Tech Startup Co-Founded by Former Chancellor of D.C. Public Schools Michelle Rhee and Entrepreneur Ximena Hartsock Opens New Career Path for Overlooked Talent and Non-Traditional Workers
FAIRFAX, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BuildWithin, a software platform that provides employers with the ability to create and manage apprenticeship and workplace training programs, launches today with $2.4 million in pre-seed funding led by Dundee Venture Capital with participation from Black Capital, an early-stage fund focused on investing in underrepresented founders. BuildWithin’s new funding also includes roughly $8M in government grants.
BuildWithin is founded by former DC Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee and Dr. Ximena Hartsock, founder of acquired SaaS company Phone2Action, the leading grassroots advocacy platform.
The company’s software brings together end-to-end workplace monitoring, learning, task management, and real-time feedback to make apprenticeships scalable. These capabilities help businesses grow their workforce, stay in compliance, optimize salary spend and ensure workers are getting amazing on-the-job experiences.
“At my prior tech company, we had trouble filling our tech roles, so we started an apprenticeship program. We realized that there were a lot of capable people out there who could be quickly and effectively trained to fill technology roles. Many of the team members who went through our program are now working at some of the top tech companies in the country like Google, Uber and Amazon, and others,” said Ximena Hartsock, co-founder, BuildWithin. “It was this experience that inspired us to start BuildWithin and create an accelerated path to well-paid technology careers for individuals of any background, geography, demographic group or age. The beautiful thing is that our platform both solves a major talent problem for employers and creates access to new opportunities for job-seekers.”
In addition to its seed funding, BuildWithin is the recipient of a $7.9M grant from the Department of Labor. The grant is part of the Apprentices Building America program, which seeks to strengthen and modernize Registered Apprenticeship programs and enable workers to find a reliable pathway to the middle class. With this grant, BuildWithin will establish apprenticeship hubs in five jurisdictions nationwide. These hubs will significantly grow the number of local residents participating in registered pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs in the technology and advanced manufacturing field
“The World Economic Forum predicted upskilling could boost global GDP by $6.5 trillion and create over five million new jobs by 2030,” said Mark Hasebroock, partner at Dundee Venture Capital. “Clearly, this is where the world is headed and BuildWithin is on the forefront of this trend, and further, well-positioned to capture a significant piece of the corporate training – and retraining – market.”
BuildWithin’s pre-seed funding will be used to expand the company’s employee base as well as fund further product enhancements. In the first 9 months of 2022, BuildWithin experienced 300% percent revenue growth and anticipates similar growth in the remainder of the year. BuildWithin is an approved national intermediary with the US Department of Labor and counts Cyangate Technologies, Northern Virginia Technology Council, the DC Downtown Improvement District, and George Washington University as customers.
“Employers are overlooking massive talent pools because they are working within outdated frameworks that assume candidates must have college degrees and 3-5 years of experience to be effective,” said Michelle Rhee, co-founder, BuildWithin. “By helping companies deploy apprenticeship programs, we are changing how they view candidates. In this new construct, companies are not only prioritizing potential over credential, but also building an increasingly loyal employee base.”
BuildWithin is a software platform that enables employers to create, manage and expand apprenticeship programs, accelerating the productivity of new workers. Founded by Michelle Rhee and Ximena Hartsock, BuildWithin is dedicated to upskilling today’s workforce. It is backed by Dundee Venture Capital, Black Capital, Atento Capital, and Global Impact Fund II. For more information visit www.buildwithin.com
About Dundee Venture Capital
Dundee Venture Capital was formed in 2010 to lead seed rounds in the best technology entrepreneurs in the Mighty Middle: markets historically underserved by venture capital. Dundee has over $75 million under management across three funds and has invested in 50 world-class founding teams in 20 different cities since 2010. Dundee has offices in Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Omaha.
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