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November 01, 2020 | Tom Ballard

AltFair Solutions’ new career fair app now available in Apple App Store and Google Play Store

“Preparing for career fairs can be time-consuming for students,” says Jace Smith of AltFair Solutions LLC, citing one aspect in particular: the process of printing enough resumes and handing them to recruiters who may or may not enter the student’s information correctly into their proprietary electronic system.

Now, after months of development, there’s an app available today in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store that improves the process of information sharing for both students and company recruiters, solving aspects of the career fair process that both groups do not like. And, in this era where social distancing and interaction with safe interaction with individuals is top of mind for many, there’s an added benefit that had not been anticipated when AltFair was conceived.

Smith, a native of Winchester, TN, joined with two other classmates at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) to develop the app. His two Co-Founders have moved on to other pursuits, but Smith remained committed to launching the start-up, and he’s received some recent validation.

AltFair has been named a semi-finalist in the “Global Conference & Pitch Competition” of the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization set for November 6 and 7 in Tampa. After a four-phase process in October involving Smith and 99 other student entrepreneurs, 20 finalists will be selected to compete for a share of $15,000 in prize money.

That recognition came nearly a year after AltFair captured first place in the growth business category of the Fall 2019 “Graves Business Plan Competition” hosted by UTK’s Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

For Smith and his classmates who conceived the idea for the app, it was frustration with the traditional career fair process that they experienced and heard others criticize. Students had to anticipate how many resumes they would need, printout and keep-up with all of the copies as they moved from table to table, and hope that the recruiters would correctly enter their information.

Frustration was not limited to the students. Most company recruiters don’t like the paper process either, since they have to later type the relevant information about the students into their company’s system. “They are overwhelmed with the data they are receiving,” Smith says. “It’s a hectic time for them with so much information from the students.”

With the AltFair app, the process is automated. A student downloads the app and gets a unique QR (Quick Response) code. Then, as students meet a recruiter, the latter can simply scan the QR code into their phones. The final step in the process is to export the data as a CSV (Comma-separated Values) file into whatever proprietary system the company uses.

The result: no additional typing, no misspellings or incorrect information.

The business model is to partner with universities, hopefully UTK being the first. The app will be offered at no cost to the university which will be able to allow any student with a listed email address to download it. AltFair will derive revenue through sales to subscribing businesses.

“In the future, we plan to partner with CRM (Customer Relationship Management) providers that have an open API,” Smith adds, referencing the all-important Application Programming Interface.

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