Smarterer Scores Series A, Looks to Replace Resumés with Skill Matching

6/5/12Follow @gthuang

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specific jobs. After all, in a world of alternative and non-traditional educational paths, you can’t just look at the school on a candidate’s resume—and, in fact, that’s exactly what Smarterer is trying to replace.

“We are trying to become the world’s standard in skills measurement,” says Fremont-Smith.

Another interesting aspect is where this whole idea comes from. Fremont-Smith has a democratizing, “make the world a better place” bent to her. But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that her professional calling seems to be all about matching supply and demand, and connecting products and businesses with the right people. As a student, Fremont-Smith was a poor match for her traditional high school—“it’s very hard to get kicked out of Detroit public school,” she quips—but she transferred to an all-girls school and did fine, going on to college at Georgetown.

While working on a degree in business administration, she started an incorporation service for companies, and after graduating, went on to found a dot-com-era advertising network and then a customer relationship management service for the financial industry. That’s a wide range of businesses, but a common theme was matching, she says. And in the startup world, she found, nobody cared about her formal education (which now includes an MBA from MIT Sloan School). “It was more about what I could do,” she says. “I forged my own path and developed the skills I needed.”

She adds, “People who bring the most value to the table in a startup are not necessarily people with the fanciest educational background. They know how to get stuff done, because they have skills.”

And that’s the mentality that she, and Smarterer, are now looking to bring to the rest of the world. We’ll be watching to see if the company’s online skills tests continue to gain traction with employers, job seekers, and consumers in general—think millions of people showing the world what they’re good at. “If we do that,” Fremont-Smith says, “we unlock so much potential.”

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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