One Cool Thing: Upstart


One of the minor signs of professional accomplishment is that dreaded moment where some enterprising young person asks career advice. Often one has to balance between the practical (pursue a typical corporate gig to pay off student debt?) and the promise (start something new, and eat a lot of ramen?). But there may be another way.  A group of former Googlers have started Upstart, a funding platform for human capital.

Upstart’s founders noticed that too many talented college grads take jobs (or degrees) they’re not excited about, rather than following their true passion. The safe choice too often preempts the interesting one, and promising ideas and ventures never get off the ground.

Upstart allows recent college graduates, to raise capital for a share of future income. And for people looking to help tomorrow’s startup superstars, it provides the security of investing in people — personal income is less volatile than stocks, and unlike investing in a startup company (where you get nothing if it goes belly-up), you are more likely to see some return. And it might be better advice for someone’s future than, um, plastics.