about University Beyond, check out the website here.