Interview with Matthew Sarre, Co-Founder of Start-Up Graduate Programme Jumpstart

Jumpstart is the UK’s start-up graduate programme. Every month, we select and train the 10 hungriest and brightest graduates from across the country (from an applicant pool of 1000+).

We then help them get jobs in exciting start-ups and provide ongoing mentorship and support. In doing so, we give UK-based start-ups access to exceptional, diverse and trained talent that they simply wouldn’t be able to get through other means. 

Why did you get started?

My co-founder (Kabir Bali) and I have always felt slightly disenchanted by the lack of alternative career paths outside of big corporate graduate schemes. Everyone encourages graduates to apply for big professional services companies, but no one tells them that start-ups can offer unparalleled learning opportunities and exciting responsibility early on.

What’s more, it can be really challenging for a graduate to get into start-ups: it is perceived as risky, the start-up ecosystem is incredibly difficult to understand, and start-ups often don’t advertise open positions – let alone go to university careers fairs!


How did you get started?

We had been discussing the idea for Jumpstart for quite a while, but it was not until lockdown hit that we really kicked it off.

We were seeing 1000s of big corporate graduate jobs being delayed or cancelled and so we saw lockdown as a really important time to provide structure and support for graduates that would otherwise be unemployed or starting work remotely with employers who had never done remote recruiting, onboarding or training.


How are you different?

For start-ups, we provide access to talent that they simply cannot get through other means. We have seen incredible appetite from the best, brightest and ethnically diverse grads around the country (who might have otherwise gone into your Goldman Sachs or McKinsey).

What’s more we considerably de-stress the hiring process because we act almost like an outsourced HR function – finding, selecting, training and mentoring graduates.

And, from a graduate perspective, we are a trainer, recruiter, and mentor to our graduates. But, we also provide them with the network and community benefits that arise from joining an overarching graduate programme. 

What does the future hold?

Who knows! There is so much opportunity out there, but our primary priority right now is to build up trust and credibility amongst graduates and start-ups alike.


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