Yahoo gets Kickstart ‘ed

With Microsoft and Google battling it out over Facebook and other fronts, Yahoo is not exactly standing still. The latest of Yahoo’s portfolio of Brickhouse properties, Kickstart was launched earlier this month.

Kickstart is positioned in the vaccuum that has long since existed in between the spaces occupied by Facebook and LinkedIn. It is a social network that university students can use as they make their first forays into the job world. It allows schools to link their student population with alumni and fraternities, to foster sharing of job leads.

A targeted professional social network like Kickstart should become very popular. While Facebook and Myspace cater to the student demographic, the sites are rarely used for serious job related networking. On the other hand, LinkedIn provides a way of setting up professional networks, but supplies few tools if any, to foster communications within the network other than through the some what cumbersome "Ask your network a question" facility, and to some extent through the feature of providing a recommendation to someone you have worked with.

Kickstart comes out of Yahoo’s Venture fund Brickhouse which is built around the idea of quickly percolating ideas developed within Yahoo. This month, two of the companies, Kickstart and Zync - an application that allows watching of YouTube videos on Yahoo IM - have been launched.

According to Salim Ismail, head of Brickhouse, the fund sees about 8-10 ideas every month, and selects two for funding and fast tracking into the marketplace.


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