Pittsburghs Suitable Startup Story
Pittsburghs Suitable startup story begins with an introduction to our company, an explanation of how everything started, and some of the recognition our company has received in a short period of time.
It is important to note that the company is formerly known as MeshNet. This is important because as we detail how things got started you will see the MeshNet name used often. Now, to take it all the way back to the start when my triplet brother, Dominic, and I started working on this company. It was the summer after our Sophomore year at the University of Pittsburgh and we had been throwing around the idea of trying to start our own business. This idea was largely influenced by the success of our Uncle Vinny, who ended his college education prematurely to pursue his own metal parts business, which has grown to be a very successful medical device production company, Axial Medical. Our mother and father were always supportive of our ambitions to do this, so we decided to take the next step that summer and whittle down our list of ideas, weighing the opportunity cost of possibly foregoing our future careers to pursue this company.
It was during that process of determining and analyzing the value of our future entry level career opportunities that we, in fact, arrived at the strongest business idea to pursue. We realized that Pitt does a tremendous job of structuring our academic development from the moment we enter college, letting us know what classes we are going to take, what the classes were going to teach, when we were going to take them, providing support to make sure we succeed in these classes, etc., but what we believe to be missing is a similar structure for our career development the moment we enter college, thus MeshNet was born.
Originally, MeshNet was going to be a software program meant to help students figure out what career was right for them. We took this idea to competitions (Big Idea Competition) and incubators (Thrill Mill and AlphaLab) around town, to eventually raise over $50,000 in our first year. Besides the cash, which was undoubtedly necessary for us to get things going, it was the education, knowledge, support, and network of those organizations that allowed us to obtain our first few pilot customers (i.e. Pitt Business, Community College of Allegheny County, and Dick’s Sporting Goods) and helped us articulate how big this business could be in both impact and dollars.
With successful pilot programs soon coming to a close, we are focused on gaining commercial traction and raising enough money to scale both the business and technology to the next level. In doing so, we have rebranded to Suitable (notice the pun on “Suit” and “Able”), where we have now built an online platform that helps college students chart a career path to the best internships and entry level jobs upon graduation. In addition to the people, customers, and money that we have backing our company – it is also absolutely critical to mention the amount of support we have received from the community. The exposure we’ve gotten from Mayor Bill Peduto to CBS – KDKA, NextPittsburgh, Post-Gazette, and the Business Times goes to show the spirit of Pittsburgh’s evolving entrepreneurial community.
Be sure to stay tuned and don’t hesitate to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to help out!
Mark Visco Jr, CEO