Today we spoke with Adam Alpert, creator of the Pangea App which allows college students to offer their skills or services to the local community. Listen in to see how pivoting your brand’s identity can ultimately be the best decision for you.
Adam Alpert: [00:00:01] Pangea is reimagining the way that companies find and work with students.
Sam: [00:00:30] In a challenging economic and campus atmosphere, how do college students find gig work?
Sam: [00:00:37] Adam Alpert is a recent graduate of Brown University and he’s the co-founder and CEO of Pangea, a mobile platform designed to cultivate and inspire the next generation of freelancers. Pangea’s app allows college students to offer their skills or services to the local community and it first went live in the fall of 2017. Adam, welcome to Ideamix radio.
Adam Alpert: [00:01:01] It’s a pleasure to be here.
Sam: [00:01:02] So, Adam, tell us in your words, what is Pangea?
Adam Alpert: [00:01:05] Pangea is reimagining the way that companies find and work with students. When you think about today how we’re helping connect companies with their talent pipelines and their next teammates, it isn’t designed for the majority of us. If you’re a Fortune 500 company and you have recruiters and you have a massive budget, you can go campus by campus and that becomes the lifeblood of your pipeline. But if you’re not a Fortune 500 and you’re what we call the Fortune five million, we need to find more cost effective, fast hire ways to connect with really amazing candidates more proactively and bring them on to your team in a way that works for you today while setting you up for the future.
And similarly for students, we have an obligation to make sure that we’re doing everything possible to help individuals in school get the real world experience they need so that they can find a job when they graduate. And that’s exactly what we do.
Sam: [00:02:08] That’s a fantastic mission. And I love what you said about the five million, but the Fortune five million, because traditionally it’s been very hard for small and midsize businesses to access high quality recruits and as you said, have the opportunity to work with them on a project based or freelance basis, which is often just the stage of development that these companies are at before they think about hiring someone full time.
Adam Alpert: [00:02:36] Exactly right. We view freelancing as a really powerful new mechanism through which companies can work with students on a part-time and also remote basis with the ultimate goal of those engagements growing into potentially a full time role.
Sam: [00:02:52] Fabulous. The number of employed eighteen to twenty four year olds fell by 25-30% during the pandemic. How has your approach to what you’re building and how you’re building it at Pangea changed as a result of 2020 and all the implications of the pandemic?
Adam Alpert: [00:03:12] Well, a number of things have changed for us as the need for our platform has grown significantly in the last year. One thing that changed for us is the fact that all of our engagements became remote very quickly and freelancing has always been something that that generally could be done remotely. So our platform was well situated to start supporting remote engagements. That’s number one. The second thing we started to see was maybe the employer starts off on a five hour week engagement with the student. But what we saw is that a lot of the engagements we were setting up started to turn into more ongoing roles as opposed to a short term task or project. Oftentimes those projects or tasks led to a more ongoing relationship between the employer and the student, and that ultimately brought more value to the employer. They spend less time bringing in new people and a lot more value to the student. The longer the engagement, the more they get out of it. And it’s helped our business grow quite tremendously.
Sam: [00:04:12] Interesting. What do you think accounted for these businesses wanting to work with more college students and as you said, on more of a medium-term basis rather than simply a project basis?
Adam Alpert: [00:04:28] I think that with covid, companies, time horizons shrunk drastically. All of a sudden it wasn’t so easy to plan for 12 or 18 months or sometimes six months or maybe even next month. So it’s hard to make a commitment to a full time employee or a 40 hour week intern. And we saw a lot of employers that, hey, they still were looking for ways to stay alive and to grow their businesses. And the opportunity to work with someone on a more contingent basis was attractive. It was the lower commitment, the lower risk, the more flexible nature of the engagement and how they can grow over time. That’s how business needed to start operating this past year. And that’s exactly the type of engagement that we support.
Sam: [00:05:13] You started Pangea Adam, while you were still in college in 2016, along with your co-founder. Tell us about the initial concept that underpinned Pangea as you guys got started.
Adam Alpert: [00:05:27] So when I was an undergraduate, I was a freelance videographer, one of my first passions in life was making fun movies back when I was in middle school and into high school. And it became a really big piece of my identity. So when I arrived here in Providence for my freshman year, I basically took every single production class that Brown had to offer in the first year. And I was looking for ways outside the classroom to apply those particular skill sets. But I found that traditional internships didn’t really align with my skill sets as a content producer and a marketer. And on the other side of the spectrum, we had on campus jobs, which also didn’t utilize my unique high quality skill sets. So I found this opportunity from a need from the student side to find the where the part time remote, more freelancing opportunities where I could take my particular skills and use them to create value for for companies, and at the time, individuals who weren’t part of the Fortune five hundred are offering an internship program. And in the early days that idea went and extended to every single possible thing a student could conceivably offer, freelance videographer being one, but then also things such as tutoring, selling items, doing dog walking deliveries. It got me, as a young entrepreneur tends to be, very excited and thinks about all the things that they could possibly solve in the world. And it got very broad very quickly. And we ended up initially building more of a Craigslist, so to speak, where people could offer anything under the sun. And that’s what we did. Our first product we brought to market in 2017 – that was that. And it didn’t work. We learned a lot.
Adam Alpert: [00:07:23] We had to pivot and ultimately we focused on the thing that was getting traction and that was the freelance engagements that were the thing that got me initially excited.
Sam: [00:07:33] Lots of super important learnings there. From the beginning, you decided to base yourselves out of Providence, and that was unusual compared to many entrepreneurs who feel that being in a typical startup destination is essential. You’re also involved with the Rhode Island Coalition of Entrepreneurs, which has been working to make the entrepreneurial community more accessible, both to one another as well as to the broader, broader community. Tell us about the logic behind starting Pangea and staying in Providence, as well as your engagement with this broader group of entrepreneurs in Rhode Island.
Adam Alpert: [00:08:18] It’s a fantastic question and it’s kind of a philosophy or understanding that’s evolved over time. In the early days, starting in Providence was simply the logical thing to do. It was a familiar ecosystem, a familiar place. It was close to Boston. It was close to New York. At the time, we were a highly targeted college marketplace where both the sellers and the platform, as well as the buyers, were also college students. So Brown being the university that we had the most connection to, it seemed obvious that we would start here. And Rhode Island more broadly, 10 percent of the population is college students. Interestingly enough, we have 12 really incredible world class colleges and universities in the state. So we said, hey, if it can work anywhere, it’s going to work here. And this is where we should start. And the thing that initially got us really moving was getting accepted into the Brown University Breakthrough Lab, which is the summer accelerator program that they run. And that gave us a small grant and it gave us a little bit of structure, about eight weeks of runway to when we graduated to give it a go. And that’s what got us landed here. And within the first three to six months, and particularly after the program ended, I got connected to a couple of individuals here in the Rhode Island community. L.B. Brown was one of whom he was Brown University class of 2016 and had preceded me and started a company and worked on it for a year in Providence and to connect me with one other person. And that was Pat Sabbatino, as well as Pat Brown, who has become a customer of ours and our longstanding customer that we have. And it was with Pat Sabbatino that I got connected with the broader ecosystem. And he was the one who created this Rhode Island coalition of entrepreneurs, which I was happy to support as an associate director. And with that, we were bringing together all the CEOs and co-founders of Rhode Island and trying to get us on the same page and, showing everyone that, hey, you’re not alone. Entrepreneurship is a lonely, lonely journey, and Rhode Island certainly has not had the same depth of an ecosystem as Silicon Valley or New York or Boston. And we all love Rhode Island for our own reasons. We all wanted to be able to be successful here. And a key piece of that is having a community of fellow entrepreneurs around you. That became our mission to be the catalyst of entrepreneurial development and ecosystem in Rhode Island. Over time, we’ve been happy to pass the torch off to the Rhode Island Innovation Hub, RI hub, which is now a state funded hub where entrepreneurs come together in a physical space in the new Cambridge Innovation Center, which is downtown in Providence. We’ve seen some really incredible developments in Rhode Island and in Providence since I got started in 2017. Part of the reason it’s been exciting to build a company here is it feels that every single step forward for Pangea is a step forward for the ecosystem. And us being successful can lead to other founders being successful here. And it feels like a snowball rolling down, rolling down a hill, rolling down a college hill and picking up more snow as we go along.
It’s really exciting to be a part of something that’s larger than Pangea and really impactful for the community.
Sam: [00:11:49] Such an important mission that you’re helping fulfill and as you said, it’s been so personally gratifying for you to be building Pangea alongside being a very integral part of this ecosystem, but also extending it and making it available to so many more people.
Adam, you and your team made a key strategic pivot in 2019. Tell us about the before and after.
Adam Alpert: [00:12:18] Happy to. So I alluded to it a bit earlier, but when we started out, the first products we brought to market was called PangeaMart, and it was a marketplace where students can offer services, they could provide goods and they could request things from each other. But it was multifaceted and multi vertical, everything from low-end services to high end skills. And we were trying to do a bit of everything for the first really 18 months since we launched it. And we were learning a lot. But ultimately we found that we had a marketplace where students were the providers, but students were also the buyers. And we found that students were oftentimes challenging customers. They were really cost sensitive. They didn’t oftentimes see a need to pay for things, especially things that they could use GrubHub or Seamless or Uber for. We were seeing all these other marketplaces in the on demand economy kind of pop up around us. But where we did start to see some traction was around some of the higher end services, things where I needed to hire someone to do photos. I need to hire someone who can help me out with a video and things like that, which were higher value from a transactional perspective and then also more impactful for the students, because when we sat down with the students, we asked them what was really important. All of them had not really cared so much about making an extra 40 bucks a week running deliveries. But what they’re all concerned about was, hey, what am I going to do when I graduate?
Sam: [00:13:54] It’s about the experience.
Adam Alpert: [00:13:56] Yeah, how am I going to build a resume? And as a company ourselves, this at this point, fully out of college. We were looking to build our own team. We had some cash, but not that much. We had raised some initial investment, but it wasn’t enough to pay anyone salaries, but it was enough to pay some contractors here and there. And we were looking to bring on students as ambassadors to help us with social media, to help us with design and engineering all the roles you need to fill in a startup. And we wanted to work with students because we knew they were highly capable and we wanted to build relationships with people that might join our team full time some day when we were ready to hire. But when we tried going through the traditional channels – Handshake and the career centers – every single career center had different requirements and 90 percent of them wouldn’t let us even post a job on their board. And they take student security very seriously. But we were getting swept up in an early stage promising start up out of Brown and not even we could get into the universities. And I can’t imagine how many other employers have encountered that same thing. So we started reaching into our own database of students who had signed up for little gigs, doing deliveries and photography and stuff like that. And it was through that mechanism that we started hiring our own team. And then I had my fellow members of the Rhode Island coalition saying, hey, you use Pangea to hire photographers, hire social media people? I would like to use it for the same thing. And I at a certain point, I got tired of saying, oh, no, sorry, the only people who can hire students are other students. And it dawned on us that actually the real customers were not students, but rather companies that were looking to bring in talent into their organizations. And they liked the directness of the platform that we had created. And the time to match was superior to going through traditional channels. That was what we ultimately navigated in early 2019 was a pivot away from this Craigslist delivery model to a freelance marketplace. And with that we applied into Mass Challenge, which is an accelerator program started in Boston. But now the new programs all over the world, including as an exotic place, Providence. And we got accepted. That was really validating for us in terms of talking about the pivot. Then we found our first real customers in that program in our cohort. And that was what got us really moving – that was last summer.
Sam: [00:16:26] That’s really great. It’s both as a startup, exciting, but also time consuming to apply to accelerator and incubator programs. You were both part of the Brown incubator as well as the mass accelerator. Tell us a little about that. As you said, there were several benefits that came out clearly of the mass accelerator in terms of both sharpening your focus, but also finding that initial set of customers to validate the pivot. Tell us a little bit about that process.
Adam Alpert: [00:17:06] I think the process itself is invaluable, and pretty much any entrepreneur who has an opportunity to participate in a good accelerator should. Not neither B Lab nor Mass Challenge took any equity. There was really no downside besides taking a little bit of time, but the process of applying to Mass challenge was phenomenal because every step of the way through the written application and the in-person interviews, the judge, you get access to the judge’s feedback. So if you’re working on an idea, the most valuable thing you can do before you have a product is to get feedback on the idea ideally from customers, but also from fellow entrepreneurs and business professionals, because they can help you figure out the parts of the idea that maybe need some more work. And we actually had applied to Mass challenge three times before getting in. And in the early days, we thought we were too good to be an accelerator. We were kind of above it. I remember even as an undergraduate, not even being entirely convinced to apply to B lab, you know, and there was really no good reason not to. Besides, for a bit of hubris and and maybe my ego being like I could, I could be successful without it. And maybe that could have been true. I’m not sure. I highly doubt that we would be where we are today without any of the programs we’ve participated in. And we’ve actually now done three accelerators before this year. We also did Social Enterprise Greenhouse, which is another accelerator down here in Providence, and that was after B Lab and before Mass Challenge and a social impact focused accelerator. I find that the process is invaluable, putting your ideas to paper and then the programs themselves provide a level of accountability that when you’re totally on your own and reliant on self-discipline is just you could be the most disciplined person in the world. But if there’s no one watching you or holding your face in the fire you’re missing out and with mass challenge, in particular being in a cohort of other really motivated entrepreneurs who are at a similar stage to some who are a little bit ahead, some of it a little bit behind. It’s really motivating. And I mentioned earlier that entrepreneurship is a lonely journey. So finding a community of like minded individuals who have also taken a leap off a cliff and are building planes on the way down, as Reid Hoffman likes to say, is really motivating and important for your mental psyche. All these programs really help to accelerate us and help us kind of move the flag down the field, each in their own unique but significant ways. And we wouldn’t be where we are today without B Lab SEG or Mass Challenge.
Sam: [00:19:54] Thanks for sharing that. It’s super important, I think, as you were outlining, to create this feedback loop and the discipline of putting your ideas on paper and gathering feedback and iterating with a group of experienced individuals so that you’re made to think much more critically about your idea. I think the journey of gaining the humility of entrepreneurship is equally important because often entrepreneurs need a degree of arrogance and self belief to undertake building the ideas they have. But alongside that, a healthy dose of humility is hugely beneficial.
Adam Alpert: [00:20:38] Yeah, just to expand on that, I feel that I’ve met so many early stage entrepreneurs who are so protective of their idea and they think that their idea, as they’ve ideated it and mapped it out, is the greatest thing ever. And it’s for sure going to work. But it’s kind of easy to sit there in your head and make it work when you’re taking a shower in the morning, it’s a lot harder to put it to paper and communicate it to others. And it’s a really critical part of the process. I wish I knew – the numbers are way too high – but the number of people who have an idea but never take a step to make it real, I think is a real tragedy of entrepreneurship. I think that accelerators can give you an avenue to safely start sharing that idea and be with fellow individuals who you can share that idea with and they can share with you what they’re working on and you can provide them guidance as well. So if you have an idea like the ideamix podcast, I highly encourage you to apply to one of these programs, because just the process of applying and writing things down will help you figure things out more clearly for yourself.
Sam: [00:21:46] Couldn’t agree more. Let’s shift gears a little bit. One of the challenges of building a marketplace is that you need to focus on both the supply and demand side at the same time. Tell us about how you thought about that and how you executed on building out both sides and what were some of the challenges and learnings?
Adam Alpert: [00:22:10] Yeah, I think one thing that we’ve learned is to do things as manually as you can at the start, because if you launch a product and you have no jobs to post and you have no students on the app, you have nothing. But there’s ways to build out email lists and there’s ways to do some business development and make that match on the back end, even without a product that can help you validate your hypotheses without going out there and building a massive thing. I think one of the mistakes we made early on was if they build it, they will come. That was when we launched our first product. We thought the whole world’s gonna love it. Everyone needs this, how could they not need it? And we launched it and it was crickets.
Sam: [00:22:52] That’s such a common mistake.
Adam Alpert: [00:22:55] It was a mistake that we found ourselves falling into as well. And I think that was a problem – you know, the kind of entrepreneur speak today is around the Lean Startup Development and MVPs. But I don’t think that we do a good job understanding what an MVP should be. And I’ve seen some competitors in our space do a great job at building real MVPs that don’t require code, that don’t require 18 months of development, but rather they speed up a landing page and get an email list going and they’re able to get a thousand emails that way. And then they’re able to start making matches based on that.I think that if you can think about building a real MVP that you can deploy over the span of a couple of days right now, a couple of weeks, a couple of days, it allows you to more easily get early users in the context of a marketplace. It’s hard because it’s like how do you attract one side or the other and there’s a couple of ways to do this. I’ll share a couple. One mechanism is to actually provide a tool to one side such that when they sign up, there’s immediate value. So Instagram is a great example of this. Right now, it’s a network. But when Instagram was founded, they didn’t really have the option to share your photos or there wasn’t a core feature. The core feature was filters.
So people would download the app and they use Instagram to put their filters on it and then they could text it around or throw it on Facebook. And it was once they got a critical mass of users that the share feature really started taking off.
Another mechanism you can use to overcome chicken and egg in a marketplace is kind of what Uber did. So Uber was always a bit more demand constrained. So looking for riders, what they did initially was they didn’t have UberX where anyone could sign up and start riding around town. What they did was they started hitting up all the black car drivers in New York and San Francisco who were sitting around all day. And they all boarded a hundred or a thousand of these black car drivers. So they had a high quality network of drivers who could deliver on the Uber products. And then they started going out there experimenting on the demand acquisition side of getting customers. But that is almost like a black hat in a way where it’s like they artificially created a supply of drivers that were high quality and then they just focus on the other half of the marketplace. So it wasn’t a two sided marketplace. They made it into a one side marketplace, which was easier for them to manage.
Sam: [00:25:45] Adam, let’s shift gears a little bit. How do you allocate responsibilities with your co-founder?
Adam Alpert: [00:25:51] You know, I think this is challenging for a lot of different companies, but John and I really have complementary and differentiated skill sets, and I think that’s really key. John is the technical co-founder and I’m the co-founder that talks to people. We like to say John talks computers and I talk to people and he touches code. He runs our development team. He works really closely with a design team. And basically he’s the one who’s in charge of products. I, on the other hand, am in charge of growth, fundraising and team building and recruiting. So we have very clearly differentiated responsibilities in the organization. You know, I think for us, we’ve had a lot of people involved in Pangea over the years and it takes time to find your role in the company. And that role can change and evolve. For John and I, we fell into our responsibilities pretty quickly and it’s been exciting watching everyone else in our team fit into the roles that that work for them as well. I think where the founder teams sometimes struggle is when the founders have overlapping competencies and they are both going after the same thing, whether that’s new user acquisition or whatever, and maybe they have different ways of doing it. And there’s other parts of the business that as a result are not as taken after. I see oftentimes we have two founders that are business development or strategy or growth oriented and they don’t have a technical co-founder. And those teams struggle because there’s a lot of tension between those two co-founders and they’re actually missing a really important team member. I remember talking probably when we were back in Mass challenge to the founder of Android, Rich Minor, who at one point was a CIC member, and the CIC actually brought him in to do the kickoff talk at the first venture cafe in Providence. And I was able to get him to take a look at our pitch and give me some feedback. The thing that stuck out to him was a gap for my co-founder myself, where he said, Great, you’re the marketing and sales guy, he’s the engineering guy, but you’re missing a product person. Where is your UX person? Where is the person who’s really helping map out and scope out features and with the user? And that was our gap. So when we raised our first round of funding, our first hire was a recent grad from RISD to come on and lead our design teams and work with John and myself on the actual product itself, as opposed to the engineering and building of the product.
Sam: [00:28:33] Great advice. Such a key observation, I think founder teams where skill sets are overlapping. That’s often one of the key reasons we see for startup failure and I think the complementarity of skill sets. But also, as you said, identifying and filling in the gaps is absolutely critical.
So a few months ago, you were accepted into Y Combinator’s winter twenty twenty one batch, which is a super exciting development. Congratulations.
Adam Alpert: [00:29:02] Thank you.
Sam: [00:29:03] Tell us a little bit about the road to applying, being accepted and now being on the cusp of starting that program.
Sam: [00:29:10] Yeah, getting into YC in itself is an accomplishment, but it’s certainly not the end game. It kind of feels like we really have a fighting chance now. And with Demo Day coming up and it’s just our team has been working so hard for so long and staying persistent and trying out new things was obviously very validating. Getting into YC and the community has been really amazing. I mean, I could talk at length about how much I’ve learned already in the first couple of weeks from talking with fellow founders in our batch. And it just feels like I have a whole new community of friends and that’s really rewarding. The road to get into YC was long and winding and challenging and difficult, just like Mass challenge, which we applied three times. It was actually our fourth interview with YC, so we had put together an application for the summer 2020 batch, which was going to be their first remote batch. We got offered an interview off the first written application, which in itself was very exciting and was a great milestone. We got in to the interview and if you know anything about YC, you have I think ten minutes in an interview and it’s the most and they just start grilling you. There’s no pleasantries. There’s no time to waste. They’ve already read your application and they start hitting you in the softest spots of your business. And that’s exactly what they did. We thought we held our own after that first battle and they actually invited us back in for a re-interview, which you shouldn’t read too much into. But it’s basically like they couldn’t make a decision off that one ten minute phone call, so they want to spend some more time putting you in front of different partners. And we went in there and we gave our second interview. We did better the second time. And we actually talked to a partner who was ed tech. And we felt better the second time, but ultimately we didn’t get in. After that second interview, we got an email saying, hey, we definitely see the value for students. You’ve done a great job showing your student side. But we want to see that companies want to use this. And at a time we only had maybe maybe like four companies on the app transacting in a given month. So I don’t think they were totally wrong that we hadn’t done a great job proving out that there is demand there. But I remember getting an email from YC and that rejection back in what must have been late April or early May. It felt like a punch, but just like when we didn’t quite win Mass challenge, at the end of the day, we were resolute in proving them wrong, regardless of whether or not we ever got into the program. So we spent the next basically six months grinding away on demand, launching new products, making our key hires, really trying to move the ball down the court. And we grew our monthly transaction volume 10x. We went from zooming around two thousand dollars a month in GMV to to twenty thousand a month. And when we reapplied and they brought us in for an interview, which we were excited about, I think that we maybe expected at least to get another interview since we had gotten an in-person interview before. But I can’t say that’s a given. We went in and this time, John and I, we spent the whole night beforehand working – we said all right, what are the 20 weakest points of Pangea and what were we asked about? And we basically thought about each one and we had ways of answering and responding to the hardest possible questions that they could ask. We went in and we nailed it. I mean, we came out of that first call feeling excited and energized. And maybe three hours later we get an email saying, hey, we want to interview again. And that was that was a tough email to receive because it was a punch in the gut.
Adam Alpert: [00:33:02] Last time we got reinterviewed, we didn’t get in and we thought we did a phenomenal job in that interview. And we couldn’t…What else could they ask? What else could they want to know? We just gave our best possible performance. We went back in, we got interviewed. This is now thefourth interview. It was actually the same partner that had interviewed us back in the spring. And he said, how have you grown so much? How did you go from 2k to 20k? We said ‘we wanted to prove you wrong and you asked us to get the man. So that’s exactly what we did. And here we are.’ That evening we got a phone call saying we were in and it was one of the highest moments of my life.
Sam: [00:33:49] That’s amazing. I love that story. The resilience both you and your co-founder demonstrated in recovering from so many of those initial rejections, which are total punches in the gut. But the persistence that it bred in both your ambitions, your goals and being determined to sort of prove them wrong is really fantastic. Thank you for sharing that. Last question, Adam, where do you see yourself and the business three years from now?
Adam Alpert: [00:34:21] I know we’re on our way. We’re profitable. We’re helping out thousands of students every single month find new jobs, not tens of thousands. We’re really built a marketplace that rivals five or up work in terms of the functionality that it provides. And I honestly think that we’re pretty close to getting there in the next six months so, three years, hopefully, where we’re vastly superior, this is a marketplace, even though we’re not competing with them directly a lot of the time. We have a great team, we have a happy team. We have people who want to be working here. We have people who are excited by our mission. That mission has expanded. We’re fulfilling that mission. I would love to have a base – right now we’re all working out of our house in Providence. I’d like to probably have a slightly larger space, an office perhaps, that we could have a larger team work out of. And yeah, we have a lot of things in our product roadmap. We’re excited to design and build and we have an exciting team that we’re looking to expand. We have a lot of students already today that have gotten so much value. We’ve helped students now make around a quarter million dollars. And that’s significant amidst the pandemic. And we’re creating a lot of social good for the students and more equal access to opportunities while also opening up this talent pool to a wide swath of businesses that aren’t already working with students. And I think there’s a massive market opportunity that we’re going to unlock over the next four years.
Sam: [00:36:02] We totally agree. I think in many ways what you’re doing is old and new. The traditional model of learning for students was apprenticeship based, and you’re creating an opportunity for them to access that while making some money, but much more importantly, driving the experience that they want and need as they get ready to enter the workforce.
Adam Alpert: [00:36:24] Yeah, it’s a bit of why we love our name, Pangea being the supercontinent that existed a quarter million years ago. And what we’re trying to do is return a little bit to helping students get real world experience and produce real value for small businesses and try to try to balance out against this late stage capitalistic tendency of the Fortune 500 companies dominating everything, including access to the best possible talent. I think that moving deeper into the 21st century, we’re seeing more startups, a lot of smaller businesses. It’s easier to start a business now than ever before. And we need to provide those types of organizations with access to the talent that they need to grow. And that’s where I see us really settling into. That’s also why we like the idea of Pangea a little bit of the old meeting, the new online freelance marketplace.
Sam: [00:37:18] Very exciting.
Sam: [00:37:21] Here’s something else you should know. The Department of Labor projects that 16 to 24 year olds will constitute over 11 percent of the workforce by 2024, thanks to Land in the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the data used in today’s episode.
Sam: [00:37:36] Adam, we love your story because you saw a problem in the way that young people access jobs, decided to do something about it, and have demonstrated tremendous perseverance and patience in the ability to change and evolve and build Pangea for a market need with very clear feedback from users as well as investors along the way. Thanks so much for joining us on the show today.
Adam Alpert: [00:38:02] It’s been a real pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.
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