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CNET News Video: Upstart.com: A kind of Kickstarter for college grads
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CNET News Video: Upstart.com: A kind of Kickstarter for college grads

2:21 /

In this tough job market, one Silicon Valley startup wants to give recent graduates money so they're not looking for jobs, instead they're creating jobs. As CNET's Sumi Das explains, the idea behind Upstart.com is for investors to invest in a person instead of a company.

-One day, a huge amount of money just was deposited into my personal bank account. -Stanford Business School grad, Ian Shaquille, received that stash of cash. Thanks to Upstart, a new crowd funding platform which he used to share his dream of creating a medical lab. -And now I feel ready to set out on my own and found my own company. -Upstart is similar to Kickstarter, but instead of funding projects, backers fund people. -We actually need more people early in their career taking risk and trying to create jobs rather than just take jobs. -Former Google employee, Dave Girard co founded Upstart to connect investors and recent graduates in fields from Engineering to Art. -If you back somebody in Upstart, you actually receive and return a very small share of their personal income over 10 years. We actually have created the algorithms that will statistically predict somebody's income. -How does Upstart spot a potentially good investment? -We look at signals in someone's history as to their potential. So we look at the schools that they went to and we look at what they studied, what their grades were, their standardized test scores. We see what other job offers or internships they had. -There's no guarantee of funding. Graduates have 60 days to raise a minimum of $10,000. Half of the 80 individuals on the site have been successfully funded. Fewer than 10 have failed. So what convinced people to back Shaquille? It might have had something to do with his plans to create a health care app for Google Glass. -Magnetics-- -I have 32 angel investors through Upstart.com and I wouldn't wanna have the same background checks and conversations with each one of them. Upstart sort of serves in the clearing house. -With the funding, Ian's company has grown to 10 employees. But that's not the sole benefit. -We've been, you know, heavenly calling upon our Upstart backers to make sure that we can learn from their lessons and get things right, and legally another [unk]. -Shaquille says investors are keen to investing musicians and artist, not just techies. -And it just opens doors to say that this folks have our back, our mentors. It gives us a lot of credibility. -And yes Shaquille says, it also adds some pressure but that may just motivate him further. In Palo Alto, California, I'm Sumi Das, CNET.com for CBS News.

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