KarmaHire Turns Good Karma into Startup Success

KarmaHire has maintained an impressive momentum for a startup company. First a successful virtual career fair, then they were announced as one of three companies involved with the GrowLab Farm Team, and finally the opportunity to pitch at the 2012 NACO Angel Summit in front of approximately 200 attendees. It’s only a matter of time before KarmaHire is on to their next big thing.

Origins of KarmaHire

KarmaHire was the eventual result of an innovative class at UBC called New Venture Design. The course pairs business and engineering students with the goal of creating a business plan and prototype. Thomas Zhou and James Clift ended up winning 3 business competitions and $10,000 in prize money for an office lighting idea.

During the rest of their time in school the two co-founders did contract work, and it was then that they became aware of the hassle that hiring is. With their obvious founder chemistry, Clift and Zhou paired up after graduation to address the issue of hiring talent efficiently. KarmaHire started to take shape and Zhou and Clift became full-fledged entrepreneurs.

The Benefits of Crashing a Server

Clift and Zhou joined Launch Academy in May 2012 and spent some time building out their hiring platform. They were also cooking up an innovative marketing tactic to drive buzz about their business. Clift got on the phone and called hundreds of companies to get them on board and a Vancity Buzz article helped to spread the word.

On July 24th the BC Tech Fair, a virtual career fair, took place with over 40 companies showcasing the amazing tech-related job openings around the city of Vancouver. With thousands of job seekers accessing the BC Tech Fair on the KarmaHire platform it’s not surprising that the servers crashed. Fellow entrepreneurs from Launch Academy rallied together and the BC Tech Fair was back up in no time.

Farm Team & NACO Angel Summit

Since then Clift and Zhou have been working just as hard and reaping the rewards. In August of this year GrowLab implemented a Farm Team in order to provide support and resources for companies that were past the ideation stage, but not yet ready for an accelerator program. KarmaHire, along with two other Launch Academy companies, were the first to be admitted to the Farm Team program, which provides funding, office space and mentorship from the GrowLab founders.

The 2012 National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) Angel Summit just wrapped up and KarmaHire secured a spot as one of five Canadian companies that pitched in front of an audience of angel investors, after being nominated by GrowLab. Their ten minute pitch resulted in connections with investors and entrepreneurs from across Canada, and helped with their goal of partnering with accelerators in the future.

 

(Tweets from the NACO Angel Summit)

What’s Next?

After the success of their BC Tech Fair, Clift and Zhou thought it would be crazy not to test out the idea across Canada. Early next year, various organizations across Canada will participate in a virtual career fair, which will connect talent around the world with Canadian tech job opportunities. If you would like more information about this Canadian tech fair get in touch with KarmaHire.

The sky is the limit for James Clift and Thomas Zhou, and it’s not likely that they have anything less set in their sights. With their Getting Sh!t Done mentality and their ability to embrace the unconventional, KarmaHire is well on their way to disrupting the typical hiring process.

On behalf of Launch Academy and all it’s members, we would like to congratulate KarmaHire on their success to date, and we look forward to everything that they have in store.