Two Portland-based tech companies focus on improving the economic
mobility of students
PORTLAND, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CollegeNET,
a leading provider of Web-based technologies for higher education, today
announced that it has teamed with Switchboard,
an online engagement platform that specializes in higher education
CollegeNET has long been a leader in helping colleges save money,
increase donations, and improve the economic mobility of students and
alumni across the country. This partnership will focus on existing
CollegeNET customers who use the Contribute.com®
online service for donation and registration management. It represents a
tremendous opportunity for CollegeNET customers to increase donation
opportunities among the young alumni population, while fostering
economic opportunity in their communities by helping students connect
with alumni employers.
“Our customers know that in order to get value in the form of tuition
and donations, they must first demonstrate value to their communities.
Our partnership with Switchboard aligns those objectives by building on
the strengths of both technical platforms to provide a more
comprehensive service,” said CollegeNET Vice President of Finance, Ed
“No company demonstrates as strong of a commitment to improving the
economic outcomes of both institutions and their community
members as CollegeNET. We are thrilled to partner with them to increase
social and economic mobility within higher education,” said
Switchboard’s co-founder and CEO Mara Zepeda. “Our two companies’
technology offerings address the needs head on.”
Reed College, a longtime CollegeNET customer, engaged in a successful
test this summer in which Switchboard users who saw value from the
product were asked to make a donation using Contribute.com.
“The test efforts yielded results that helped us reach our donor goal,”
says Mike Teskey, Reed’s Director of Alumni Relations. “It is important
for us that alumni see the connection between the services they value
and supporting the college.”
This partnership comes during a time when the U.S. Department of
Education has increased scrutiny of higher education’s economic
outcomes, with the release of its College
Scorecard in September. CollegeNET has also released the 2015 Social
Mobility Index rankings (www.socialmobilityindex.org).
The SMI rankings show that through wise policy-making, colleges and
universities can be part of improving both economic opportunity and
social stability in our country.
Inc. builds on-demand SaaS technologies that help institutions
improve operational efficiency, enhance communication with constituents
and save money. The company’s systems are used by 1,300 institutions
worldwide for event and academic scheduling, prospect and admissions
management, Web-based tuition processing, instructor and course
evaluation, and alumni development. Additionally, CollegeNET operates
CollegeNET.com, a fast-growing social network through which students
create topics, write about them, and vote to determine who will win
has awarded more than $1.8 million in scholarships to date. The company
is headquartered in Portland, Oregon.
is an intuitive, ad-free platform that builds community – connecting
students and alumni to find and fill job openings, increase giving, and
communicate and engage on other topics in an “ask” and “offer” format.
The platform is used by higher education institutions across the country
like Williams, Oberlin and Portland State University. It is recognized
for its focus on delivering quantitative outcomes metrics and boasts an
engagement and adoption rate that is seven times the industry average.
The company was founded by Mara Zepeda and Sean Learner, who met over
Twitter in 2012 and built the first Switchboard for their alma mater,
Reed College. In 2014, the company was named by Business Insider as one
of the 20 hottest startups founded by Women. Switchboard was in the PIIE
(Portland Incubator Experiment) Class of 2013 and is headquartered in
Jill Thacker, 503-973-5255