Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) announced the five finalists in the inaugural SHRMLabs Better Workplaces Challenge Cup, a competition to highlight the most innovative HR technology solutions from companies across the U.S. The competition aims to bridge the gap between companies that are creating workplace technologies and end-users: HR professionals and their workforces.
The five winners of the regional competitions that will advance to the finals in Las Vegas include:
- Compt: A perk stipend software company based in Boston, Mass.
- Symba: A remote internship management technology company based in Chicago, Ill.
- TiLT: A leave management platform based in Fort Collins, Colo.
- UnboXt: A leadership development platform based in Atlanta, Ga.
- WorkWhile: A technology company that connects hourly workers to shifts based in San Francisco, Calif.
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The five finalists were selected from 150 initial submissions and stood out among 51 regional finalists. They will go on to make their last pitch to a panel of judges, including Daymond John, award-winning entrepreneur and star of ABC’s Shark Tank, as well as an audience of investors, leading HR professionals, fellow innovators and the media. The winner will be announced at SHRM’s Annual Conference and Exposition (SHRM21) September 9-12 by SHRM President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP.
“The Better Workplaces Challenge Cup highlights real companies providing real solutions to real HR challenges,” said Nick Schacht, SHRM-SCP, chief global development officer at SHRM. “The finalists are taking some of the most creative approaches to spotlighting innovative technology applications that help us rethink our approach to these challenges and truly define the future of work.”
All five companies will receive an all-expenses paid trip to SHRM21 in Las Vegas, complimentary space on the Expo Hall Floor, and exposure to 18,000 potential future users. The winner will also be awarded a cash prize of $50,000.
“The competition is unique in that it exposes HR professionals to the kinds of technologies that will help them reconfigure the workplace to meet both employers’ and employees’ needs,” said Guillermo Corea, managing director of SHRMLabs. “In turn, these startups have an opportunity to hear insights to take their solutions to the next level. It’s truly a win-win.”
To enter the competition, participants were required to submit a video presentation and take part in a Q&A session with a panel of judges from local SHRM chapter leadership and SHRM staff. Competitors were evaluated on business viability, ability to create better workplaces and added value to SHRM members. The top three startups from each local round advanced to the regional round. The remaining companies presented a more in-depth pitch and participated in another Q&A with a panel of senior SHRM executives and other business leaders at the regional rounds held in June.
“The best solutions are the ones that give tools or insights to HR leaders’ strategic process or automate logistics to free up more time to practice strategic process,” said Marc Goldberg, SHRM’s chief technology officer.