On The Cusp Of A Movement

Nxtfour is thrilled to announce our latest site development. Users can now take the content they have uploaded onto their Nxtfour profile and generate an automated resume that will display your photos, videos, and text descriptions in a professional format that can be printed or attached to a digital application. It’s quick, simple, yet an innovative way to showcase your talents and achievements to employers and colleges. There’s a movement in the higher education application process that’s gaining ground. It’s one that’s wiling to look at students more holistically, more genuinely, beyond test scores and transcripts.

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Michael Petronaci Joins Team As CTO

Nxtfour is excited to announce its newest team member, Michael Petronaci, who will join the Nxtfour team as CTO. Michael has worked as a Program Manager at Akamai Technologies as well as serving as an advisor to Select Electronics Corporation and Wordinaire. Michael has been a great addition to the Nxtfour team. Aside from his developing experience, Michael brings enthusiasm and several ideas for the future of Nxtfour to the table. Michael will lead the development of nxtfour.com, as Nxtfour begins to onboard high schools and students this fall.

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College Review Launch

Just some of the many schools that you can get reviews from.
Just some of the many schools that you can get reviews from.

Today we will be releasing the first of many college reviews from current students.  These will give prospective students real insight into what campus life is like at the college.  These will range anywhere from super professional and polished to hap-hazard and honest.  They are words straight from current students so forget all those other websites that can be misleading and stereotypical.  We will give you direct access to these schools and what they are all about through reviews, pictures and videos.

Moving Forward

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Dave Anderson from Supply Chain Ventures.

It’s been a few days since our last blog post but we are excited to give an update on what to expect in the coming months from nxtfour.  In the next few weeks we will be meeting with high schools, parents and students to demo our website and show them just how well nxtfour will complement their college application.  Nxtfour will be the place for students to upload content and credentials that will not only help them showcase themselves to colleges but also to potential high school jobs and other activities that may require a resume.  Our goal is for students to simply show potential employers, or anyone else, their nxtfour profile, which will serve as a 3D resume, ultimately a display of who they are.

We will also be enlisting the help of campus reps at different high schools.  They will be incentivized with nxtfour merchandise and even a little cash, but most importantly the experience of working with an early stage startup.  If you know any high school students looking for some experience in marketing and general business then feel free to email us at info@nxtfour.com.   

On the business side, we have met with some really outstanding individuals as of late.  Most notably, Dave Anderson of Supply Chain Ventures (see picture).  He is a Boston College alum class of 1973.  He is very influential in the biotech and supply chain startup space but is knowledgable in many other fields.  He provided us with invaluable advice and shared our vision.  Coming out of the meeting we have realized that there are two crucial and delicate tasks at hand: developing a strong business plan and a plan for customer acquisition.  Enough of the business talk…look out for nxtfour on twitter @nxtfour and on Instagram @nxtfour!

Development

The offices at Breakaway Ventures.  Met with Managing Director Max Seel to discuss Nxtfour.
The offices at Breakaway Ventures. Met with Managing Director Max Seel to discuss Nxtfour. One of our co-workers Jeff Parsons interned there this summer.

We are very excited to announce that some key, and much anticipated (by us at least!), features will be functioning on our website soon.  In addition to allowing students to create a 3D resume and showcase their abilities, they will soon be able connect with other students, message and receive notifications about activity on their profiles.  This will allow students to communicate with one another internally and share ideas and advice which may even lead to more student collaboration in high school!

We have been thinking about which features we will be implementing this fall and much of the decision depends on what kind of features high school students want to see.  For that reason nxtfour will be visiting high schools up and down the east coast in order to address the needs of both students and administration.  One feature that we are anticipating is the ability to generate your personal resume with just a click of a button.  More specifically, it will take the content that each student inputs into their profile and populate it into a clean resume which they can then print out and even use for a job application.

Nxtfour has been busy with many other tasks besides website development.  We have been meeting with VC firms, finalizing budgets, planning trips to high schools and even attended a few parties (see picture).  The summer flew by but we are just on the cusp of some of our best work.  We are excited for what the Fall holds and look forward to sharing it with everyone.  You may even begin to see some posts written by high school students themselves…

Learning

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Nxtfour with the other startups at the Soaring Startup Circle’s mid-summer mixer.

We just completed our second month in the Soaring Startup Circle and wanted to take a moment to share what we have accomplished, and learned, thus far.  The startup circle has allowed us to work with excellent mentors such as Tom Coburn from Jebbit and Dave McLaughlin from Vsnap. Both mentors have served as excellent advisors to Nxtfour, helping guide our team in the right direction.  Both mentors continue to connect us with others, expanding Nxtfour’s network presenting us with several opportunities. Learning from other entrepreneurs past experiences and making new connections has accelerated Nxtfour’s growth.  Besides the mentors in the startup circle, the city of Boston is filled with other entrepreneurs and people who are willing to go above and beyond to help. Boston presents young startups with several resources and veterans who are eager to help and share their experiences.

We have also enjoyed the fast paced nature of transforming a startup into a company. As we have learned from one of the startup circle’s guest speakers, Bijan Sabet of Spark Capital, “entrepreneurs have good hours and bad hours.” Every day is a new day where we are excited to wake up to check our emails and get in to work to continue to build Nxtfour. Whenever we face a problem, we see an opportunity to overcome a challenge and think outside of the box. Often times the solutions to these challenges lead us to even more excitement and opportunities. We also enjoy learning multiple facets of a business. Whether we are marketing, budgeting, building, or networking, we continue to learn different aspects of business that has forced us to learn quickly and manage our time efficiently.

We are excited for the next four weeks as we continue to work on launching and marketing Nxtfour to students as they are preparing to return to high school. As each day passes we grow more and more excited with our product and the value it will add to high school students across the country.

Showcase Yourself

After spending the week speaking with college admissions representatives, high school students and parents we thought it would be important to share some of our findings with current students and parents.  

We contacted admissions reps from Wofford and Washington and Lee, to name a few, and it became clear that college admissions believe there is value in a picture associated with an activity that an applicant may have participated in.  We posed simple open ended questions to engage in conversation regarding how accurately the common app, and other applications, convey student extracurriculars and who a student truly is.  If a student could provide just a snapshot from a service trip, an action shot from playing a sport or even pictures of an art portfolio then the admissions officer would have a better understanding of who that student is as a person.

As a result, we are encouraging high school students to create nxtfour profiles where they can showcase exactly who they are and what they have accomplished throughout high school.  They can use the platform as a way to catalog their four years of high school.  This will enable them to brainstorm for college essays with ease, as all of their activities are right in front of them, fresh in their mind.  College counselors will be able to review nxtfour profiles and get to know the student before they even come into their office.

Ultimately, if a college will accept a link from a student in their application then the student can submit their nxtfour link.  Nxtfour will, in turn, generate a one page summary of the student’s profile, accessible through the student provided link, which is able to encompass skills, accomplishments and activities in a much better way than a Facebook or other online platform can.