21 Apr 2016
Yellow Brick Road

Yellow Brick Road creates a clear pathway to economic opportunity for community college students. Team members: Ananth Kasturiraman (MBA 2017), Victoria Chen, Kate Stephens (MBA 2017)

How did the idea for your company come about?

Our three founders met at the Harvard Education Hackathon in March 2016. We all wanted to work on projects related to higher education and student outcomes, and as we started sharing our interests we converged on an idea to create a better career advising and job application experience for community college students.

What does your company do? How is it distinct in its product/service category?

Yellow Brick Road provides community college students with clear career pathways to employment and economic opportunity. We are the only solution that provides end-to-end student support, from the time a student enrolls in community college to the point when they graduate to join the workforce.

Where do you hope to take it in the future?

We believe Yellow Brick Road has the potential to transform the way students, higher education institutions, and employers interact with one another. We believe there is a huge opportunity and need for our solution! While we plan to start off in Boston, we hope that this solution is one that can scale in the future to support the 12.3M community college students nationwide.

How has your time at HBS influenced your efforts on your company?

Being at HBS has provided our team with great access -- access to other entrepreneurs, alums, businesses in the local area, professors and more. These people have given us time and invaluable advice. Our classmates too have pushed us and our idea further than we might have been able to alone. At the same time, they have been a source of support at every step of this journey.

Any advice you’d offer to other young entrepreneurs?

Find people to work with who are just as passionate about the idea as you are -- it doesn’t matter where the idea came from as much as you are all intensely focused on pushing it (and each other) to a better outcome.

And don’t take yourselves (or your idea) too seriously. If it’s not fun, this whole “starting a business” thing is an awful lot harder.

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