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What is SA500?

Silicon Alley 500 (aka SA500) is an annual recruiting event hosted by Next Jump. We bring together 50 of the best East Coast-founded technology companies to meet 500 select engineering students. In 2011, SA500 was held on the New York Stock Exchange floor on October 15.

The "Why" Behind SA500

SA500 is a NxJ Cares initiative. All of Next Jump's giving back programs fall under NxJ Cares. In almost all studies on the topic of "what drives an employee", finding purpose is the most important. When it comes to purpose, succeeding in life in order to give back more than you took, is the single most powerful purpose for any person. Our philosophy in giving back is to give back in areas of strength. It makes the giving more meaningful. Would you want charitable help from an expert or a novice in any subject matter? You have to first become great, then you can share that strength.

Engineers thrive on contributing to open source software. Commercially it makes no sense for an organization to spend months and years developing something unique and solving hard problems to then share it for free with the whole world. However, a rising tide lifts all boats. The world gets better when people contribute for the greater good.

We became experts in recruiting engineers on the East Coast -- something we were told was not possible. Repeatedly, we were encouraged to move our company to Silicon Valley because that was the only place where you could attract the best engineering talent. Instead we made a 5 year investment in recruiting engineers on the East Coast. We got our asses kicked in years 1 and 2. By year 5, we became the best at recruiting engineers in the East. We then saw a need from both companies and graduating engineers in our region which our recruiting IP could solve. The #1 challenge for companies was finding enough talented engineers. While the East Coast is home to 5 out of the 10 top CS programs in the country, the majority of students saw the West Coast as the only viable option for a career.

Whenever one has a unique opportunity to share a skillset that others need, it presents a chance to give back. We decided to open source our recruiting IP to help build the East Coast tech ecosystem under NxJ Cares. That's why we ran and will run SA500 with NxJumpers volunteering to help our local tech community.

-Charlie Kim, Founder & CEO (Next Jump)

SA500 is a different kind of career fair.

Job seekers -- this is a closed event, not open to the general public. You must apply. You must be available for full-time employment in the next 12 months and have prior hands-on engineering experience. If you're a student applicant, our Campus Ambassadors will be in touch with you.

Companies -- you must be headquartered on the East Coast, have full-time job openings for engineers in the next 12 months, and most importantly, founders, CEO and/or chief of engineering must come in person. We love our recruiters, but to represent the awesomeness taking place in our own backyards, we believe the creators need to be there in person talking one-on-one, face-to-face with the best "Made in the East Coast" emerging talent.

    SA500 2011 Event Photos
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