Founder Stories

Talent Jungle

The concept behind TalentJungle was born in December 2014 during an after-dinner chat between two Columbia roommates, Hua Liao ’16SEAS and Hongkai He ’16SEAS, both pursuing MS degrees in Management Science and Engineering.

What resulted became TalentJungle, an online-to-offline marketplace that connects beginners with experts in various fields. It is a talent-sharing platform that encourages and fosters an environment of exchanging interests and passions in a casual setting. Through intimate offline workshops, users can quickly master the basics of a brand-new subject while making friends with local gurus and like-minded participants.  Now anyone can set up a workshop through TalentJungle to share their talents, make friends, earn money, and much more.

During the beta test in fall of 2015, TalentJungle helped more than 700 Columbia University students share and learn from each other. In early 2016, TalentJungle focused on exploring the potential of young professional’s market.  In fact, dozens of freelance teachers have worked with TalentJungle to provide workshops to a wider range of audiences.  Moreover, WeWork, the biggest co-working space, is also working with TalentJungle to introduce more beneficial workshops for their members.

In June of 2016, TalentJungle set up their corporate headquarters at the Columbia Startup Lab located on the ground floor of the SoHo West WeWork building in New York City.

From original idea to early beta testing, the founders always focused on their ultimate goal: To enable people to learn anything from anyone. Hua and Hongkai are committed to exploring every possible method to materialize this goal.


In summer 2016 from July to August, TalentJungle will run a $10,000 large-scale marketing experiment. We are looking for workshop providers to partner with us in this campaign.

Email if you or your friends are interested

Specifically, TalentJungle is looking for institutes, companies or individuals who are willing to organize offline interest-based workshops/lessons as a business. (e.g. painting, yoga, cooking, makeup, programming etc.)

During this campaign, the partner will get free market exposure to local customers in NYC by re-posting their regular workshops on TalentJungle. They will also receive an extra 10% revenue by making a transaction on TalentJungle.


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