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Scandinavian Startups Exclusive:
We had a chat with Graduateland founder Patrick Lund, who had some exciting news coming up for their website.
Launched in December 2010, Danish Startup Graduateland has quickly gained next to 30 000 registered users and a positive response from key companies looking to recruit graduates. Right now potential employers sign up for the alpha and enter information with help of an admin, but very soon the process is to be smoothed to allow any and all employers to announce potential work for graduates.
The business model allows both parties to use the website for free, with money coming from the campaigns, the means of getting extra exposure for employers in the competition for best future employees.
Increased exposure of jobs, as well as segmented mail campaigns (based on geography/demographics/education etc) are where Graduateland will make its money. They have already run campaigns for paying customers (including Novo Nordisk and Danske Bank).
When the backend is ready sometime in March approximately 25 employers will be readily waiting to administer their profile. These include Google, Carlsberg, Skype, Porsche, Virgin, Oracle, Intel, Microsoft, Cisco Systems and others, all having contacted Graduateland on their own behalf.
This if anything shows the soundness of the idea behind the website. If you find yourself in no need of a hard sale, you are doing something right!
VCs , both Danish and International, have been busily courting Graduateland, that has been self-funded. The founders are not getting involved before they've finished the basic functions of the site.
Right now, I found the facebook integrated sign-up form somewhat painful, as it asked too many questions and requested access to my wall as part of the registration requirements.
However, Patrick has promised that they will only post a registration update to your profile, and that they have smoothed the questions required for membership to the bare minimum.
He says that the sign-up figures show no loss of interest on the part of graduates, and of course, as facebook itself attests, the more data users willingly submit, the better for your startup.
That information alone is a goldmine.
Patrick Lund on the history behind the website: "The story about Graduateland started with myself and Jens Reimer Olesen, two bachelor students from Copenhagen Business School. I had been struggling with finding the ideal university in Paris that offered business courses in English, and Jens had had a hard time getting an overview of finance internship possibilities in London.
Consequently, we decided to try and solve the problem. We teamed up with Morten Petersen, Jonas Reeh and Jesper Reeh. These guys had several years of experience within the online marketing business, and we hooked on the idea of creating Europe's largest career and education portal. After 12 months of hardcore development, too much junk food, plenty of table tennis and rounds of pool, no exercise, a minimum of partying and socialising, Graduateland was launched."
Scandinavian Startups is looking forward to the backend launch, as we are in desperate need of interns!
One last touch that really impressed me was that PR was handled by a key founder, they came to me with a personalized pitch, wanted to give exclusive access, and sent all the key facts, including funding, founding history, key members, statistics and business model. This meant that all I had to do was test the site and do my part of the research, but all the basic information was handed to me on a platter. Compare that with PR agencies that send press releases without translating them into English, without any facts, with no exclusivity.
Yeah, sure, I will spend 4 hours translating and then post something that has allready been published online 10 times! Once again, sound proof of commitment to quality on the part of Graduateland.
There is clearly a market for such a service, the niche is open, Graduateland has a leading advantage, and with clients lining up, the future could very well be paved with gold, as long as the fundamentals are maintained. This is definitely a startup for the top 100 Scandinavian Startups list.
Jens Reimer Olesen, CEO: Jens holds a bachelor in International Business and Politics from Copenhagen Business School. Before starting Graduateland, Jens held positions as Trading Manager in E*TRADE Financial and Saxo Bank where he was overall resopnsible for all Scandinavian customers. Jens is certified dealer in stocks, bonds and derivatives from NASDAQ OMX and is the youngest dealer ever educated in Denmark. Furthermore Jens is a CFA Candidate.
Jens is responsbile for the overall business development at Gradauteland.
Patrick Lund, COO: Patrick holds a bachelor in International Business and Politics from Copenhagen. Before starting Graduateland, Patrick has had various manager positions within the service industry. Additionally Patrick has great commercial experience from the Danish Consumer Counsil and as an intern at the American embassy in Copenhagen.
Patrick is responsbile for the overall business development at Gradauteland.
Morten Petersen, CTO: Morten is a serial entrepreneur and has lots of experience from the online industry. Morten is CTO and Co-Founder of one of Scandinavia’s largest affiliate marketing companies Starfly Media ApS (turnover aprox. 15 mio/year) as well as one of Scandinavia’s largest affiliate network Orville Media A/S (turnover aprox. 40 mio/year).
Morten is a highly skilled progammer and responsible for the technical development of Graduateland.
Jonas Reeh, CMO: Jonas is also a serial online entrepreneur and a leading figure in the online marketing industry. Jonas has several years been among the largest Facebook customers in Denmark and is a true pioneer in social media marketing. Jonas is CEO and Co-Founder of Starfly Media ApS and Orville Media A/S.
Jonas is responsible for all online- and social media marketing at Gradauteland.
Jesper Reeh, Technical Officer: Jesper is educated Web Developer from The Technical School of Roskilde. Jesper has played a key role in the development of Starfly Media ApS, where he has been responsible for the daily maintenance of webpages, databases and marketing systems.
Jesper is responsible for the daily technical operations at Graduateland