Made In Austin career fair matches technology start-ups with students

Local tech start-ups want to keep as much homegrown talent in town as possible.
So they created Made In Austin, a job fair that matches area students with start-ups looking for technology talent.
The first event, featuring 100 tech companies and more than 500 registered students, took place Tuesday night at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center downtown.
The 3-hour job fair, which started at 6 p.m., drew a big crowd of students, some guys dressed in suits and ties, others wearing hoodies, jeans and polo shirts and some women in sweater dresses and knee-high boots.
The event organizers banned swag like free T-shirts, stickers and other giveaways. The crowd munched on pizza bagels and brownies and drank ice tea.
Jacqueline Hughes, founder of Austin Start-up Week, organized the event along with Joshua Baer, head of the Capital Factory and OtherInbox. Other organizers included Campus2Careers and other start-up companies. Large companies like American Express, Dell and Rackspace sponsored the tech meet-up.
At the OtherInBox table, Baer, CEO, had already collected several resumes and talked with lots of people. Baer has hired from local universities to fill openings at his start-up in the past. In fact, OtherInBox’s lead product developer started out as an intern when he was a student at St. Edward’s University.
“It’s worked really well for us,” Baer said. “ I love hiring really great experienced people. I also like hiring inexperienced passionate people who I can teach.”
Luke Carriere, who just founded Approachab.ly a few weeks ago at 3 Day Start-up Weekend San Antonio, had a place at a table recruiting Android and iPhone developers, Bluetooth and Near Field Communication specialists. He was also looking for marketers and sales staff.
“I’m looking for business majors who might be able to help me with market research,” Carriere said.
Events like Made In Austin help Carriere network and make connections that eventually help to further his business, he said. At a mobile conference a few weeks ago, he met a guy who has joined him to become technical co-founder of his start-up.
“What’s been amazing is meeting people who want to help you by opening up their rolodexes,” he said.
The event provided an opportunity to recruit young talent, said Ramin Jahedi, CEO and founder of CaniSolutions, restaurant consultants. He runs the start-up FindWaiters.com.
“Our market is just exploding,” Jahedi said. Early on during the evening, he had already collected a few resumes and talked with several people.
Patrick Mizer at SpareFoot also talked to a lot of students and planned to follow up with a few of them following the fair.
“We are looking to hire some young engineering talent,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of success hiring engineers in their last year of college.”
Kevin Chu, a junior majoring in management information systems at the University of Texas, attended the fair to find a Spring internship.
“Start-ups give you the opportunity to learn more,” he said. “They’re small so you can do a variety of jobs.”
Linda Ye, a junior majoring in management information systems, was also looking for a Spring internship with a start-up. She already has a summer internship set up with a large company.
“Austin is a start-up city,” Ye said. “Start-ups tend to be more flexible with hours. They are also able to teach you a lot. Start-ups fit me the best right now.”

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