For many college seniors, school is a time of self-exploration, considering options and thinking about the future at a leisurely pace.
However, this is rarely the case with computer engineering students who either attend the best universities in the world or advance to the top of their classes. Almost immediately after choosing their courses in the first week of school, they're usually at their college career fair and wondering if they should interview people like Google or Facebook . And when they do, they often get an offer with a signing bonus and often with an exploding period of 48 hours.
The perception is that saying no means being blacklisted forever from this outfit. But the series founder became the investor Ali Partovi – who was successful in his career with and alongside twin brother Hadi – insists that it is smoke and mirrors. “There are only so many great students graduating, and there are many, many, many more jobs than CS graduates. Students should give deadlines to companies. "
To spread this message – that students have options and don't have to allow large technology companies to narrow them down early – Partovi is organizing something new. Through his four-year network organization Neo and the associated risk fund, he is hosting a kind of virtual matchmaking extravaganza on August 8, which offers the students a completely different kind of opportunity.
Known as Neo Startup Connect, students that Neo has reviewed themselves are to be introduced to rapidly growing – but stable – companies such as the Figma design software. which announced $ 50 million in Series D funding last week.
Partovi believes that there is an opportunity in companies to learn a greater number of things, for example with more than 100 employees over 45,000 (Facebook) or even 120,000 (Google). He also claims that there is a world of startups that students might find better suited to their interests if they only knew more about them.
"Every day I will speak to someone who is a top Princeton student and that person tells me that she is passionate about healthcare and machine learning and has a job offer for Goldman Sachs. And I will say," Why should You join a bank or hedge fund? "
Partovi says he is concerned that insufficient students "do something adventurous or maximize their potential and instead go the safe way". The connection to companies in earlier stages is his way of counteracting the trend.
Of course, it is in Partovi's interest to promote all of these connections. In fact, Neo Startup Connect is a natural offshoot of what Neo has been working on in recent years. It tries to identify the most talented engineering talent from schools and promises to invest in everything that students could start later based on the program. Believe that they will be successful without exception. The approach has spread across Silicon Valley, but means playing the long game. With Neo Startup Connect, Partovi can have a more immediate impact on a person's future and strengthen Neo's relationships with companies that Neo has either supported in the past or wants to support in the future.
In addition to Figma, the companies participating in the event also include Forethought, a former theinformationsuperhighway Battlefield winner whose AI systems increase customer support productivity; and Notion, a lively collaboration software company that announced $ 50 million funding earlier this month and has famed angel investor Ram Shriram as an early supporter. Nobody is supported by Neo.
Other participants funded by Neo include the Convoy on-demand trucking platform, which completed $ 400 million in Series D funding at the end of last year. Bubble, a code-free, point-and-click programming tool that has previously only provided $ 6.25 million in seed capital; and the AI chip company Luminous, which raised $ 9 million in seed capital last year, including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick, and current Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi (who happens to be Partovis first cousin is).
As for the benefit for the students themselves, Neo promises not only to broaden their eyes and opportunities, but also to simplify the application process by first reviewing them personally using a coding assessment program used by Quora and other companies. (These are carried out by Partovi together with a “mix of experienced veterans from the neo community,” he says.)
Whether this review process fully satisfies the participating companies is a question mark. For example, Kris Rasmussen, Vice President of Engineering at Figma, emailed that while Neo “does a great job finding highly qualified candidates for us from their community,” he adds that “all Figma candidates do that same technical interview go through process. "
In other words, there are no links.
Neo's final affirmation counts for something. Partovi is strongly networked. He was a co-founder of numerous companies, including LinkExchange, which was sold to Microsoft for around $ 250 million in the late 1990s. He also has a solid track record of investing in talented founders, including Mark Zuckerberg and Drew Houston from Dropbox.
"I have come to the conclusion that if Ali has checked someone, he will be world class in both IQ and EQ," said Deon Nicholas, CEO of Forethought, whose participation in the August- Event a "no brainer." "The only difficult part is making sure that (the participating students) don't accept offers from Google," he adds.
It raises the question of whether it is so terrible to even start a career with a technology giant.
Partovi himself practiced as a Harvard student at Microsoft and switched between Oracle and a tech startup after graduating. Nicholas also worked for several large companies, including Dropbox and Pure Storage.
Not too specific, but Rasmussen also worked for Microsoft right after college, though he spent less than a year with the corporate giant. When asked by email if he regretted signing up with the company before going into the startup world and finally Figma, he skipped the question.
Is it possible – we ask Partovi – that new graduates can learn a lot in a large company, including how this company works with startups? Is it possible that proof of eligibility increases earnings potential? Gives them more options?
Partovi says he will not "argue" with any of these questions. "Different ways are right for different people – from a business job to joining a startup to founding your own."
Unfortunately, the startup path has systemic barriers even for the most entrepreneurial and high performing students. It's not mapped, unguided, intimidating, and has structural obstacles. "If Neo can help remove these obstacles, he will succeed.
In a world where large corporations continue to attract the best talent – often through exploding offer letters – some might argue that society could also benefit from a small intrusion into how it currently operates.
It couldn't be such a gamble. According to a former recruiter for Google, most candidates who reject the company remain on the radar.
In some cases, attempts are still made to hire her for the rest of her life.
(Note: If you are a student interested in participating in Neo Startup Connect, the outfit opened registration today and will review candidates by the end of June. Partovi says it is planned to host and try around 150 people. )