Spring 2017 – Newsletter 1

Dear ShortList Friends, Mentors and Supporters,

ShortList is making progress and we’d like to share where we are. We are grateful for your interest and support.

Remind me, What is ShortList?

ShortList is a double-sided platform helping veterans transitioning from the military with job interview prep by connecting them with experienced interviewers so that they can nail that interview through repeated practice and feedback, resulting in step function growth. Positive Impact is our goal. Read further to see the impact we’ve already made!

ShortList News

January 30th, 2017 was a true milestone; ShortList completed its first Proof-of-Concept. With the help of close to 20 volunteers from Boston to Oregon and New Hampshire to Texas we modeled the ShortList 1-on-1 mock interview experience. Although this round was run from an excel spreadsheet rather than a smooth, double-sided platform, it was both highly informative and very exciting:

What we learned and how we benefited from PoC1:

  1. We went from an idea to the concept stage.
  2. We were able to confirm that, yes, this could work and, yes, it can make a positive impact on veterans (and eventually others).
  3. We found some bumps in the road that we now have on our radar.
  4. We were able to have lots of questions prepared for our Patriot Boot Camp accelerator experience.

What’s happened since you last heard from us?

Patriot Boot Camp – Pete and I had an impactful experience at Patriot Boot Camp (1) listening to presentations by entrepreneurs, (2) pitching to and getting feedback from entrepreneurial mentors and (3) participating in an amazing network of veterans. For my veteran friends on this distribution, if you’re thinking of a start-up, look into Patriot Boot Camp. Congratulations to Pete for qualifying us for the Patriot Book Camp Pitch Finals. Pete and I walked away feeling inspired and energized about ShortList…and slightly intimidated (which we see as a good thing!). To learn more about Patriot Boot Camp (partnered with Techstars and USAA) please go to PatriotBootCamp.org.

Proof-of-Concept 1A at the University of Rhode Island – After our PoC, two of our volunteers asked us to help with a mock interview event at the University of Rhode Island’s Theta Tau Engineering Fraternity. We completed this PoC1A last Saturday. We were able to use this as a follow-on Proof-of-Concept, exploring another market and getting feedback across an entirely different set of interviewEEs and interviewERs. The feedback has, again, been immensely valuable. (Thanks to recent URI Engineering grads, MikeZ and Gabe). Examples of data that we gathered:

  • Value of service (100% said it had high value)
  • “Willingness to pay” distribution
  • Price sensitivity
  • Identified possible ShortList interview hiresPete and I are both committed to creating a positive impact with this start-up. We’re going to be looking at ways that we can do that on both a small scale and a large scale. Right now our impact is kind of small, but it’s already there, and this has us really excited. For example-

Positive Impact

  • During our PoC, one of our interviewees was asked to interview for a job with one of our interviewer’s companies. Whoa! Positive impact! Boom!
  • As mentioned, the PoC resulted in PoC1A at URI where we were able to provide 3 interviews for each of 23 budding engineers (69 mock interviews in 5 hours). My husband had an accidental fly-on-the-wall view of the student interviewees as they returned to the waiting room between interviews. He said that there was so much energy around what they learned and what they were going to try that you could have knocked him over with a feather. Boom! Another positive impact.

MVP Development Never forget the importance of your network! A colleague from our network, Michael Brown of Ascend Integrated, offered us an opportunity to bounce our concept off of him. Much thanks to Michael! He has pointed us in the direction of using Balsamiq to wireframe the doublesided platform to take this past concept. Pete and I have been working on this and we’re close to having an mvp (minimum viable product). I have to admit, it’s really a lot of fun to use Balsamiq. Now we just need to find a developer (and funds to support a developer).

Next Steps – Well, there are MANY next steps but we’re ready to face them head on. For example:

  • Continuing to locate a grant opportunity to fund the early stages of this start-up for transitioning veterans. We are hoping that since we make an interesting pair (a veteran co-founder and a woman co-founder) with an interesting focus (transitioning veterans) there might be an opportunity for a grant. Finding a grant would be a cause for celebration because it would be an awesome way to bring on a developer – if anyone knows of anything, we’re all ears!
  • With funding, pin down a developer to help get our minimum viable product operational.
  • Finding the road to access the vets – We have really confirmed the value of this to our returning/transitioning vets. Patriot Boot Camp gave us some ideas to gain access to them and now we have to jump in and see if it will work, for example, reaching out to major opportunity areas – bases/posts; conferences; recruiters; companies; social networks
  • Wrapping our arms around the interviewER side of the double-sided marketplace. We have many ideas here, including accessing re-entering moms (and dads), retired, underemployed, as well as affinity groups. However, locating and marketing to them feels more ambiguous now that we’re past the PoC and thinking through next steps. We’re already working on getting meetings with Werk and iRelaunch.Thank you and talk to you all soon,Pat Hubbell and Pete Sukits

We’re grateful for your support and interested in your thoughts. Do you have suggestions? Do you have questions? Please send them to us. We’re all ears.

Pat & Pete