Workforce recruiting startups earn high marks at Madison competition

Workforce recruiting startups earn high marks at Madison competition

Early Stage Symposium


Two Wisconsin startups that help companies fill gaps in their workforce won top scores from the judges in the Elevator Pitch Olympics, part of the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium held earlier this month.

Clock’d, a Madison business that helps bars and restaurants hire employees, won the competition. Internship on Demand, a startup also based in Madison that recruits and trains college students for internships at a variety of businesses, took second place.

“We can manage the entire hiring process,” Marc LaPierre, cofounder and CEO of Clock’d, told the gathering. Clock’d started in 2017, and in the last six months, the company has helped its restaurant, bar and corporate clients hire 100 employees, LaPierre said.

The founders’ presentations played as much of a role as the company concepts themselves in drawing high marks, said judge Michael Thorson, co-founder and managing director of Inventure Capital, of Madison, and co-manager for Wisconsin Investment Partners. But the judges also are well aware that the concepts are hitting the mark at a time when restaurants and other businesses are not open for their full, normal hours because they can’t find enough staff.

“The market is wide open for this. It’s a hot space,” Thorson said.

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