Co-founder and CEO
LearnUp is a startup that focuses on upskilling employees to be ready to fill entry level positions. After completing a six-month research project, the LearnUp team determined that many job seekers do not have the skills that are needed by employers. LearnUp has been developed to bridge that gap.
The service is free to job seekers who have access to training, career coaches, and scheduled interviews. LearnUp is funded through employers who pay to hire the participants. LearnUp has recently completed $8,000,000 for their Series A funding and has established client list that includes: at&t, GAP, Sprint, Old Navy and Staples. LearnUp was also selected as the 2015 Technology Pioneer of the World Economic Forum. With features in The Huffington Post, Forbes, Fast Company and Wired there is certainly a lot of buzz around LearnUp.
Alexis Ringwald is a Fulbright Scholar, proven CEO and recognized on Forbes 30 under 30, twice. LearnUp was created after Alexis spent time researching the skills gap that exists directly from the unemployment lines. By examining, first hand, the skills gaps that exist she was able to establish a system to provide job seekers with the skills that are needed for many entry-level positions throughout the United States.
Does Alexis have the right stuff? Since this is the second venture that she has co-founded with successful funding it would be hard to argue against it. She even has a track record of her exit strategy working, her first venture was successfully acquired by a larger company. LearnUp is the second company that Alexis has cofounded, the first being Valence energy which was purchased by Serious Energy. Through the work of Alexis and her team, LearnUp is certainly getting noticed. Featured in many magazine articles, and even a US senate presentation on disruptive innovation.
The other co-founder of LearnUp, Kenny Ma, has a strong technical background bringing the technological knowhow to the equation. Kenny’s experience as a Lead Engineer at IGN makes him a valuable partner and co-founder. In fact, reviewing the staff listed on the LearnUp website there is a lot of diverse talent that matches business savvy, technical skills, and instructional design techniques. There is a strong team behind this venture. They even have a Hacker who also serves as their dishwasher.
By reading articles, watching interviews, and reviewing her twitter the passion that Alexis has for the real world solution offered through LearnUp is evident. Any company that has a CEO like Alexis is worth taking note of, and any company with a CEO that is Alexis is worth investing in.
With experience working for a national organization in an industry where the need for a project like Learnup was evident, I see tremendous value in this venture. I think one of the many keys to success that briefly reviewing LearnUp has presented are the strong partnerships with national chains. As educator we often, and usually should focus on the journey of learner, but by including these corporations as partners LearnUP has included them in creating a solution to the skills gap without the company committing to hiring and training anyone. In a way, LearnUp facilitates the professional relationship between the learner and the perspective employer.