Paragon One cover feature

Paragon One

Simplifying the path from college to career
$103,345 Raised
Ended January 1st
398 Investors
High Growth
According to the SEC, this company has grown their revenue 242% in the past fiscal year.

  • Platform helping college students land jobs through coaching and connections
  • 97% of users have successfully landed jobs or internship offers
  • 240% annual growth from 2016 to 2017
  • Led by MIT-trained serial entrepreneurs with 3 exits
  • Backed by Learn Capital, University Ventures, and Foundation Capital
  • Y Combinator W17 batch alumni

Students are struggling to land jobs. But they're taking home $1.5 trillion in debt.

Our higher education system leaves students with $1.5 trillion in student loan debt, but only a trace of their tuition is funneled into career placement services. According to The Atlantic Monthly, only 17% of students found their school’s career office to be very helpful.  

Roughly 85% of freshmen said getting a good job was a major reason they went to college, and roughly 60% weighted a college’s ability to help them do so when deciding where to attend. This contrasts sharply with the priorities of universities. For instance, U.S. News and World Report considers seven factors when ranking a school. But none of them relate to job placement or employability.  

In addition, curriculums are designed in an academic vacuum. As a result, companies encounter computer science graduates who can’t program, liberal arts graduates who can’t write, and a general population of students who are clueless about how to behave in an interview or write an effective email.  And some of them spend as much as $200,000 for their degree.

Paragon One's new CareerMapper – 
taking students from career guidance to job offers.

Paragon One’s CareerMapper 1.0 is a multi-step software-driven process. It systematically takes students through a process that progresses from receiving career guidance, to learning how to source interviews, to learning how to ace interviews. Along the way, CareerMapper 1.0 gives students access to career coaches, crowdsourced advice from over 500 industry insiders at top companies, and tools to track progress toward landing an offer.

How it Works
What you get

The Results:

With the help of CareerMapper’s  advisor network, coaches, improved application materials, and professional network, our students and graduates have landed internships and jobs at:

Growing 240% year-over-year.

Paragon One generated $120K in revenue in its first full year (2016) and $425K in revenue last year (2017), all before the official launch of CareerMapper 1.0.

  • 240% year-over-year growth
  • 97% of students receive jobs or internship offers
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) > Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) as a  % of CLTV on the decline (meaning our cost to acquire a customer is yielding a better Return on Investment)
  • Partnerships in the pipeline with higher education institutions, online university program managers, and international student pathway companies

Paragon One is Trusted by Students from Around the Globe


Two Main Product Offerings from CareerMapper 1.0

Business Model

We will soon offer financing and scholarship options for students who meet certain criteria with the option of paying back tuition from their first year salary. This is part of our long-term vision of bringing Paragon One to a wider network of students in the US and around the globe.

Students can also purchase a trial version of CareerMapper for $295.

Our gross margin on delivery of the product is 80% after factoring in hourly time for coaching and advising. The margin after factoring in time the coach and operational team spend servicing a student internally is ~65%.  

Our contribution margin after taking out customer acquisition cost is ~20%.  Our net profit margin is currently negative due to investment in technology and operational processes.

Later in 2018, we will launch CareerMapper 2.0 to bring crowdsourced advisor and coach feedback to students’ application materials at a price that will be more accessible to higher education institutions.

The US Job Training and Career Counseling Market is a $15 Billion Opportunity

Our Total Addressable Market of nearly $3 billion within this opportunity includes 6M students graduating each year from higher ed institutions and 3.5M white collar workers in their 20’s who want to switch jobs each year.  


The Landscape is Ready for Career Mapping

Until now, there have been four categories of career services solutions for students: job boards (WayUp), career services software (Handshake, Grad Leaders), career development content (The Muse), and mentor marketplaces (Evisors, LinkedIn). Career Mapping is a new category, created by Paragon One.

Career Mapping solutions deliver a student or recent graduate all the way to a job offer. Unlike other categories, Career Mapping is based on a multi-step process, which systematically moves students from receiving career guidance through to learning how to source interviews, and finally to learning how to ace interviews.

It’s ambitious, and it’s working.

What’s different about Career Mapping?


We are backed by:

The next chapter of Paragon One’s growth includes servicing higher education institutions, university program managers, and international student pathway companies.

Paragon One is in discussion with a number of B2B2C and B2B partners as CareerMapper becomes ready to service institutions.

On track to launch CareerMapper v.2.0 by Q4 of 2018

Version 1.0 was a success: We’ve collected a lot of valuable customer feedback with our early adopters, 98% of whom are international students studying in American universities.  CareerMapper v2.0 will launch later in 2018.

on track

We will use funding to hire additional engineers to accelerate our product roadmap and additional business development professionals to accelerate our collaboration with institutions in 2019.

Our Story

Dear potential supporter,

I’ve been passionate about mentorship and career coaching for over a decade.  Starting at MIT (where I met Co-Founder & CTO, Byron Hsu), I helped launch a student-alumni mentorship organization that is still growing today.  In my first job out of college, investment banking, I developed tendonitis in my hands.  I thought my career was over since an investment banking analyst who can’t type is pretty useless.  So I began to sit next to the interns and coach them on doing their jobs better.  Over the summer, I brought the full-time offer rate of interns from below 50% to 100%, so I did the same thing for the first-year analysts.  The experience stuck with me.  After working in VC and co-founding a luxury e-commerce marketplace,, I turned my attention to bringing career coaching to college students and recent graduates.  
Our mission became not just helping students land jobs, but to teach college students how to fish for themselves.  Universities imply that students should just show up to career fairs and apply to online job boards.  This is how students end up with just a “job” and not a career, wondering years later how they ended up where they are.  We all know that launching a great career takes a great amount of research, mentorship, tenacity, and the right connections.  Most students don’t have access to the right resources, or the right guidance that teaches them how to carve their own path.  

I’m excited for our team to continue the journey as we begin to formally work with higher education institutions.

Our 10 Year Vision

We're creating an entirely new way for students to get jobs. We call it Career Mapping.  If we keep doing our job right, we'll look back and wonder why we ever taught students the old way of finding jobs at all — by going to career fairs and applying to online job boards in the dark.

In the future, students will truly be able to build their professional networks in a real and helpful way. And Paragon One will evolve way beyond transactional solutions such as LinkedIn. In contrast, we’ll provide a micro-community of experts that surrounds a student and truly wants to help, driven by advisors and coaches who are incentivized by a student’s success. Many other solutions will be trying to build their own communities by that point, but we'll have the strongest one in which colleges and alumni networks are brought in to turbocharge their own students’ success. College career offices can become 10x more amazing with this type of approach and technology. We will have learned best how to create the right kind of micro-community to help a student, and that's how students will get jobs most effectively.


Co-Founder & CEO

Join us in transforming how students land jobs!

The educational system today has failed students badly. Together, we can give young people access to expert guidance and, ultimately, the chance to realize their potential, building lives and careers they can be proud of. I invite you to join us. - Matt

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