• What Grade Would You Give Your Company?

12/17/2008

It was years ago, when Kevin Brkal was working as at a local Best Buy, that he went online to read reviews of his company. He couldn’t find any. And when he searched the reviews of other companies through sites like jobvent.com, he found that people submitting the reviews tended to just, well, vent. “There was very little positivity,” he says. As Brkal began researching business ideas for his first entrepreneurship program courses aimed at helping him harness a business idea and weigh it’s financial opportunities and risks, he found sites like jobvent and glassdoor.com. When he saw the sheer amount of reviews at those sites, he knew there was a need for more that would allow employees to anonymously rate their companies, and, when warranted, rate them well.

As part of ENT 419, the capstone course of the undergraduate entrepreneurship major, Brkal launched MyCompanyRating.com. The site gives employees around the world another outlet to list the downsides to working for particular companies, but more importantly, to rate the highlights, as well.

While much of MyCompanyRating’s revenue comes from advertising (and soon, an enterprise version of the site geared toward the sale of company reports and licensing an internal program), Brkal spends plenty of time telling investors why they should give him money. And he’s realistic. Just another something he learned through his courses and the program’s director George Moker. Brkal recalls one lesson from Moker. “When he talked to investors, they would tell him that other hopefuls came to them and said, ‘We’re going to make $30 millions dollars the first year,’ and the investors said: ‘Yeah, right.’” Brkal’s approach is more truthful, and his honesty has paid off. “I tell them, we’re actually going to lose money the first two years.” But the pay off in the end, he promises, will be worth it.

Brkal isn’t new to Web business—he runs several sites—but the Suffolk Entrepreneurship Program , recently selected as on of the top 25 undergraduate entrepreneurship programs by Entrepreneur and Princeton Review, helped him hone his skills. “I wouldn’t have come up with the business model for MyCompanyRating.com if it wasn’t for Suffolk.”  

The site has been up and running for only six months, and has already posted hundreds of reviews for large and small businesses including Subway, The Gap, Google, Boston College, Suffolk University. And yes, even Best Buy.


 

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