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Branchout tech Startup

Strietzel – Branchout Launches

Startup company hits Facebook! Today, more than ever, job seekers are using the internet to find and apply for jobs. Career networking sites like,, and have become a more popular and efficient way of job hunting than anyone could have ever foreseen. In addition, social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter, are essential in keeping up in today’s social and business world. Theres a new kid on the block; BranchOut. BranchOut has combined traditional social networking with the best of the job hunting variety  by creating the first of its kind career search application built upon the worlds largest social networking base, Facebook.

On September 17, 2010 BranchOut raised $6 million in its Series A, led by Accel. Many of the angel investors are, appropriately enough, friends and former colleagues of BranchOut CEO Rick Marini, a co-founder of which sold to for over 100MM.

In addition to Accel, which led the round (partner Kevin Efrusy sits on the board), the other two VCs were Mike Maples of Floodgate and Tim Chang of Norwest Venture Partners. But the round also attracted a lot of high-profile super angels, including Napster founder Shawn Fanning, former Facebook platform manager Dave Morin (Fanning and Morin are now co-founders of Path), Bebo founder Michael Birch, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg, Tickle founder James Currier, former Tickle CEO Stan Chudnovsky, Blippy founder Philip Kaplan, Googler Ben Ling, Naval Ravikant, and Josh Elman (former Facebook, now Twitter).

“Basically we have this thesis that the social graph will change a lot of internet businesses,” explains Efrusy. “We fundamentally believe it will change jobs and recruiting. If you look at how most people really get their jobs it is through their real friends.”

Branchout helps you discover important connections within your immediate social network, business contacts that you might have otherwise been unaware of. It’s not only incredibly informative and valuable, but it’s quite interesting to see who’s doing what.

Kudos to the team over at BranchOut for seeing a big opportunity and moving quickly to execute on it.  Rick is not only a colleague, but a friend.  I wish him the best of luck.  If you havent checked it out yet, start using it by visiting the new and hot tech now.

Startup – Big Stage | GGL Partnership

Strietzel – Posted by Kevin Jenkins in Tech News on 12 11th, 2008 Users Will Be Able to Insert Their 3-D @ctors Into Free Video Game Content, Then Share with Friends and GGL Community Members

LOS ANGELES, Dec 11, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Big Stage Entertainment, Inc., a media technology company founded by Jonathan Strietzel, Jon Kraft and Jon Snoddy, that lets consumers project themselves photo-realistically into the digital realm, is partnering with videogame social networking company GGL Global Gaming (GGL) to promote free game content on The first promotion rollout with a major video game publisher is scheduled for early 2009. Members of the and GGL communities will soon be able to insert their 3-D @ctor, a realistically animated digital clone quickly created for free from a few photos, into game cinematics, still images and animatics. Users can then share this content with friends and post to GGL community pages and other social networks, such as Facebook and MySpace.

“GGL members love great video games as well as new technology that enhances their gaming experience,” said Ted Owen, Owner/Chairman of GGL. “The @ctor creation technology offered on is a great benefit to our members who are constantly seeking creative new ways to express themselves and their love of videogames to the community. Unlike anything gamers have seen before, putting your own realistically animated face onto videogame characters is an innovation that players will be eager to embrace.”

With 26 million unique visitors per month, the GGL Network serves as a hub for videogame fans worldwide. The vast network of GGL gamers visit the site to find news, information and communities, in addition to competing in online gaming competitions and tournaments.

“The popularity of GGL demonstrates how playing videogames online with a community of friends has transformed gaming into a highly social activity,” said Phil Ressler, Big Stage Entertainment CEO. “With the promotional experiences offered on through this partnership, gamers will be able to take their affinity for games one giant step forward by turning themselves into the characters they love to play, with the ability to share these unique experiences with friends, whether they are on MySpace, Facebook or GGL. Until, seeing yourself appear in 3-D animation alongside your favorite game characters would have required the help of an army of developers. is breaking down that barrier for gamers.”

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