How many broke English Lit grads end up on Inc. Magazine’s 30 Under 30 list?
We haven’t actually done the math, but Jordan Goldman is among them. Founder and CEO of Unigo.com, the idea for his business started taking shape way back when he was still a high school student looking for the right college.
True to form, Jordan was not content with the standard campus tour. A gifted student who could have his pick of schools, Jordan needed more than a whitewashed view of campus life. He wanted the real deal. So he got students from across the U.S. to email him describing what their schools were really like.
And he promptly turned those results into the best-selling “Students’ Guide to Colleges” guidebook series.
… Are you keeping up?
When he graduated college — after studying English Literature at Wesleyan and Oxford — Jordan didn’t, as he once planned, become a professional writer. Instead, he moved from New York sublet to sublet — a NY Times feature counted 16 different sublets in two years — divvying up Chinese takeout orders into 3 daily meals so he could pursue his REAL dream, launching Unigo.com, on the cheap.
His parents thought he was a little crazy. But sometimes crazy pays.
After Googling how to write a business plan, Goldman once again turned to asking around — a skill he excels at! — emailing over 500 Wesleyan alums for advice and maybe, funding. One, Frank Sica, took his pitch over eggs at a diner. (He’d later become the first investor in Unigo.com.)
Today, Unigo.com is one of the most comprehensive resources for would-be college students on the ‘net; it includes crowdsourced reviews, photos and even video from real students, who dish about everything from academics to which dorms are the best on campus. It also offers live 1-on-1 video sessions with students and pro admissions counselors, many of whom used to work at the likes of Columbia, MIT and Stanford.
Jordan’s formed strategic partnerships with media outlets from USA Today to The Wall Street Journal and has investors like McGraw-Hill Education. He’s also appeared as an education expert on ABC News, made the Inc. 30 Under 30 List AND was named “One of the Top 100 Young Entrepreneurs in America” by the White House.
And yes, he can officially afford to eat more than one takeout lunch a day.
This Thursday, September 20th at 3 PM EST, you’re invited to pick Jordan’s brain during an hour-long #StartupLab live chat presented by Citi. Find out what it’s like to start up with no business experience, raise money as a college grad, and what it takes to build a massive resource like Unigo.com, all before you hit 25.
Got questions for Jordan? We do too — bring them with you Thursday!