Easy and Simple Way to Get Financial Aid for College? Yes Please!!


The Alltuition stand at LAUNCH

I was psyched to discover Alltuition at LAUNCH. The girl who launched this is a genius! This app makes it easier for students and their parents to find money for college. Need? (One of the most important criteria necessary for a startup to be successful) Check!

Practical tools I actually WANT to use? Oh yeah! Check it out:

  1. Alltuition provides you with a “simple, intuitive online financial aid planner for managing the entire financial aid process.”
  2. It makes it so you don’t need to scavenge the web, magazines, university websites, etc. for information anymore. Alltuition doesn’t make you wade through endless amounts of information you don’t need. It simply finds and presents you with the opportunities that actually apply to you. Time saver!
  3. Alltuition also helps you estimate how much financial aid you’ll get at each university you apply for
  4. It helps you fill out your FAFSA and apply for grants and scholarships
  5. and double checks your work to make sure you don’t have any errors to slow down the process or keep you from getting the most financial aid possible

Sounds pretty good, right? I thought it was pure genius and am going to send my little brother the link =]

It was about time someone made this process simple and understandable!

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The New Way of Finding Work: Venturocket


I finally got my camera memory card back! I discovered several startups I’m very excited to tell you about, but let’s take this one at a time. First up: Venturocket.

Doesn’t their webpage look cool?!

First of all, these guys had a great, eye-catching display with an actual rocket (get launched into a new career anyone? Corny, I know, but I really wanted to type that!) Secondly, they came up with a very intelligent, practical way of helping recruiters and job-seekers connect.

Told you their display was cool ;D

These guys are no LinkedIn (not that they have anything against LinkedIn or any other tool–heck, they’d probably be interested in partnering!) Like a true startup, Venturocket innovates on several points:

  1. They get rid of résumé padding. All you see is the skills themselves, without all the nonsense to distract you.
  2. There’s no trivial features. No paying extra to put your résumé at the top of the list–which I honestly do not think does much good since recruiters aren’t going to keep you if you’re not what they need anyway. (Oh, and it just might make you seem a little desperate.)
  3. You only pay if you found what you needed. Job-seekers don’t pay to put a résumé up. Employers don’t pay to post a job. No one pays to look through profiles or ads. You only pay if you find someone. Have I mentioned this enough?
  4. Venturocket promotes honesty. Both the recruiter AND the job-seeker pay if there is a match (and they pay the same amount.) Would you pay to connect with an employer who wanted to meet you because of misleading information? On the flip side, I don’t think an employer would pay to meet someone who didn’t meet their criteria either, so I think it’s a pretty safe bet to say you’re getting an interview.
  5. The price is literally based on skills and demand. Candidates “bid” money on their skills (the amount goes up with the level of proficiency in each skill) and the employer only pays for the skills s/he is interested in.

I thought this seemed like a very intelligent, practical way of connecting people. But what do you think? Does it make sense to you? Would you use it?

Go on their website and try it out if you didn’t understand some of the things I mentioned (and make sure you come back to tell us about it!) Or you can always post questions here too =]

*** Read more startup interviews & news or stock up on job search & interview tips on my Job Search Toolbox! ***

Why Being Social Is Awesome (Check Out My Bike!)


I haven’t gotten my camera memory card back yet, but I couldn’t resist sharing one of the coolest moments from Jason Calacanis’ LAUNCH conference with you.

One of the things my boss wanted me to do at the conference was to go around and find judges and somehow entice them to come to our booth (we were just one of dozens of startups in the demo pit, but if one judge found our startup really cool they could have brought us on stage to pitch in front of the whole conference.)

That’s not a very good strategy though. Have you ever been hunted? For anything… a favor, money, even a homeless person trying to get a few coins? It’s NOT an enjoyable experience. So I had the following thought process: if I was a judge, would I get sick of entrepreneurs chasing me around trying to get me to go check out their cool SoLoMo startup? Um… yeah! I would! Would I avoid anyone making a bee line for me? Heh, well… I would be a little cautious. So why the hell would I do that to them?

The way I saw it, our best chance at success (and at my actually enjoying the conference–the first day was pretty boring since all I got to do was stand at the booth) was to just be my usual social, cheerful self =] so that’s what I did. I walked around the stands chatting everyone up, trying on costumes (no joke! Pictures will go up once I get my camera memory card back) and taking pictures… and lo and behold, I ran into judges!

So I just kept going =] One judge I ran into had an awesome bike! So what did I do? I asked for a ride ^^ and I got it!! He let me do several laps around the conference! Yeah… I was proud =D He had me film a little schpeel about how the bike rode for his blog too ❤ (I’ll post the link once I’ve got it.) And we did end up stopping by the stand so I could grab my camera, so he learned about Contract Live too.

Told you that ride was awesome! Can you see the peddals?

The coolest part though? Bill Warner (the judge in question), a famous entrepreneur and Angel investor, asked for my opinion on an investment he was considering. Oh was I proud then! I’ll have to save those details for another post though ;D I want to see what y’all think about the startup he was considering.

So? Are you gonna be even more social and awesome now that you’ve read how awesome it can make your day? =]

*As if that encounter wasn’t cool enough as it is, he told me I should go into tv =]