A newly launched Estonian startup seeks to provide a safe home for your bragging — for professional networking purposes. For freelancers, contractors, and entrepreneurs it makes sense. Rather than a stuffy CV line that says, “Grew a multimedia business to thousands of customers,” you can instead chart out the steps along the way, such as raising capital, bragging about influxes of users, learning new skills, and so on. Achoo saves these updates from getting lost in your Twitter of Facebook. And it cuts to the core of what LinkedIn provides — a platform to show off your accomplishments — but for the industries where you don’t need such a contrived and professional front.
The platform provides a feed of updates with social features. Each Achoo can be tagged with people, skills, links, and be commented on. People can also like updates by clicking the “bless it” button next to an update.
Achoo grew out of Talentag, a startup Achoo co-founder Andrus Purde was involved in back in 2010. The startup failed, but it got him thinking about how professional networking could be leveraged. Freelances, contractors, and micro-entrepreneurs make up 25% of the U.S. workforce, yet LinkedIn is not set up properly (or innovating enough) to meet the needs of a good chunk of workers.
“Many startups have noticed that LinkedIn is behaving like Nokia in 2005 ie. it’s an address book that is not innovating its core offering too much. There’s Geeklist for developers, Zerply for designers and a couple of other ones, each with their own angle,” says Purde. “We’re initially focusing on freelancers and consultants, but if the concept is well received (like it looks to be) it works well for any professional, so we’re eyeing the bigger market.”
Achoo has been around in private beta for a little bit now. They launched their prototype last September at the Arctic15 with a proper private beta coming out in early February. The company is bootstrapped so far, with three people in the founding team.