At Strada Education Network, we’re interested in supporting emerging companies working to create more direct, seamless, flexible and promising education-to-employment pathways for adult learners. In 2018, we launched the Strada Education Innovation Fund (SEIF). By the end of 2020, we expect SEIF to make up to 20 investments in companies aligned with Strada’s mission.
We recently invested in SV Academy, a sales bootcamp for high-growth technology jobs, designed to empower job seekers who are often overlooked by traditional recruiting and applicant tracking systems. Across all of SV Academy’s 25 cohorts, 40 percent of job seekers are African American or Latinx, and 60 percent are women.
SV Academy offers guaranteed placement for graduates and has helped hundreds of learners secure well-paying jobs. The company has grown by 30 times its original size over the past two years and is on track to offer 1,200 student seats and generate $100 million in full-time starting offers over the next 12 months.
The opportunity to expand this model and strengthen the education-to-career pathways for more of America’s workers looks promising to Strada. We decided to invest in SV Academy because the company specifically emphasizes leveraging our uniquely human skills. SV Academy gives opportunities to people who wouldn’t otherwise get a chance to work in technology companies, including many who are currently underemployed. SV Academy offers a network of thousands of technology leaders to help graduates accelerate their careers post-graduation and provides ongoing professional development on the job. Seventy percent of SV Academy graduates are promoted within the first year—many to a position where they are responsible for hiring others. Moreover, the organization’s grads stay on with employers at higher rates—halving the industry’s average attrition rate.
SV Academy is aiming for systemic change by building an innovative gateway into the tech industry, and Strada Education Network is excited to join the team on this journey. To learn more about Strada’s mission investing work, click here.