Organization Name: Handshake

Focus Area: Adult Learners
Region: United States
Sector: For Profit
Investment Year: 2018
Handshake is the leading career community for college students in America. They connect up-and-coming talent across all 50 states with 400,000+ employers recruiting on Handshake - from every Fortune 500 company to thousands of small businesses, nonprofits, startups, and more. Handshake is democratizing opportunity and ensuring college students have the support they need to find to find a great job and kick-off a meaningful career regardless of where they go to school, what they choose as a major, and who they know.

Why We Invested

Talent is distributed evenly, but opportunity is often not. For many students, finding an internship or job has largely depended on access to on-campus career counselors, the quantity and quality of campus recruiters, or personal networks that offer the right connections. These connections, especially for students with limited access to such networks — because they are older, have a child, or have to work to pay for their studies — it is critical to close this gap between talent and opportunity. Handshake’s innovative technology offers a solution to democratize access to high quality jobs and internships for all students.

What We've Learned

Providing equitable access to job and internship opportunities helps to level the playing field of opportunity for students. Employers are increasingly demanding a more diverse workforce. By giving students free access to the platform, Handshake is helping to level that playing field and providing employers access to a highly diverse population of students. Education is a key lever of individual empowerment and inter-generational mobility. Having the skills, competencies, and mindset one needs, and opportunity to use them, is what enables individuals to realize their full potential. While high-quality education can help close the achievement gap, platforms like Handshake can help close the opportunity gap and level the playing field for students.

My co-founders and I started Handshake because of the inequity we saw in students’ access to career opportunities. It's what drives us every day. And we've been lucky enough to build a team that is equally invested in this mission.
Garrett Lord, CEO, Handshake