Latest from my team: Y! Kickstart + $25,000

My blog has been a little quiet of late, mostly because my team has been heads down on building out three new products. You’ll hear more about the others (one is code named freeagle) in the coming weeks, but today is Y! Kickstart’s day.

Y! Kickstart is a professional network with a specific purpose: to connect college students, recent grads, alums and professionals to find jobs, internships and career advice.

We started with a simple focus: college students are about to go through a major life transition, finding their first job & career. For them, submitting resumes to job sites or companies seems like a black hole. College students are amazingly well networked on Facebook, but that network is about connecting with friends and is more appropriate for fun – in fact many students we talked to expressed frustration that “old folks” were coming onto facebook and forcing them to lock down their profiles or worse yet – clean up their act. Lastly, unlike someone like me who already has an established social network, these folks are just beginning to build their network.

So, enter Kickstart. It’s based on the premise that everyone does have a network: the school you went to, the frat/sorority you were in, the professional/interest group you are in, the companies you interned or worked at. Kickstart makes it easy to create and browse that kind of network. While we started with a focus on college students, I’ve already found it a useful networking tool for me to catch up with old coworkers and fellow alums.

Anyway, I could type for hours. The best thing for you to do is signup and give it a whirl. And when you do, search for me and add me as a connection.

Right now we’re in our “preview” release and we’re mostly focused on getting alumni and professionals to join. And, to give you more incentive: the US college with the most alumni signed up on Kickstart will get a $25,000 donation to their alumni program. So take a moment and reach out to all your fellow alums, you’ll be helping us out, I think you’ll find it a fun way to connect with former coworkers and alums, and heck you might even win the $25k for your school.

UPDATE 1: I neglected to mention, that like most all things from my group, this is a very early stage product. We know that it’s missing a lot, and that’s ok. I’d rather get feedback and suggestions and improve it on the fly than wait for months and months to launch – what fun is that?