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Path 101 Archive
Venture Capital firm First Round Capital (FRC) has announced the opening of a new NYC office today. The NYC office is First Round Capital’s third office – their other locations are near Philadelphia and in San Francisco. The NYC office will be headed by parner Howard Morgan. Morgan spoke at the Entrepreneurs Roundtable event earlier this year where he provided insight into his thoughts on venture capital and some thoughts on what FRC looks for in the startups they invest in.
Additionally, nextNY founder Charlie O’Donnell will join the FRC team as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR). O’Donnell is a popular figure in the New York startup scene and he is also the founder of career startup Path 101. Check out all of our Path 101 coverage.
O’Donnell notes in his announcement post that Path 101 isn’t going away but two of the three founders will continue the project with a nights and weekend development cycle. Co-founder Alex Lines has taken a position with NY-based Betaworks.
NY-based Path 101 has announced that they have raised an additional $200,000 today. Basically they reopened their angel round that they announced last February. The additional funding is coming from NYC Seed. This moves the total angel investor count to 21.
Path 101 co-founder and CEO Charlie O’Donnell tells me that the public launch will happen in a few weeks and that this new injection of capital will help the company to gain traction after launch.
Path 101 describes their mission as, “helping people of all ranges of experience discover the career that’s right for them. By analyzing the data embedded in millions of public resumes, Path 101 aims to expose lots of information about the available opportunity set, career paths, skills, job descriptions, education requirements, etc.”
O’Donnell is also the founder of the nextNY technology group based in NYC with hundreds of active members.
Brian Lehrer hosts a show on CUNY TV (City University of New York) named Brian Lehrer Live. Below is a discussion between Brian, Path 101 Founder Charlie O’Donnell and Union Square Ventures Partner Albert Wenger. The panelists discuss topics including: NYC technology, how nextNY was founded, areas to focus on in technology, and is this the time to start a company.
Here’s the video from the discussion:
Coming soon NY-based career service Path101 launched an alpha earlier this week. Their first application open to the public is a personality quiz which will help you learn more about yourself.
Charlie explains how the quiz works, "The quiz works based off of other people’s data. When you take it, we’ll match your personality to others in the system and tell you what kinds of careers they’re in. The more people we have, the better and more specific the recommendations."
What would be interesting is to see this data presented in a widget – it might help us to interact with each other differently. By understanding what things we like and don’t like, people who want to interact with us would have more data on the best way to get through. My team went through an exercise like this years ago and it helped us all to interact better as a team.
Charlie is also the founder of the nextNY group. Here’s Charlie explaining how the nextNY group works:
This week on nextNYers, guest host Paul Kontonis speaks with nextNY founder Charlie O’Donnell. I’ve been impressed with nextNY since I moved CN back home last year. There are 1500+ members overall with a very active and participatory mailing list.
This is the most interesting nextNYers to-date as Charlie discusses the NY tech scene versus an actual startup.
On the nextNY listserv, there are a lot of businesspeople who think they’re just a developer away from a great web startup. It’s certainly possible, but I often find that they haven’t really fleshed out their product idea too much.
I’d very very strongly suggest that, before you start paying someone to build anything, you do some extensive product spec work… talking to as many people as possible about what you’re building.
Hold a few feedback sessions, too… ask a few knowledgeable people to sit in a room to hear your idea and give feedback on its current state and where it might go. Be open to their suggestions…and give them pizza!
Here’s a checklist of things I would do before paying dollar one to start building:
- Narrow down your market vertical… Weddings or adventure sports? Feature creep is a killer at an early stage and companies often try to do too much. Your end product, if it comes to market, will be so much smaller than you imagine.
- Outline 2-3 things you things you want to focus on within that niche.. You’ll prob narrow down to one, but keep an open mind about possibilities, because feedback is going to make you alter your idea.
- Find 5 sites that do at least some aspects of what your site does and use them extensively… like everyday for a week or two at least (ideally longer!)… know all the ins and outs of the service. Group all their features into a) things they do well b) things I can do better/different c) things we can work together on and d) make a list of things you wish they did.
- Take all the features and rank them in terms of importance… This way, you’ll realize whether you’re building a new mousetrap, because all your top features are category D or a better mousetrap, b/c they’re all category B or C) more of a mashup.
- Take your list and imagine what ties this all together in one site if you can do 1 feature, 3 features, 10 features, etc… Where are the natural grouping points… and what is the minimum amount of things that gives you a viable site.
- Talk to 5 high level people in the industry about the smallest versions of your idea and get feedback. After their feedback, go through this whole process over again.
(Optional) Blog this whole process openly and solicit even more feedback.
- Then, MAYBE I’d talk to a contract developer… but only then…. Of course, if you can get someone more technical working on this process with you at no cost…. just to help shape the idea.. that’s ideal.
In addition to this, you need to create a plan to be executed everyday that makes you exactly the right person to do this idea. It will be incredibly difficult to get backing and support for your project unless people feel like you are THE person to do this startup, you understand those industries much more than almost anyone, and have publicly associated your name with those industries. Starting out by blogging about those industries, maybe running some learning annex courses, a meetup group, etc. is a good start…. because it will sharpen your thinking on the space and attract others with similar or better yet, contrary ideas.
This article was originally posted on This is Going To Be Big. Charlie O’Donnell is the Co-Founder & CEO of Path 101, a startup working towards helping people discover a career. Named to Silicon Alley Insider’s list of the 100 most influential folks in the New York digital business, Charlie was formally an analyst at Union Square Ventures and product manager at Oddcast. He also founded nextNY, a grossroots, participant driven group of NYC’s up and coming tech and digital media professionals.
NY-based Path 101 has announced the close of their angel funding round with a total raise of $350k. There are 20 angel investors which include: Roger Ehrenberg, investor in TheLadders career site; Jeff Stewart; Jeff Jarvis, Fred Wilson, Darren Herman and Scott Heiferman, Meetup founder. Certainly looks like an all-star NYC lineup!
From the NY Tech Directory, “Path 101 is an angel funded, NYC-based startup aiming to help people of all ranges of experience discover the career that’s right for them. By analyzing the data embedded in millions of public resumes, Path 101 aims to expose lots of information about the available opportunity set, career paths, skills, job descriptions, education requirements, etc. Combined with community driven advice and personality assessment tools, Path 101 aims to become the first stop in a career search, even before you go looking for a job.”
Path 101 co-founder and CEO Charlie O’Donnell is also the founder of the nextNY technology group based in NYC with hundreds of active members.