recently launched the world’s first online reputation management platform that enables users to build, optimize and promote their reputation on the web. Since its launch, the company has been converting free trial users into paying members, including job applicants, consultants, recent college graduates, real-estate agents, and small business owners.

The company also signed its first business-to-business (B2B) deal with Digital Vertical, a Syracuse-based marketing firm specializing in search, social media, and high-end branding for B2B companies in the bioscience, clean tech, green building products, embedded systems, industrial distribution, health care, medical devices, professional services, and software industries., currently based in the Syracuse (N.Y.) Technology Garden, also secured $275,000 in venture capital from a mix of private investors, including a managing director at the equity firm Black Rock, and a small portion from friends and family. The company reports it is right on pace with its first year revenue projections.

“Closing this first round allows us to stay in the area and concentrate on growing the business by taking our proven system to market faster,” said 22-year-old CEO Pete Kistler. “It has always been our goal to help turn Central New York into a hub for young, high-growth start ups by serving as an example of success.”

The company is also one of five finalists in New York’s Creative Core $200k Emerging Business competition. The final presentations will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 27 at Onondaga Community College’s Storer Auditorium.

Brand-Yourself is run by:

  • Pete Kistler ’11, a student in the School of Information Studies (iSchool), who serves as CEO;
  • Robert Sherman ’09, G’11, an iSchool/Whitman School of Management alumnus, iSchool graduate student, and an Engagement Fellow, who serves as CTO/CFO;
  • Evan Watson ’11, a Whitman School of Management student, who is chief evangelist; and
  • Patrick Ambron ’09, an alumnus of the Newhouse School of Public Communications, who serves as CMO.

The company, founded 22 months ago by Kistler and Sherman, has been growing rapidly during the last few months, launching a new product, generating initial revenue, bringing in new hires, and securing funding. The management team plans to raise an additional round of $150-250K from investors this summer.

Helping individuals win opportunities on the web

As more and more individuals are researched online, Brand-Yourself provides the first comprehensive system that empowers individuals to put their best foot forward on the web. Brand-Yourself’s automated tools leverage the power of search engine optimization and social media, empowering any user to build and monitor a visible, personal brand online. The company’s proprietary algorithm grades the strength of a user’s web presence by analyzing their Google results, LinkedIn profile, Twitter activity, personal website and participation in the blogosphere. The system helps make meaningful connections by providing targeted recommendations of people to connect with based on industry and geographic location.

For more information, please visit the web site,, or contact Pete Kistler at