Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Next Big Thing: Path.To

Have you ever seen the movie Office Space?  As one of the funniest movies of all time (in this writer’s opinion), Office Space tells the story of Peter Gibbons, a disgruntled programmer at a software company called Initech.  Peter’s biggest problem in life is his job.  He hates it.  He hates his coworkers (well, most of them), he hates his boss and he hates that he has to work weekends.  In other words, Peter is 100% unhappy in his work life.

Lucky for us (and for Peter), Path.To, a new startup that exploded out of Jacksonville, Florida, is looking to rid the world of the Peter Gibbons attitude.  The founder’s vision says it all: “We want to create a happier workforce.”

In order to do so, the team at Path.To has launched an online platform that matches job seekers with compatible technology and design job openings.    Path.To integrates a better, deeper understanding of job seekers, searches for compatible companies, sprinkles in a little algorithmic sugar and finds the right company to match the job seeker’s preferences and experiences (i.e. résumé, work/life, benefits, culture, etc.).  The platform then recommends the applicants to compatible companies in the database based on a Path.To score.  Because of this unique, creative process, Path.To has quickly become known as “the eHarmoney for job seekers”.

The startup launched in April in the Bay Area and is now expanding to 19 other “tech centers” throughout the United States.  The startup prefers to launch in areas that foster strong startup cultures, which has made Kansas City a prime target.  The platform is now available in the Silicon Prairie region, allowing Midwest entrepreneurs, software developers and designers to easily find open positions. 

“Most software engineers have a job for 8 months and then quit,” explains Darren Bounds, founder and CEO of Path.To.  “We want to connect business applicants with opportunities and help form a deeper bond.  In the long run, we want this to increase retention rate.” 

But running a business like Path.To isn’t without its challenges.  According to Bounds, the company is extremely successful in analyzing its applicants 80% of the time.  It’s the additional 20% that is challenging.  In order to solve this issue, Bounds and his 13-person team at Path.To are constantly building and refining the product in order to reduce that 20%. 

“All of the challenges are worth it when I receive emails and tweets that someone found an amazing opportunity because of Path.To,” he explains.  “I once received a 3-page email from a girl who found the perfect company because of Path.To’s analysis.  It was a personal, heart-felt email.  That’s what we’re all about.”

How Does Darren Bounds of Path.To Think Big? “It’s something I’ve always had since childhood—it’s a part of my personality.  It may be a deficiency, but I suffered from ADHD as a child.  But I think that my mind wanders in creative ways—it explores concepts and takes paths that others may not consider.  I have learned to have confidence in my ideas.  It’s just part of who I am.”

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