I'm pleased to report that Gradschoolmatch has been acquired by the nonprofit educational giant ETS and is going to get even better. Truth is there is a certain sadness in stepping back. But we do take some solace in the two things this transaction most represents: Gradschoolmatch is a great idea, and Gradschoolmatch has a bright future in the hands of a well-resourced organization committed to developing new ways to help people in their higher education journey.
Brian and I founded Gradschoolmatch because we both understood that choosing a graduate program is a difficult, life-changing decision. That choice sets one's life on a completely different trajectory. What we saw is that for too many, finding the right graduate program is often a haphazard process with incomplete information all around.
Our solution is meant to be pretty simple: To make it easier to make the right choice. That, of course, involves the obligatory algorithm (we believe ours are exceptionally good).
But algorithms can only go so far.
We believe that nobody should ever apply to a program they have not contacted in advance.
Making the right choice also involves looping in the people who run graduate programs and serve on admissions committees into what you might call a pre-application guidance process. They're the experts. They're in the best position to say a program is right or wrong for someone.
We've seen a lot of successes. People who were stuck were discovered on Gradschoolmatch and got into some great programs. We do a great job of showing everyone what's out there. We've validated over and again that Gradschoolmatch can change lives for the good.
This idea is further validated by the fact that ETS is investing in Gradschoolmatch. They had followed our progress for a while before reaching out to us to make an offer.
We didn't know they were looking and so we initially didn't want to sell. We're founders, after all, so we were just grinding along. Our startup is like our child. It was hard to build, and even harder to let go.
We were ultimately persuaded by the realization that ETS is in a better position than us, a band of bootstrappers, to make Gradschoolmatch more widely useful. They will be able to positively impact more lives for the better than we might have reached alone.
We're going to miss all of our friends we've made along the way, in all of the universities and colleges that we've served. There are thousands of you! We are going to miss all of our early adopters, who believed in us, who made it happen, and stuck with us even through our crappy beta app.
We're going to miss seeing all the hundreds of thousands of students who we've served along the way. Their graduate degrees will open doors to new and fulfilling careers all across the spectrum. It is hard to overstate just how much we respect your journey.
And we're going to miss those who've helped us out along the way at our World Headquarters. The single most important among them is Jared Welch, our lead developer and the real brain behind Gradschoolmatch. Gradschoolmatch would simply not exist without Jared.
Then there is everybody else: Sascha and Bri and Jordan; Jack and Ovi, Ben and especially Camilla. Last of all are all the creatives and wonks and dreamers of the Switchyards community. Most notable among them are Bharghava of Chil & Co and Scott Fuller of The Studio Temporary.
Gradschoolmatch is a product of these collective souls, and made in Atlanta.