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vettedIt can be difficult for a company to find the right independent consultant, and just as hard for consultants to find the right opportunity.

Vetted wants to fix that problem. The five-person company out of Mountain View, Calif., has built a curated marketplace for high-end independent consultants. Vetted wants to help large companies maintain a leaner workforce, and also pair consultants with organizations that match their skill set.

“We plan to accomplish this by reducing the friction in the hiring and management of independent consultants and small consulting shops,” co-founder Jagmeet Lamba said.

Lamba founded the company with Priya Agrawal, both of whom are former McKinsey consultants. We caught up with Vetted to learn more about the company in the latest edition of Startup Spotlight.

Vetted founders Jagmeet Lamba and Priya Agrawal.

Explain what you do so our parents can understand it: We make it easy for large organizations to find the right independent consultant.

Inspiration hit us when: Jagmeet considered independent consulting to pay the bills before we received our first investment, and realized how painful and inefficient the process is.

Then Jagmeet talked to his Wharton buddy, a group brand manager at Johnson & Johnson, who mirrored the pain points on the client side.

VC, Angel or Bootstrap: Angel for this round to gain guidance and contacts at large organizations.

Our ‘secret sauce’ is: Creating a product that is so compelling that it makes us want to become independent consultants.

The smartest move we’ve made so far: One, solving a problem that we are passionate about and that we believe will fundamentally improve lives, corporations, and society. Two, listening to David Cohen about following our passion.

The biggest mistake we’ve made so far: Undervaluing the power of customer development pre-Techstars. You were right, Mr. Andy Sack!

Jeff Bezos.

Would you rather have Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg or Bezos in your corner: Bezos — I strongly relate to his regret minimization framework.

Our world domination strategy starts when: We’ve had our second cup of coffee.

Rivals should fear us because: We deeply understand this space — from all sides. And while we can think strategically, we are not afraid to get our hands dirty.

We are truly unique because: … of the size of our ambition. However, while we do aim to build a big business, we are doing it for the right reasons — to make life easier for companies and independent consultants and to provide a path to greater career flexibility of millions of very talented folks.

The biggest hurdle we’ve overcome is: Every single day seems to offer a newer, bigger, more complex hurdle. Startups are hard!

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to other entrepreneurs just starting out: Learn, learn, learn. The more you learn about your customers, and integrate new information into your product, the better your end result. Don’t ignore new information if it doesn’t support what you want to build, learn from it.

techstars-casinoEditor’s note: This month, GeekWire will be featuring the 11 startups participating in TechStars Seattle. This marks the sixth of those profiles.  Make sure to check out TechStars Demo Day on Oct. 24th, and GeekWire Startup Day on Oct. 25th, both part of Seattle Startup Week. You will also get a chance to meet the Vetted team at the Demo Day after party, a fantastic opportunity to hang out with hundreds of Seattle entrepreneurs, investors and members of the Seattle startup ecosystem.

Past TechStars Seattle Startup Spotlights:

Codementor offers real-time, screen-sharing coding support for developers

Perfect helps you edit, share videos filmed with Google Glass

Shippable helps developers speed up software deployment

Designlab teaches you web design skills with interactive lessons, in-browser tools

Ex-Amazonians helping teachers create and sell online courses with Everpath

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