Nick Brien, the former CEO of McCann World Group, and currently a consultant and investor, has participated in an early round of financing for start-up Sumpto, according to the company.
It’s the second recent startup Brien has backed in recent months. In July, he invested in a new social commerce site called Chirpify.
Sumpto, founded last year, is a platform that measures the social influence of college students. To date, the company has garnered 17,500 college “influencers” who are eligible to become brand ambassadors for participating companies.
The platform provides a customized score for each student, determined by Facebook activity, Twitter and Instagram and Information gathered through surveys about the university they attend, their major, year in school, clubs and organizations they’re involved in.
The company says that the customized student scores it calculates correspond to their influence on social media and throughout their friend networks.
The company hopes to position itself as a platform for advertisers and brands who want to tap the estimated $120 billion in annual discretionary spending by students nationwide. It has worked with companies including Greek Life Threads, Society43, EBoost, Popchips and CollegeFest. Selected ambassadors receive free company products.
Also investing in the platform along with Brien is SocialStart.net an investor in social media-related startups. The financing package totals $350,000.
Sumpto founder Ben Kosinski stated that there is a “huge disconnect between college students and brands. I saw the potential to unite the two, and allow companies to filter through this demographic in order to target a very specific group of students, while also positioning these students as social influencers amongst their friends.”
Brien was ousted as CEO from McCann nearly a year ago after a two year-plus stint running the Interpublic agency group. He left with a sizeable severance package ($4.2 million) and in 2011 was the second highest paid executive at IPG behind CEO Michael Roth.
In addition to consulting and investments, Brien sits on the board of directors of search marketing agency Covario.