AirTalk for August 15, 2012

Upstart your career

zdnet.com

At Upstart, donors invest in students' careers based on an algorithm that determines their future success. Above is Omri Mor, a University of Washington graduate.

With the rising costs of higher education, students are often graduating with mountains of debt. Dave Girouard saw this debt as a burden to the potential of future entrepreneurs. So, he left his post as the head of enterprise at Google to launch Upstart (based in Palo Alto).

The idea is to fund recent college graduates with entrepreneurial or artist dreams, but wouldn’t have the resources to launch a creative endeavour and pay back loans. So, Upstart is giving money to eligible grads in return for a percentage of their future income about $30,000. Here’s how it works. Grads put up a profile and Upstart rates them according to an algorithm.

Guests:

Jeff Keltner, founding member of Upstart; former Engineer at Google where he launched and ran the Google Apps for Education business and supported Google’s overall Enterprise business

Nathan Sharp, 2008 Harvard graduate; MBA 2012 Dartmouth Tuck School of Business. Nathan just graduated and has about $100,000 of student-loan debt. He’s part of the Upstart pilot program.

Matt DeBord, KPCC Reporter; writes the DeBord Report KPCC.org


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