The board, founded by Alexander Taub and Michael Schonfeld, was beta tested last November with around 800 professionals with an eye toward giving people a way to connect, ask questions and find resources in a new, simpler way than LinkedIn and other competitors typically offer.
The board is touted as digital and mobile friendly.
The plan was to launch in the summer, but the current coronavirus pandemic seemed to demand a response, so Taub and Schonfield rolled it out early. The coronavirus’ spiraling layoffs, store closures and shutdowns have left staggering numbers of people out of work in recent weeks, which Taub said was the main reason for the early launch.
He said it would have been one issue to have an economic slowdown, but the lack of demand due to no one being able to congregate and shop like normal compounds the problem in an even more disastrous manner.
Upstream will focus heavily on job hiring and recommendations as it starts up, with a specific designated group for COVID-19 cases of unemployment. Once signed up, users can join that group and post one of several options: looking to hire; looking for a job; or looking to help. Taub said the limited number of options is one primary difference from other job boards.
Users will then have the option of following up on others’ posts. With the potential for a mass upswing in posts, Taub said there may be limits enacted to prevent too many posts all at once. And with unemployment filings at a record high, the site may find an audience very quickly.
While the initial focus of the site was on business professionals, Taub said teachers, small business owners and others had also found use in it. Some of the categories beyond COVID-19 will include “Jews in Tech, Business Development and Earlybirds.”