Jordan Goldman

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Jordan Goldman
Jordan Goldman speaking at NYU Business School.JPG
Goldman speaking at NYU
Residence New York, New York
Education Wesleyan University, University of Oxford
Occupation CEO (tech industry)

Jordan Goldman is a digital business executive and entrepreneur.

He has been named "One of the Top 30 Young Entrepreneurs in America" by Inc. Magazine,[1] "One of the Top 100 Young Entrepreneurs in America" by the White House,[2] "One of the 100 Most Influential People in NYC Business and Technology" by Business Insider,[3] and "One of the 13 Faces of NYC Tech" by PBS.[4]

Goldman is best known for writing a successful series of books published by Penguin Books,[5] for founding, serving as CEO and selling two technology companies with several million users, for building significant business relationships with media companies including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report and McGraw-Hill, and for serving as a recurring guest expert on ABC News.[6]

Early career[edit]

At 18 years old, Goldman built an online survey asking current college students to tell him what their colleges were really like. More than 30,000 current students weighed in with detailed responses.[7]

Goldman edited the results into a 704-page college guide profiling schools across America, including some explicit content. He was signed by the literary agency Janklow & Nesbit Associates and the title was picked up by Penguin Books, the world’s second largest publisher.[8]

Chuck Hughes, Senior Admissions Officer at Harvard, wrote the book’s preface and called it “the result of a virtual grassroots movement, spurred on by the power of the Internet and the power of student networks ... friends told friends, news spread from school to school.” Hughes described the finished product as “a new kind of guidebook … providing detailed, nuanced, personal and honest portraits of schools … the next best thing to spending a week on campus.”[9]

Students' Guide to Colleges was released nationwide and featured in Time Magazine, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report.[10] Goldman and Penguin turned the book into a series, released in five annually updated editions.[11]


Goldman launched new surveys, edited student submissions and prepared new versions of Students’ Guide while he was a student. Goldman studied English Literature at Wesleyan University (graduating with honors), at Oxford University and at the University of East Anglia (MA).[5]



After completing his studies Goldman stopped publishing Students’ Guide and founded a new, online business called Unigo. Unigo gave current college students online tools to review their schools and continually document their college lives using text, photos and videos.[12]

Goldman built an invite-only prototype and recruited a team of interns on 300 college campuses to launch outreach campaigns. Within 90 days more than 45,000 current college students sent in contributions.[13]

When Unigo opened to the public it received 1.35 million page-views in its first week live.[14]

Critical Response[edit]

NPR said “Unigo just made print college guidebooks obsolete. It is a massive, all online, all student-generated effort with fifty times the content of any book or website that exists. Its college reviews are bracingly honest.”[15]

The New York Times said "one measure of an idea's greatness is how obvious it seems in retrospect ... the volume and quality of Unigo’s reviews make it impossible for traditional guidebooks to compete. Unigo’s reviews are so evocative they make the one-page U.S. News summaries read like junk mail.”[12] The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg said "Unigo is a college resource built for the age of YouTube and Facebook."[16]


As Unigo's CEO, Goldman hired a team. The site passed one million unique visitors within 8 months of launch.[17]

As its content grew Unigo provided college reviews for U.S. News & World Report's annual college rankings,[18] published a print college guide with USA Today,[19] launched college rankings with Money Magazine,[20] provided all college information for McGraw-Hill,[21] and partnered with The Wall Street Journal to create a new brand (WSJ On Campus) covering college life. WSJ parent company Dow Jones Ventures / News Corp went on to become an investor in Unigo.[22]

Later, Unigo opened an on-site marketplace with 20,000 paid tutors and college counselors.[23] Unigo partnered with McGraw-Hill to distribute its counseling services to high school students across the country. After seeing strong sales McGraw-Hill Ventures also became an investor in Unigo.[24]


Unigo grew to 1.8 million registered users, 14 million unique visitors per year, 750,000 college reviews, 3.3 million scholarships and over 100 business and higher education customers.[25] The InfoCommerce Group provided Unigo its “Model of Excellence” Award celebrating “standout companies that showcase how real revenue is generated by selling and distributing information online.”[26] Inc Magazine also highlighted “Goldman’s ability to forge smart and lucrative strategic partnerships with big brands."[27]

Unigo was awarded grants by the Gates Foundation and the Department of Education for its work in the education industry.[28]


Unigo was acquired by Education Plus Holdings, a data and financial services company originating and servicing more than $300 million in student loans.[29] Today, Unigo provides data, content, products and services reaching more than 50% of all college-bound high school students with 55 employees and offices in New York, Portland and Florida.[30]


In addition to Unigo Goldman is also the founder of Switchboard, a technology licensing company.

Switchboard provides tools helping businesses connect with prospective customers to increase sales. As Switchboard's CEO Goldman grew the company to nearly $1 million in revenue within 12 months of launch, with customers including News Corp, Macmillan Publishing, Aequitas Financial Services Network, McGraw-Hill, Rosenblatt Securities, EG Equities and Jabil Manufacturing. Switchboard was acquired by Aequitas Capital, a private equity firm with $1.65 billion in assets under management.[31]


Goldman has been a guest on more than 50 episodes of ABC News, NBC News, Fox News and CNN discussing issues related to business, education and technology.[6] He has presented ideas to leaders at organizations including the White House, the British Embassy, Harvard Business School, NYU Business School and The Washington Monthly.[32]


Goldman was profiled in the Prentice Hall textbook “Entrepreneurship: Successfully Launching New Ventures”[33] and in the McGraw-Hill title “Upstarts: How Gen Y Entrepreneurs are Rocking the World of Business.”[34] He is the author of policy papers published by The McGraw-Hill Research Foundation and multiple books published by Penguin Books.[35]


  1. ^ "Top Young Entrepreneurs". Inc. Magazine. July 27, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Top 100 Entrepreneurs". Slideshare. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  3. ^ "100 Most Influential People". Business Insider. July 1, 2009. 
  4. ^ "The Faces of NYC Tech". Channel 13. June 6, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Goldman, Jordan (2004). Students' Guide to Colleges: 2004. New York: Penguin. ISBN 978-0-14-303558-9. 
  6. ^ a b "Jordan Goldman's Youtube Channel". Retrieved February 9, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Students' Guide to Colleges". Curled Up With a Good Book. October 19, 2006. 
  8. ^ "Grads Release College Guide Book". The Wesleyan Argus. November 7, 2005. 
  9. ^ "Students Guide to Colleges". Barnes&Nobles. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "An Enjoyable and Thorough Startup". Mashable. September 19, 2008. 
  11. ^ "Students Guide to Colleges". PenguinRandomHouse. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  12. ^ a b "The Tell-All Campus Tour". The New York Times Magazine. September 19, 2008. 
  13. ^ "Unigo Reviews Colleges Drawing From Those Who Know Them Best". NPR. September 18, 2008. 
  14. ^ "100 Most Influential People". Business Insider. July 1, 2009. 
  15. ^ "Unigo Reviews Colleges Drawing From Those Who Know Them Best: Students". NPR. September 18, 2008. 
  16. ^ " Gives Everyone a Say About CollegePicks". The Wall Street Journal. February 18, 2009. 
  17. ^ "Secrets of Small Business Success: Forging Great Strategic Partnerships". Visa. September 16, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Unigo: The Only Resource You Will Need for College Applications". American Airlines In-Flight Magazine - Hemispheres. April 1, 2012. 
  19. ^ "USA Today / Unigo College Guide". USA Today. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  20. ^ "Unigo Partners with MONEY Magazine to Launch MONEY College Planner". MarketWatch. July 21, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Unigo and McGraw-Hill Announce Strategic Partnership to Create Curriculum on College and Career Readiness". PR Newswire. September 28, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Wall Street Journal Launches WSJ On Campus with Unigo". TheGlobeNewswire. October 26, 2009. 
  23. ^ "Evolving the Application Process". Wired. January 11, 2012. Archived from the original on December 22, 2016. 
  24. ^ " Attracts $1.6 Million in Institutional Capital led by McGraw-Hill". PRNewswire. September 15, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Unigo: The Only Resource You Will Need for College Applications". American Airlines In-Flight Magazine - Hemispheres. April 1, 2012. 
  26. ^ "Models of Excellence". Slideshare. July 17, 2009. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  27. ^ "Top 30 Young Entrepreneurs". Inc. Magazine. July 27, 2011. 
  28. ^ "The 17 Winners of the Facebook and Gates Foundation Education App Contest Are Making College Easier". Techcrunch. January 29, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Unigo Group Launches Private Lending Initiative". Retrieved August 30, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Thesis on Education". Retrieved August 30, 2015. 
  31. ^ "Customers". Retrieved February 9, 2015. 
  32. ^ "Jordan Goldman's Slideshare". Retrieved February 9, 2015. 
  33. ^ "Entrepreneurship: Successfully Launching New Ventures". Retrieved February 9, 2015. 
  34. ^ "Upstarts: How Gen Y Entrepreneurs are Rocking the World of Business". Retrieved February 9, 2015. 
  35. ^ "McGraw-Hill Research Foundation Report". Retrieved February 9, 2015.