My Story: From Accenture to NYU Stern Winner

With HireCanvas, Kevin and I have introduced a web and mobile platform that will reinvigorate the campus recruiting experience for everyone involved. Analytics that are compiled and student profile information that’s entered into our system yield a more meaningful recruiting outcome for companies, colleges, and students. In short, no more awkward pen-and-paper sign-in sheets. All of our data is electronic to help companies better understand the types of students they’re attracting. Similarly, career services administrators are able to better serve job-seeking students with hard data that tells them what types of students are interacting with what types of companies and who’s hiring them.

So when it came time to participate in the New Venture Competition of the Entrepreneurs Challenge, the question wasn’t whether or not we had a feasible business idea, it was: “How well can we articulate it?” Frankly, selling the elevator pitch and quickly communicating it was a learning process for us, not to mention the competing teams were pretty incredible.

After being named champions of the New Venture Competition and winning the top prize, there’s just one word I could use to describe the experience: surreal. I think back to all the late nights and hard work. Plus being able to see the reactions of friends and loved ones who had been with us at every stage made the final round of the competition even better.

More than anything I’m grateful for the amount of resources that the Entrepreneurs Challenge—and NYU—afforded us. Everything imaginable that you need to get your business going—a framework, mentors, continual feedback—they gave us. I can’t say enough about the coaches, mentors, judges, and all the people we were introduced to throughout the process. As first-time entrepreneurs, they were incredibly helpful and always willing to share their time. So even if we would have lost, it still would’ve all been worth it.

Now, just one week before graduation and with an extra $75,000 to grow HireCanvas, my business partner and I have three main goals for the remainder of 2014: build, sell, acquire. We’ll use our competition winnings to continue building the HireCanvas platform, selling the product to corporations, and acquiring more colleges and universities as partners.

I hope my story will inspire others not only to apply to Stern but also to get involved in the vast entrepreneurship opportunities here. Thanks to NYU, I have the best job in the entire world.

DON’T MISS: My Story: From Cornell To The Bank Of America or My Story: From NASA To Stanford

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.