Investors Eye SXSW Start-Up that Started on a Bus

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Call it a SXSW Cinderella story. A start-up idea born out of a competition at SXSW may soon become a reality.

CareerMob, a start-up aimed at helping veterans find employment, was founded in just 72 hours by five young entrepreneurs traveling on a bus trip to Austin, Texas for SXSW.

Out of 32 teams made up of 152 programmers, developers and designers, Josh Seefried, a 25-year-old active duty Air Force officer, and his four teammates won best start-up in the Start-Up Bus competition.

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While the competition was not aimed at creating real start-up companies—it was meant to help developing people's entrepreneurial skills—Seefried's team got so much media attention and at SXSW that the winners are now planning to move their concept forward.

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"I can't tell you how many emails I've gotten about all of our concepts," Seefried, a 25-year-old active duty Air Force officer, said. "Right now we are trying to sift through a lot interest from a lot of people. I would love to see it take off and actually help veterans."

Future plans for CareerMob are still developing, but Seefried said he has been contacted by potential investors, which he declined to name, and he is regrouping with his teammates this week to move the ball forward.

Basically, CareerMob is a website that asks veterans a series of questions to help assess their skills and what activities they enjoy to help determine what industries would be a good career match outside of the military. It also pairs the veteran with an ex-military member or corporation to act as a mentor.

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"Military resumes don't easily translate into the work place, there is a huge translation problem," Seefried said. "And we know corporations are very interested in hiring vets, they just don't know how to."

The military has different certification systems than those required in the civilian work force. So often a vet may have the skill set required for a certain job, but not realize it because they don't know what jobs match their military expertise, Seefried said.

As for corporate managers who receive resumes from veterans, they aren't always familiar with military terminology, so they may not understand that a veteran applicant is qualified for a job. CareerMob wants to bridge the gap between vets and corporations and make money in the process.

Seefried said while veterans would never be charged for the service, he could see charging corporate partners to take advantage of finding ex-military talent.