Our Startup Spotlight series highlights New Orleans-based entrepreneurs who have gone through The Idea Village‘s accelerator program for innovative, high-growth ventures.
This spotlight is all about PeakSeason, a platform that helps employees find year-round or seasonal jobs in mountain towns and resort destinations. We spoke with company founder and CEO Lee McMillan:
Describe your company in two sentences or less.
PeakSeason is a talent marketplace exclusively focused on resort town hiring. We connect inspired candidates with seasonal employers in extraordinary places.
How did you come up with the idea behind your company?
I was a seasonal employee myself years ago and recently discovered that hiring in resort towns hasn’t changed much in 20 years. Employers still rely mostly on word of mouth and newspaper ads, because professional alternatives like LinkedIn and Indeed aren’t good fits for their businesses.
Why is your solution the best one for your customers?
We focus on what makes these remote areas such an extraordinary opportunity for candidates and use social media and immersive imagery to really highlight how special this lifestyle can be.
And why are you the team to make this happen?
I’m a former seasonal employee myself and a lifelong, diehard skier. We’ve also got brilliant marketers on staff who know how to showcase these tremendous experiences.
Why do you think New Orleans was the best place for you to found this company in?
I grew up here, and just moved back home after 12 years away in New York and Tokyo. New Orleans has a surprisingly vibrant startup scene for a smaller city, and it also attracts talented enthusiastic people who can be a great fit for our brand. I also love the idea of building a business in the city I care so much about.
Tell me about a current goal you are working towards with your company.
We’re laser focused on the Rocky Mountains right now. Our goal is to prove our concept there, and then use that knowledge to expand towards beach locations on the coasts before heading international.
What’s a challenge you are currently facing as a company?
Two sided marketplaces are infamously difficult to create. They present a very tough chicken or egg problem— ours is to always strike the right balance between employers and candidates both numerically and geographically.
What has been your proudest moment so far as one of the founders of this company?
Being from New Orleans, I’ve watched dozens of very successful companies come out of Idea Village over the years. I was thrilled to be chosen to participate ourselves.
What’s a fact about yourself that people would be surprised to hear?
I could survive on a ramen-only diet for a year, no problem. Real ramen though, not that packaged nonsense.