ApplyHUB- A CUNY Success story



Saving You Time | ApplyHUB Video

Tasfia Arshad, Editor

The daunting job market during the pandemic prompted Baruch alumni and former SEEK Student, Sheik Floradewan to create a startup that streamlined the job application process. 

ApplyHUB is a platform that auto-fills resume and background information across all employment and job listing website platforms. 

After graduating from Baruch College last June with a Bachelors in Business Administration and Marketing, Floradewan found herself in a moment of uncertainty when it came to her internship being extended to a full-time offer.

“The job application process itself is very tedious and redundant. Our teammates are going through that process right now,” she said. “I think we all have a clear understanding of how this affects CUNY’s recent graduates. Our goal is to help students through that application process.”

The main component that distinguished ApplyHUB from all its competitors is that the auto-filling feature would be applicable to all job-seeking platforms.

In order for her idea to come to fruition, Floradewan utilized CUNY Startups, a program originated in Baruch College that supports entrepreneurship and business ventures from CUNY students as a way to stimulate business growth and economic development in New York City. 

This year-long program is broken down into two semesters. The fall (Ideas 2 Impact) is where you transpire and develop your idea to the prototype stage. The spring (Accelerator) is dedicated to moving from the prototype stage to launching the startup. Throughout this whole process, students are under the mentorship of professionals within the field.

ApplyHUB is a collaborative effort and Floradewan has a group of CUNY students helping her make this a reality. Her Chief Operating Officer, Atsouco Saint Louis, is a John Jay senior majoring in Public Administration and minoring in Economics. 

Saint Louis is a Ron Moelis Fellow and was made aware of ApplyHUB’s mission by attending the annual pitch competition. He then reached out to Floradewan and they have been working on ApplyHUB remotely during the pandemic. 

One thing that interested Saint Louis about ApplyHUB was that “it really caters to the applicants. A lot of the competitors cater to recruiters.” 

Creating a startup during the pandemic is nothing short of difficult. Although they both  agreed to missing the in-person experience, Saint Louis said, “I do think the Board Director and Mentors are flexible.”

Floradewan is juggling a full-time job as a Marketing Coordinator at Pension Boards and has taken advantage of being remote this year. She acknowledges the difficulty of not having in-person interaction but she agrees with her COO when it comes to flexibility.

While balancing her full-time job, she and her team are preparing for the 2021 Accelerator Live Demo Event happening on May 7th. At this event, ApplyHUB will have an opportunity to pitch their startup in front of a panel of judges and investors.

They will have 5 minutes to present the problem they are solving, the solution, business viability and make an ask from investors. 

Winning teams will be awarded cash prizes of $5k for first place, $3k for second place, and $1k for third place. 

People will also have the chance to vote for their fan favorites from May 3rd to May 7th and the winning team will be awarded $1k. The goal of Demo Day is to gain follow-on funding (additional capital) to continue growing their company and/or potential customers. 

Making a business and entrepreneurship venture into reality is applicable to all CUNY students. Saint Louis wanted to disregard the notion that CUNYStartups wouldn’t be applicable to John Jay students. 

“One thing I can say to John Jay students is that the things you learn about social justice can be included in business opportunities. CUNYStartups specifically wants students with social justice backgrounds,” he said. “What you are really doing is solving a problem. We as students are solving an issue with the job application process.”

Louis also accredits being part of the Urban Male Initiative (UMI) to being prepared for his role at ApplyHUB. He has been part of UMI since his freshman year and believes the lessons that he has learned are being showcased through the mission of the startup.

As the accelerator portion of CUNYStartups comes to an end, Floradewan wanted to acknowledge what an amazing experience and networking opportunity this was. 

She said, “I am grateful for this opportunity I had with CUNYStartups and I have learned so much. One thing I would say to CUNY students is that the job application can be scary. One thing to keep in mind is not to be discouraged and keep applying. If one way doesn’t work, find other ways to network and build those connections.”