WayUp formerly Campus Job founded in 2014 by former Googler Liz Wessel. WayUp is a marketplace for college kids looking for internships and jobs. About 90% of the positions offered on WayUp are paid, and the startup sees 10,000 new college-aged users signing up weekly. I am going to use Campus Job and WayUp interchangeably in this article.
WayUp was born out of a campus-rep company that Wessel had started with a fellow student at Penn; it’s an alternative to a college career service center and Symplicity, a job board employers have to pay for postings on. It recently went through the startup accelerator Y Combinator and raised over $9 million in May, bringing its total funding to $10.3 million.
College students are constantly battling between two goals: getting good grades and proving they’re ready for the real world. Combining those two goals, however, can be really difficult for the student with a demanding schedule. That’s where WayUp comes in.
Liz Wessel and JJ Fliegelman graduated from University of Pennsylvania in 2012, where they both had campus rep jobs for big companies. Wessel, in particular, had a job with Anheuser-Busch on campus that was envied by the majority of her friends.
This led Wessel and Fliegelman to quickly build a website that acts as a marketplace, connecting students in post-secondary school with companies and organizations that are looking to employ students in part-time or temporary positions, namely campus rep positions. For two years, they let the site live on its own and moved on to different phasesof their lives. Wessel went to Google as a product marketing manager, working in Mountain View and then India.
Two years later, Wessel and Fliegelman found themselves in a great spot. Both had been offered their dream jobs — Wessel at Google and Fliegelman at a startup — but after an hours-long conversation at a cafe, the duo decided to shift their full focus to WayUp and take the leap.
WayUp, though revenue positive from day one, has raised $968k in seed investment led by Box Group, with participation from Lerer Ventures, Kal Vepuri, F Cubed, and Red Sea, among others.
The platform is entirely free for students, who can log in and create a thorough profile of their grades, experience, hobbies, etc. Businesses can also register and create listings for free across multiple campuses, as well as invite particular students to apply to their listings. Once the listing has received applications, organizations can unlock those applications for a one-time fee of $24 per listing per school.
In the first few weeks, businesses have posted more than 2,000 job listings, with more than 1,000 listings added each week. And they aren’t just campus rep jobs (though companies like Uber, Lyft, T-Mobile and RedBull are all looking for on-site reps), but WayUp also provides a way for companies to get freelance writers, graphic designers, beta testers, etc.
Part of this fast growth comes down to WayUp’ own philosophy towards campus reps. The company has its own army of folks that get their college friends to sign on to the app, and a portion of that work force also focuses on smaller local businesses who might also be looking for part-time help.
The funding will go toward hiring and expansion as the company looks to keep pace with scale.
How it works:
When new users log on, they’re prompted to fill out a Mad Libs-style questionnaire about their work experience and interests (“Hi, my name is ____. I’m a ___ major at _____ University.”). They must have a .edu email to fill out a profile.
Employers can target specific keywords like “junior,” “senior,” or “computer science.” For example, Uber is one of about 1,200 clients, and it is able to specifically target college students who have cars.
Employers are charged whenever Campus Job sends a qualified candidates their way. There’s no recruitment fee after a candidate is hired; students simply receive a T-shirt from WayUp that says, “99 problems but a job ain’t one.” About 90% of the positions offered on WayUp are paid.