20. ZeeMee

Founders: Juan Jaysingh (CEO), Adam Metcalf (chief product officer)
Launched: 2014
Headquarters: Redwood City, California
Funding: $6.8 million

Juan Jaysingh, co-founder and CEO of ZeeMee
Source: ZeeMee
Juan Jaysingh, co-founder and CEO of ZeeMee

Students have long applied to colleges and universities with applications that are heavy on test scores and grades. While that's not necessarily wrong, the founders of ZeeMee believe it doesn't tell the whole story. This Redwood City, California-based company has created a platform that lets students bring their stories to life by uploading images, videos and photos of themselves to their ZeeMee profile. Colleges and universities that partner with ZeeMee — and there are more than 200, including Tulane, University of Delaware and Carnegie Mellon University — provide a space on their application for the ZeeMee link, or students can simply email their profile to the college they're applying to if it's not a partner school. The profiles can be uploaded online or on Android and iOS devices. So far, the company claims 13,000 high schools in 150 countries have used the platform.

Co-founder and CEO Juan Jaysingh, an Indian immigrant who won scholarships to Georgetown Prep and the American University, has called the current generation the Snapchat generation, meaning they're comfortable using images and videos to tell people about themselves. He built the platform with the help of college admissions leaders so that it is focused on the mission of getting into college and doesn't become just another social media outlet.

"We want to help every student get seen for who they really are. Therefore, we came up with SeeMee, but felt it was too cheesy. ZeeMee had a nice ring." -Juan Jaysingh, co-founder and CEO

Right now the admission service for students is free, but as the company grows — and students potentially stay on it throughout college — it plans to provide career and alumni services for a fee. ZeeMee has raised $6.8 million from BlueRun Ventures and Nima Capital.

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