5 reasons to join a startup after graduating

– Eric Stromberg joined Hunch in 2010 and works primarily on business development. Prior to Hunch, Eric worked as a summer analyst in Goldman Sachs’ Sales and Trading Division. Eric received a BA, magna cum laude, in history from Duke University. This article originally appeared on his blog. The views expressed are his own. –

After I wrote my last post, a surprising number of people emailed me asking why I decided to join a startup after graduating from Duke. Many of those I heard from face similar decisions today: either they are college seniors choosing between a big company and a startup, or they are recent graduates who work at a big company and are thinking about making the switch.

What’s interesting is that most are already leaning towards the startup career path: it seems they just want someone to assure them it’s a rational move. Their friends and family are skeptical: “How can you turn down a job at Morgan Stanley for a 10-person startup?” Hopefully this post will give those who want to join startups some good points to bring back to the skeptics as to why it’s a good idea to join a startup early in your career.

First, an important point: as much as I’d like to say that everyone should join a tech startup as soon as they graduate, I don’t think it’s that simple. People have different passions, and I’m not a fan of projecting my own interests onto others and assuming that what I did was somehow the “right” thing to do. So, the first piece of advice I’d give is to pursue whatever you are passionate about. What is passion? In defining it, I’ll take inspiration from Steve Blank’s recent graduation speech at Philadelphia University. This quote caught my eye:

It’s your curiosity and enthusiasm that will get you noticed and make your life interesting.

Koofers develops virtual study hall

Koofers, which refers to itself as a “social learning company,” has developed a platform that creates a virtual study hall for college students.

The Reston, Virginia-based startup, bankrolled by $7 million in venture funding including support from AOL co-founder Steve Case, is tapping into cutting-edge trends in higher education centered on online resource sharing. Koofers facilitates student interaction in virtual space by providing free digital resources such as online access to coursework.

“We provide an online platform for college students to collaborate with each other around academics – connect with each other, share past exams, study guides, notes,” said Koofers CEO Gio Hunt. “We’re really tied into the way students are thinking about content.”