A Q&A with InternMatch co-founder and CMO Nathan Parcells. The San Francisco–based company was founded in 2009 and closed a $1.2 million funding round in mid-January. Investors include Dave McClure, Mitch Kapor and Vishal Makhijani. The company previously raised a total of $900K in initial funding.
SUB: Please describe InternMatch and your value proposition.
Parcells: InternMatch helps students find amazing internships and helps companies hire amazing interns. For students, you can search companies, save your favorite positions, use our free resources, and easily apply to roles. For companies, you can build a profile, post internships and jobs, sort applicants, and hire top talent. In addition, InternMatch helps larger companies like Facebook, Salesforce, and Nestle share their college recruiting message with millions of students and build their employment brand on campus.
SUB: Who are your target markets and users?
Parcells: We have a two-sided market place with two unique user types. First is the 18 million plus college students—80 percent of whom intern at least once before graduation. The other is HR professionals who hire interns and recent grads as the future DNA of their organizations.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
Parcells: One of the reasons we started InternMatch was because the internship process has remained largely unchanged in the past couple of decades. Word-of-mouth and career fairs remain to be some of the most common tools for hiring students, but both have numerous drawbacks in terms of reach, quality, cost, and more. In addition, InternMatch competes with Indeed, LinkedIn, and Branchout, all of whom allow companies to showcase jobs and internships as well as details about their employment culture.
SUB: What differentiates InternMatch from the competition?
Parcells: We have a unique audience in this space with over 500,000 monthly student visitors and 500-plus university partners.
SUB: When was the company founded and what were the first steps you took in establishing it?
Parcells: InternMatch was founded in May of 2009, but even before this, Andrew Maguire, our CEO, was building relationships with entrepreneurs and mentors, including Scott Hannan, Scott Craig, and more to help get the company off the ground. Building those early advisory relationships was probably the first and most critical step in turning InternMatch from an idea into reality.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for InternMatch? Was there an ‘aha’ moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
Parcells: Our ‘aha’ moment came when Andrew and I were still in college. Andrew’s friends and peers repeatedly complained about the lack of depth of opportunities they were finding on career sites and at career fairs and so the pain was obvious to both he and I from the outset of starting the company.
SUB: How did you come up with the name? What is the story behind it?
Parcells: Naming companies nowadays is always a first good entrepreneurial test. With few domains still available acquiring any good name usually requires a lot of outside the box thinking and hustle. Ultimately, we liked the name InternMatch a lot and were able to recruit the help of one of our advisors to reach out and help negotiate a deal from the person who was squatting on the domain for a pretty reasonable price.
SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?
Parcells: The great thing about startups is that new challenges arise at every stage of a company. Initially, us being a two-sided market, gaining early traction and revenues in order to prove our model was tricky. We decided to focus on building a local solution first, which worked well and helped us learn the necessary strategies to expand the company nationally.
SUB: You just raised $1.2 million in new funding. What are your plans for the new funds?
Parcells: Our team has always been interested in disrupting the entire jobs space, not just internships. College hiring is an area that has particularly lagged and so we are excited to be using the funds to expand from offering just internships to additionally offering new grad jobs for students. We also plan to use funds to help expand our sales and engineering teams.
SUB: Why was this a particularly good time to raise more outside capital?
Parcells: We chose to raise this money because we felt strongly about our product market fit after closing a number of enterprise deals, without a dedicated internal sales team. We felt that the additional funding could help us expand outside of just internships as well as grow our sales team and revenues, so everything made sense to both us and our investors.
SUB: How does the company generate revenue or plan to generate revenue?
Parcells: InternMatch generates revenues in two ways. First, companies can buy single listings or packs of listings, which are ideal for companies hiring just one intern or growing a small program. Second, companies can buy a Campus Hub, which is our enterprise product and allows them to craft a unique message to underclassmen, interns, new grads and diverse students as well as hire students.
SUB: What are your goals for InternMatch over the next year or so?
Parcells: InternMatch is already the dominant platform for students looking to find internships and companies looking to hire interns. Now we are excited to expand the same quality services to students looking for full-time jobs and companies looking to hire new grads or simply expand their reach on campus.
InternMatch – www.internmatch.com