Steve Marcus is a Boston venture capitalist who went to the other side. He sits on the admissions committee for the Sloan School at MIT–and saw how crazy the admissions process was from the inside. You know how you fill out all the applications on a computer? Well, it all winds up in paper files that get reviewed at kitchen tables. MIT gave Steve some money to try to fix it. The result? A company that has hundreds of university admissions offices banging on the door.
Initially the company was called Admitpad, mostly because a lot of professors who review applications were smitten with the idea of using the iPad. But this was really about something a lot bigger. The idea that the software could help schools dig deeper into the data and find the applicants who will thrive at their school. It’s really a sophisticated tool for matching applicants to colleges or programs.
After diving into the fundamentals of the brand, we felt that it wasn’t about the software or the iPad. The company is changing the way students are admitted to universities. So we knew the name had to say something big. What works about Matchbox is that it’s very familiar and comfortable but it has a whole set of new meanings in this context. Students want to find the right school and the schools want to find the right students.