Startups pride themselves on thinking outside of the box, and Tuesday’s first annual Cville Startup Career Fair was no exception. Featuring a DJ and local food vendors like Grit Coffee and Got Dumplings, the fair connected UVA students and community members to a diverse group of more than 30 companies. Resumes were exchanged over bottles of Caribe juice or pulled pork sandwiches, allowing participants to relax and hold real conversations with potential employers. Even the casual, high energy atmosphere reflected the character of startups.
Companies and students agreed that the startup fair had something special. “Traditional career fairs suck,” said Andy Page, HackCville‘s programs manager. “You hand your resume to a large corporate employer where it automatically gets lost in a pile. In a more casual environment, employers got the chance to have conversations with students and really get to know them.”
As growing numbers of U.Va. students seek entrepreneurial work, Charlottesville has quickly become a thriving community for startups– many of the companies featured at the fair were founded by or employed U.Va. alumni. Working to connect student talent to fast-growing Charlottesville startups, HackCville collaborated with the U.Va. Career Center, CBIC, and Tom Tom Founders Festival to host the fair. “We see the fair as an important step forward in connecting students to the impactful startup careers in our own community,” said Daniel Willson, alumni relations manager for HackCville.