“Future of Work” attracts more startups – NC-Venture-Event presents 9
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Businesses will spend nearly $1 billion on Future of Work (FoW) in 2023, a growth of 18.8 percent from 2022. according to IDC. And more and more startups are developing FoW solutions to conquer this growing market.
(gardener describes the future of work as “changes in the way work gets done over the next decade, influenced by technological, generational and social changes”.)
The Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) has responded to the FoW trend by announcing a new category of startups for its annual Venture Connect Summit. At next month’s event, nine startups will debut in the new “Future of Work” vertical.
NC companies raise second-highest amount of capital ever in 22: $4.2 billion
I spoke to Hunter Young, Head of Capital at CED, about this new industry and what the “future of work” means for CED.
“Employers are facing enormous staffing challenges from the large resignation and mass layoffs, as well as from a tight labor market leading to increasing compensation demands,” said Young. “We see many entrepreneurs offering solutions that help mitigate the cost of employee turnover by helping to identify the best candidates more quickly, and then increase employee retention by keeping employees engaged in their jobs as well, as increasingly normalize distributed and remote organizations.”
I also spoke to Stephanie Nieman, a local investor and CED board member, who told me that “employers’ increasing prioritization in attracting, retaining and developing their talent base” has led to greater investor interest in this category.
“Investing in innovation in the context of labor relations and productivity and how individuals get better job opportunities is definitely nothing new,” Nieman said. “But the term ‘Future of Work’ has become more popular in recent years, reflecting the growing importance of talent as a strategic asset in organizations and recognizing that the way people work is constantly changing.”
Nieman is a Managing Director at Leeds Illuminate, a growth equity fund with offices in Chapel Hill and New York City that invests in education and human resource development companies.
In case you missed it, a look back at TechWire’s exclusive Future of Work series
Future of Work Startups at Venture Connect 2023
Nine startups will be represented in the “Future of Work” vertical at VC2023. Here’s a brief description of each, customized from the profiles on CED website:
- All elements – Reinventing people management for jobs in traditional industries.
- BlueRecruit – a direct hire marketplace for skilled workers looking to build their careers and the companies that are draining their talents.
- boulo – a success platform for working moms, connecting our 12,000+ members with flexible jobs, offering our progressive learning platform and curating a marketplace of empowering solutions.
- Essential staff – a B2G SaaS workforce management and safety/wellness solution built for public safety agencies, enabling executives to track and identify workforce data critical to maintaining accountability, high morale and readiness of their organization are most important.
- Happy – the employee connection and wellness platform that supports the intersection of work and personal life, empowering companies to create a connected culture that leads to increased productivity, morale and employee retention.
- ivy clinician – the easiest way for Doctors, PAs and Nurses to find jobs they love. Ivy is a two-way marketplace that matches verified clinicians with medical practices, starting with the specialty of Emergency Medicine.
- folk logic – Leading the way in automatic employee engagement and retention – no surveys required – with patented technology that optimizes the health of your business with actionable and timely insights straight from everyday tools that transform the employee experience, retain your best employees and most importantly, reduce risk of revenue growth .
- suggestion ox – the employee feedback platform that helps executives get the honest truth about what their employees are thinking about, using the power of anonymity and a dose of psychological safety.
- zinnia – Helps distributed teams come together easily, effectively and on budget with proprietary software that reduces onsite and client EBC planning from hundreds of hours to just a few clicks.
I asked Nieman what investors look for when valuing companies on the FoW vertical. She told me that one trend she’s excited about is increasing access to labour.
“We’re seeing how people think about work and even the definition of what it means to have a job is changing dramatically,” Nieman said. “Technology has enabled individuals to gain greater autonomy and choice over where, when and how they engage in work and generate income.”
Where work? The remote model is defective, so try other options for the office, says executive
She told me that flexible labor market models, such as platforms that support freelance work or the “gig economy,” help improve access to labor by “better matching existing labor supply and demand to meet individual preferences “.
She also said the tools “increase labor supply” by supporting candidates who cannot or do not want to participate in traditional full-time or in-person jobs.
The Venture Connect Summit 2023 will feature a record high of 180 startups and will feature a tailgate celebration, and community members can purchase tickets for the entire two-day event or just the celebration. For more information, see cednc.org/venture-connect.