Social Network Equals6 Secures $250,000 in Venture Capital Investment

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Halifax company enhancing its platform and developing new markets.

A Halifax company that has built a career development social networking platform for students is enhancing its product and developing new markets with an investment from the province.

Equals6 has secured $250,000 in venture capital financing from Innovacorp.

The company has launched an online career development community that connects students with employers. The site allows students to build a professional network, then helps them use it to enter the workforce and develop a career path.

"Innovative start-ups like Equals6 are vital to our economy," said Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Percy Paris. "This company provides a unique way for local employers to target students at our colleges and universities, engage them, hire them, and keep them working here, a priority of jobsHere, the plan to grow our economy."

Equals6 lets university, college, and high school students, as well as recent grads connect with employers, academic institutions and other students. Students build an online portfolio to showcase their goals, accomplishments and talents, and then network online with employers. Employers get to identify and recruit bright and motivated grads.

"Equals6 has developed a compelling offering that leverages the power of social networking with the very real challenge companies face in finding and engaging the best and brightest graduates looking to start a meaningful career," said Greg Phipps, Innovacorp's director of investment. "The platform bridges a gap between the purely social engagement offered by Facebook, and the more experienced, professional communities leveraged by LinkedIn."

More than 13,000 students from across North America have joined the Equals6 network, and the company has already secured 125 employers, including Atlantic Central Credit Unions, Nova Scotia Power, Bell Aliant and SimplyCast, as local examples. Universities and colleges looking to attract students to their programs are also using the site.

The site is free to students. Equals6 and corporate partners are offering scholarships to identify, engage and support top student talent. The company is also building an extensive online library of articles and videos that student members can access to learn about career development, academic topics and more. Students can also publish and share work with other Equals6 members.

Andy Osburn and Mark Boyle founded Equals6 last year with fellow technology entrepreneur Michael Sanderson. The team expects to add four employees in the next six months and target new markets in the U.S.

"Equals6 lets us engage students before they graduate, get to know them, and promote the benefits of working with Lixar. By the time we make the hiring decision, we know it's a great fit," said Emmanuel Florakas, president of Lixar IT, a technology company that develops web and mobile applications, integration and specialized design solutions, with offices in Halifax and Ottawa.

About Equals6 is a social network that helps students achieve their career and academic goals by connecting with employers, schools and scholarship opportunities. Employers and schools partner with Equals6 to identify and recruit top-talent students.

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