Village Capital’s Newest Cohort Goes to Work


Village Capital’s Newest Cohort Goes to Work

Aug 27, 2019

NEW VILLAGERS: Village Capital, which has operated a mentorship and investment program for education startups since 2013, has announced its newest class. The latest program, called and focused on “Future of Work & Learning,” features 12 startups from the U.S. and Canada addressing a range of education and workforce-related needs.

Unlike previous years, this cohort focuses much more on workforce development issues, in industries as specific as cosmetology, and on topics as broad as cultural education for remote teams that span the globe. Just a couple are aimed at helping college students with their careers.

Over the next four months, these companies will partake in business-focused workshops and mentoring sessions across the country. After each round, they will each conduct peer reviews and rate one another. At the end of the program in December, Michelson 20MM Foundation, a nonprofit focused on supporting higher education, will invest in $100,000 in the two companies that received the best marks.

Other program partners include Autodesk Foundation, AT&T and the Lumina Foundation, which are providing financial support for program operations and will have mentors in the workshops.

The twelve participants are:

  • BridgeCare (Seattle, WA): an AI-powered employee benefit that helps working parents find and afford childcare;
  • Contextere (Ottawa, Canada): an industrial software company that uses machine learning to deliver relevant, real-time knowledge and training to workers on the job;
  • CosmoSafe (New York, NY): a digital learning platform that bridges the gap between traditional cosmetology education and gig economy beauty jobs;
  • Crescendo (Toronto, Canada): a behavior change platform that supports and tracks diversity and inclusion efforts in the workplace and motivates employees to action;
  • Forefront (St. Louis, MO): a mobile app designed for global and remote teams that teaches employees about different cultures;
  • GreenFig (San Francisco, CA): an education company that provides universities with applied business science programs to prepare learners for digital-age careers;
  • JobBliss (Oakville, Canada): a freelance team management platform that allows companies to build, manage, and track their freelance and contract workforce;
  • Localized (Washington, DC): a platform that connects college students and recent graduates in emerging markets to industry experts and employers looking for top talent;
  • Marlow (San Francisco, CA): a personalized digital coaching platform that gives professionals the support they need to achieve success in their careers;
  • Skillist (Boston, MA): a skill-based job application platform that helps employers hire candidates based on what they can do;
  • SkyHive (Vancouver, Canada): an AI platform that supports rapid workforce reskilling and upskilling through talent acquisition, onboarding, and learning and development;
  • TRANSFR (New York, NY): a training company that uses virtual reality simulations to prepare young adults for middle-skill jobs.

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