Majorwise was started by Peter Silverman and his roommate Max Robbins in their dorm room at the University of Vermont. With the idea that there really wasn’t any internships or jobs in Vermont for students that they knew of, they decided that they would find a way to bring the jobs to them.
Even though Vermont has a ton of colleges, not many of the students that graduate college stay here. This is because of the lack of jobs. This is a problem that Silverman and Robbins wanted to solve. They found out that most businesses were small in Vermont. “Let’s talk to these small business, let’s see what they want in a potential employee and we’ll find our friends jobs,” said Silverman.
With this, they created BeaconVT which is a small platform to help students in Vermont to find jobs, internships, and projects among other things. Silverman learned code and made a website that consisted of an online portal for employers to post job listings for about $10 to $100.
After almost a year, they had created one of the biggest platforms in Vermont for helping students gain experience. “We found around 300 kids jobs, we had something like 2,000 active users at any time, we had 10,000 users signed up, we had something like 200 companies signed up and it was working pretty well.”
After a newspaper article was written about them, Silverman and Robbins were confronted by a University of Massachusetts sister college. They wanted a copy of the platform. With this, they found a way to extend this idea and sell their platform to colleges and truly maximize what they have created. This is where the idea of Majorwise came about.
Majorwise is a software that is now sold to high-schools and colleges to help match students with internship and job opportunities. The program focuses on making the job search easier for students and allowing them to gain experience.
Majorwise works with employers to post job listings on their platform and then gives students the access to apply to those jobs for free. The platform is not open to the public, but “if your school purchases the software, then you can apply to jobs. Our job is to find you different employers to get involved in the community and find opportunities to get jobs and volunteering.” BeaconVT is still up for students looking for jobs in Vermont that don’t have the Majorwise platform at their high school or college.
The company works very hard to bring job opportunities to you through contacting employers directly. “We basically made profiles for every employer in Vermont, and said if you want to post a job, its free now and in the meantime, were going to give you some free advertising and put you up on our website and if that’s not okay then we will take it down for you.”
Majorwise took first place at the 2017 LaunchVT competition taking home $45K in services and $30K in cash. LaunchVT brings opportunities to young entrepreneurs in VT and gives them a chance to be successful with their business. People can bring their ideas to LaunchVT and they can compete for a chance to grow their business and get help along the way.
They also won at Road Pitch, which was founded in 2014 by Cairn Cross. Road Pitch is a motorcycle trip around VT where multiple motorcycle riders with entrepreneurial, investing and business advisory experience ride to different small towns in the state to places where they have organized a pitch session for the entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas. Majorwise is to compete in October at the Road Pitch Finals.
According to CNN Money, in 2013 Vermont was one of the top ten most entrepreneurial states. Betsy Bishop, president of the Vermont’s Chamber of Commerce stated in the article, “Vermont’s rich venture capital network combined with availability of low-cost small business loans has been attracting technology, biotech and life sciences startups.”
Entrepreneurship in Vermont is continuing to grow and will if we continue to support big dreaming. With so many great companies like Ben and Jerry’s, Keurig Green Mountain, Burton and Vermont Teddy Bear Co. all starting in this state, it’s no wonder that entrepreneurs come here to get the perfect work/life balance.