Former Google exec hopes to help grads with Upstart

A new way to launch a career

Money

Who didn't wish they had the funding right out of college to launch the next big thing?

A former Google executive is riding the wave of crowd funding's popularity - as seen in services like Kickstarter - by starting a venture aimed at giving bright-eyed youngsters a leg up.

Dave Girouard, Google's former head of enterprise businesses, recently launched Upstart - a new company that aims to match investors with recent graduates from college or graduate programs in order to help jump start their careers.

The idea is to provide financial freedom for graduates to pursue their dream careers instead of settling for a job just to pay the bills.

Upstart's unique

Unlike Kickstarter, investors aren't necessarily funding a particular idea or product, but an individual. Graduates can seek funding to start a business or launch a product, as well as get assistance in relocating for an internship.

Funding can also go towards alleviating what can be a lifelong burden - student loans.

In return for funding, grads will share a portion of their income over the next 10 years with their investors, offering a more flexible and attractive payback plan than a typical loan.

Still in beta

Also unlike Kickstarter, Upstart is not open to all. Backers must meet federal requirements as an "accredited investor," ensuring they're serious about their investments.

They can also offer mentorship to their chosen graduates, though additional guidance like this is optional.

Upstart currently is only available to students from select pilot schools, including Arizona State University, Dartmouth College, Rhode Island School of Design, the University of Michigan and the University of Washington.

The plan's to add more schools to the list, as well as create on-campus assistance from Upstart.

Who knows, the next Apple or Facebook might just grow out of Girouard's generous project.

Via San Jose Mercury News