Initially pitched as a “Pandora for job seekers” at this past 2012 Winter Startup Weekend, the Startup Weekend team ultimately decided to follow the advice of Brad Griffith from Buckeye Interactive by targeting the employer’s side of the hiring process. They quickly learned of the many problems associated with recruiting new employees, including an overabundance of unqualified applicants with few good ways to tease out the quality talent. With the help of several mentors including Dan Rockwell and Chris Anderson, the Startup Weekend team that had come together just hours earlier launched Acclaimd with the goal of addressing these recruiting headaches through a totally new web-based platform that combined the best elements of a job board and employee referrals.
Startup Weekend created an environment for the team to rapidly brainstorm a business model, create a prototype, and test solutions. More importantly, the experience of Startup Weekend jumpstarted their drive and determination to build Acclaimd and create a company.
Since mid-February, Acclaimd has continued to evolve as a product and business. They’re now targeting hiring professionals within fast-growing, mid-sized companies by offering a web-based employee referral program in-a-box. Not only does their solution manage a company’s existing employee referral program, but it increases overall program performance by addressing common shortcomings that discourage employee participation. It even goes a step further by offering employees education on making the best referrals and non-monetary perks just for engaging with the system.
Rory Daley, Derek Edwards and Kurt Prosser lead the Acclaimd team under the advisement of David Hunegnaw and Bruce Lane. The company has secured funding and advisory services from the Midwest Founders Fund / Founders Factory and is in the process of securing additional backers to close a $70K initial funding round. Acclaimd is targeting a public launch in September.