The BizSpark startup of the day is Careerify. Below you will find an interview with Harpaul Sambhi, Founder and CEO of Careerify. All the best to them and congratulations for being the startup of the day!
Web site: www.careerify.net
Careerify Receives Blue Sky Innovation Excellence Award from Microsoft Canada in 2011: Gladstone Grant - VP of Microsoft, Harpaul Sambhi - CEO of Careerify,
Markus Steinwender - Software Lead of Careerify, Christian Beauclair - Principal Develop Evangelist, Microsoft Canada
Tell us who you are and your role in the company:
Founder and CEO.
What did you do before creating your company?
I ran a services company helping companies recruit the brightest graduates while studying Electrical Engineering at the University of Waterloo. I missed a quite a few classes in between, but had an amazing time connecting with entrepreneurs across North America, while catching up on studies at 1 AM.
How you do feel about being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
It’s an absolute honor. I have been blessed to meet exceptional individuals that have helped Careerify to what it is today. From our brilliant staff, enterprise clients, partners like Microsoft, to serial entrepreneurs who have dedicated their time to help us; it has all led to Careerify becoming the social leader in human capital products.
What is your company’s mission?
Our mission is to become a social and mobile layer of all human resources related software. From hiring employees, onboarding, engaging and retaining talent, social media and mobile is a vital component that can significantly help organizations reach their end users; whether it be candidates, employees, or alumni. Our mandate is to ultimately drive global unemployment to 0%.
In 140 characters or less, tell us what your company does:
We help companies build a recruitment culture by engaging employees of internal opportunities, helping them identify and recommend talent in their social graph.
How did you get the idea for your company?
While in school, I saw many of my fellow colleagues struggle to find opportunities. People are naturally connected and possess networks that are often untapped. Imagine if you knew your aunt, best friends’ father or friend has ideal positions open within their company? It was further sparked during the 2008 recession when millions of people became unemployed. My father luckily was not laid off; however his company downsized by 500%. His friends weren’t so lucky, but he took onus to help his unemployed colleagues by calling every person in his rolodex.
Tell us about your funding history. A re you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
Customer money is the best funding story. We have private investors in friends and family, however, at this moment we are open to look at investment opportunities from strategic investors interested in the HCM and Social space.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
We have a total of 11 employees, with the majority being focused on technical.
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring for and where?
We have an adage that we are always hiring for great talent. At Careerify, we make positions around talented individuals. With that, we are looking to double our staff and hire individuals in sales (inside, partner channels, and account managers) and technical (product and developers).
Which platform are you building on? Why?
We are a .NET company building on the Azure stack. We identified Azure as a preferred platform to build off of simply because it is giving us the ability to scale without the worry of maintaining server and software updates. If we on-board a new enterprise client, it simply takes a few clicks to ensure successful scalability. With BizSparkOne, we get additional Microsoft resources to ensure we are technically sound as we reach tens of millions of users.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/Internet area?
The greatest opportunities is making enterprise software as consumer like as possible. In the past, many software companies have not built enterprise technology looking at the true end user, instead opting to serve the buyer. Adding social, mobility, and/or big data, with a true emphasis on the end user can lead to solve large challenges.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
It’s been phenomenal. As a graduate with tens of thousands of tuition loans, the last thing I want more of is more bills. This was the initial motivation of signing up for BizSpark. However, the true benefits is connecting to communities to advance your technical competence, but also to build off an infrastructure that enterprises trust.
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
The most valuable resource you have is time. We may have passion, and for some, financial security to build software. However, what makes us all equal is time. It’s imperative not to spend time on nuisances. Understand the value of going to clients first before investing your time (and financial resources) on building technology. Learn about their needs, and tie it back to their pains. Learn to outsource things you aren’t great at to those who are.
Who’s your role model?
Homer Simpson. He’s the only one that has been able to work in multiple occupations, have people doubt his abilities only to produce time and time again, and sold his company to Microsoft.
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
Time is of the essence. For every second you don’t live and wear your passion, there is someone in the world doing what you dream of.