At each HR Tech World show, we dedicate a special part of the Expo Floor to up and coming HR technology companies at our startup competition. These startups are able to tap into the world’s largest HR community to build relationships, gain much-needed insights on their products and network with the industry’s top VCs and investors. Along with the chance to exhibit, five startup finalists are chosen for our HR Tech World Startup Competition. Formerly known as disruptHR, the competition allows companies to pitch their products to a panel of expert judges who then select a winner to receive a sponsorship package worth 10,000 EUR for an upcoming show.
With our flagship show fast approaching and our finalists for this year’s competition already announced, we spoke with last year’s winner in Paris – Aisling Teillard, CEO of Tandem, to see what the company has achieved since their big win.
How was the idea for Tandem born?
My co-founder Jim O’Brien had been working in the area of performance management for over 15 years and was frustrated with its execution. Knowing that the key ingredient to ensuring effective performance management was feedback, yet always finding that it was the most neglected part of the process. I had done my research masters in performance management and rolled out many local and global performance management processes in a variety of companies, but I knew it fundamentally needed to evolve. We understood that managers were time poor and wanted to create an easy and sustainable practice that made feedback a much easier thing to do. From there we built on the idea to evolve it from feedback to coaching.
How did winning our startup competition impact your company?
Winning [the HR Tech World Startup Competition, formerly called disruptHR] was such a gamechanger for us. It gave us much more of a profile with potential investors, customers and the HR tech community in general. It started our journey to investment which we’ve since secured and opened the doors to global customers worldwide. We still wear our award with pride in every email we send!
What was your favourite part of the HR Tech World show? What would you change?
I love the sense of community the HR Tech World show brings. Everyone is so supportive of each other and so genuinely interested in the tools of the future. The speakers are inspiring and I love the focus on the future of work. You are always hearing the very latest research and some really well considered insights that will inform future of work practices. It’s like getting a glimpse into organisations of the future. I wouldn’t change much about the show but I would love to meet more of my former HRD colleagues at the show, this should be their key conference of the year, but often it is more populated with technology HR rather than HRD’s. It’s a shame, I think they are missing out!
What advice would you give to startups joining us in Amsterdam?
Enjoy the rollercoaster! This show introduced us to our very first customers, some key influencers in the industry and opened the door to investors. Use every opportunity you have at the show to bring your business to the next level. And wear comfortable shoes!
Any tips for startups hoping to secure funding from investors at the show?
Preparation is always the key with investors. Have your pitch deck ready, know your market well and prove your traction. Go with confidence and ask for the number that will give you enough runway to prove your product a success. Asking for too little or too much will work against you: Know what is the figure that you really need and be clear what you need it for.
Who would you like to hear from at our upcoming shows?
I always love hearing Josh Bersin. He’s so insightful and can predict future of work practices like no other—a gold mine of information! This year I’m really looking forward to seeing Arianna Huffington and Nick Bostrom’s session looks really interesting. Jason Averbook is always a highlight too. Too many to see, can’t wait!
What are your favourite trends in the HR tech space?
I’m really interested in where we are going with machine learning and AI. I don’t think we’ve seen its true potential yet but I think it will fundamentally change us. That scares and excites me all at the same time!
Which solutions do you think the industry is still lacking?
I think the network of teams is critical in the future and I don’t see too many solutions addressing that. I think it’s a really interesting area. Also, I still think talent management is a little underserviced and we are still using very traditional solutions to what should be a more innovative area. Lots of areas to tackle yet! Great to see HR transforming bit by bit. I do believe technology, combined with strong change management, will transform HR organizations of the future and our future work practices will secure HR’s strategic position globally.
We’re happy to have Tandem join us again at our show as sponsors. Check out this year’s Startup Competition pitches on Day 1 of HR Tech World Amsterdam. You find the details for this year’s startup competition here.
Don’t have your tickets for Amsterdam yet? Buy your tickets here!