VENTURE: LearnUp (Est. 2012)
LearnUp is a service provider that prepare American job seekers and connect them with employers. They use technology to provide entry-level job seekers with job-specific training, job coach support, and interview preparation and scheduling to help them get hired. They also continue to provide support to job-seekers after they are hired. Job seekers who use LearnUp are 3x more likely to get hired and stay in their jobs longer. Employers are more likely to hire LearnUp’s job seekers who they know already has the skills they require. Employers who work with LearnUp include Gap, Sprint, Old Navy, AT&T, and The Fresh Market.
I think that LearnUp has a lot of potential as it is directly addressing that gap between the jobseeker and the employer to create employment opportunities that will benefit both parties. Others seem to agree with importance of the service that LearnUp provides as it was awarded as the 2015 Tech Pioneer by the World Economic Forum and was an honoree at the White House 2015 and 2016 UpSkill America Summit. They have a strong and relatively young team with strong education and experience in their roles. The team is also a strength for LearnUp as their collective experience range across many fields and while there are some with experience in large corporations, this is not the first startup rodeo for many on the team. This is important as it suggests that the team is supported by a staff that clearly believes in the power of startups which is not always for the faint of heart. LearnUp also has the buy-in of seven investment sponsors, suggesting that this is certainly a venture to watch.
Co-founder & CTO
|Kenny graduated from the univeristy of California, Irvine with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering. He has worked as a software engineerfor University of California (Irvine), IGN Entertainment and Foldera He began his career as a software developer and moved on to a leadership role on software development projects as he transitioned through the companies. His focus on these projects were on social platforms and mobile technology.
Kenny has a history of entrepreneurship particularly in the realm of technology-based social media. At the age of 17, he found Didar.com (a social and entertainment platform for Vietnamese Americans to communicate) and in 2011 JoyLocal.com (a mobile app to connect users to others with the same interest and find fun things to do together). As with his work experience, his entrepreneurial ventures also focuses on social and mobile opportunities.
Co-founder & CEO
|Alexis graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Environmental Management. She has received an impressive number of accolades at her young age including the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leader and 2015 Technology Pioneer, Forbes “30 under 30”, Fast Company’s “Most Influential Women in Tech”, and was a US Fulbright Scholar to India.
Alexis also has some background in entrepreneurship having found Valence Energy which she later sold to Serious Energy and worked as their Director of Business Development after the sale.
While her beginners leaned towards environmental and energy management concerns, her involvement in LearnUp makes a lot of sense as she is passionate about solving massive social challenges, and unemployment is certainly one of them.