We are driven
We’re driven by the mission to give all students the chance to build the career they want, no matter where they’re from or what school they attend.
While studying at Michigan Tech University, Handshake founders Garrett Lord, Ben Christensen, and Scott Ringwelski discovered the glaring inequality in career opportunities for students across the country. Believing that software had the potential to bridge this opportunity gap, they built the foundations of Handshake. The friends took their idea on a cross-country road trip to better understand the challenges students face when applying to jobs and to persuade college career centers to partner with them.
Handshake was created to ensure that all college students have equal access to meaningful careers. Since our 2014 founding, our network of university and employer partners—and the impact for students— has grown exponentially. Within a few years, Handshake has become the leading early career community in the US.
The Handshake network
active student users
college and university partners
Building the #1 early career community
2014Handshake is created and welcomes its first university partners.
2015The team closes seed funding, led by True Ventures, and moves to California! Toni Schneider joins Handshake's Board of Directors. In December, Handshake raises its Series A, led by Kleiner Perkins, and welcomes Eric Feng to the board.
2016The Handshake network doubles to 200+ universities across the country, and the team hires its 50th employee. Handshake raises its Series B funding led by Spark Capital, and welcomes Megan Quinn to the board.
2017The network doubles again! Handshake is partnering with more than 400 colleges and universities, including 80% of the top 10 HBCUs, and nearly 250,000 employers.
2018Handshake raises its Series C funding, led by EQT Ventures, and welcomes Alastair Mitchell to the board. Social impact investors such as the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Omidyar Network, Reach Capital, among others, provide funding to help Handshake further democratize opportunity. The team grows to 100 employees in San Francisco.
2019Building on the network of more than 900 colleges and universities and 420,000+ employers, Handshake expands its reach even further by opening the community to any student at a four-year college in the US. The Handshake team continues to grow, with more than 200 employees—including offices in Denver and the UK!
2020Handshake welcomes its first community and technical college partners to the network. With the onset of COVID-19, the Handshake team shifts to virtual and becomes the leading provider of a redefined virtual career fair experience.
2021The Handshake team nearly doubles to amass over 500 employees across all offices. Handshake raises $80M in Series E funding from our existing investors, and surpasses $1.58B+ in valuation. Handshake lands on Inc. 5000's Best Places to Work list and and Dr. Michael L. Lomax joins our Board of Directors.
2022Handshake kicks off 2022 with a bang, announcing our Series F funding round of $200M at a valuation of $3.5 billion, more than double our valuation in 2021. We're continuing to expand our footprint and welcome Valerie Capers Workman to the team as Chief Legal Officer.
Careers at Handshake
Our team is growing! Join a passionate, driven, and empathetic team that’s focused on making an impact, and committed to creating an inclusive culture for all.