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Can Workvibe's video profiles attract new talent to the start-up scene?

Posted by Scott Kirsner  November 10, 2011 08:30 AM

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Start-up scenesters Alex Patriquin and Jon Pierce are behind a really worthy new project called Workvibe. The site will be home to a collection of video profiles of Boston-area companies like PerkStreet Financial, Backupify, and HubSpot.

The duo's main mission is to try to pull new talent into the start-up scene.

Pierce writes via e-mail:

In looking at the local startup ecosystem and how we could improve it, we converged on a few related challenges: our best startups are having trouble hiring the talent they need to grow; much of the talent we do have in Boston — in schools, out on 128, in interactive agencies downtown, etc. — is either unaware of, disconnected from, or has misconceptions about startups; collectively, we could do a much better job of celebrating our successes and projecting a positive, entrepreneurial culture; and last but not least, we absolutely must do a better job of retaining the talent we do have, particularly in our schools.

Pierce and Patriquin started working on the project in September. While they hope it'll have a good run, they don't aim to turn it into a business of its own. (They did accept a "modest fee" from each company featured to help cover production costs, Pierce says.)

Patriquin adds, "We do see an acute need in the marketplace for an evolution of the ways that companies recruit and portray themselves to candidates. That said, we’re just treating this as a community project currently and have no plans to turn it into a real start-up."

Other companies that will be featured on the site include EverTrue, which helps schools communicate with their alumni, and GrabCAD, which operates a marketplace for product design services.

Pierce is best known as the founder of the late, lamented Betahouse co-working space in Central Square, and a founding trustee of The Awesome Foundation. Patriquin worked most recently for Performable and HubSpot.

Here's the first video, focusing on the Boston financial services start-up PerkStreet:

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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