Strategio, a new Miami-based startup, has raised $2 million in seed funding to launch its mission of improving representation, equity and inclusion for women and people of color within enterprise IT, said the staffing startup’s Founder and CEO, Conor Delanbanque.
We all know the grim statistics. Women hold only about a quarter of all tech jobs, and when it comes to Black and Latino engineers, it’s single digits. Strategio flips the typical staffing model by lowering barriers of entry for potential employees to learn the high-demand tech skills they will need while helping enterprise companies fill their high-paying tech jobs with diverse talent.
“We source, invest, train and deliver,” said Delanbanque, explaining that Strategio sources fresh talent from North American universities and then invests and trains that talent, paying each participant $5,000 to take Strategio’s 8-week training course and another $5,000 in relocation costs for the person’s first job placement, if needed. “So it’s an up to a $10,000 investment for fresh graduates to get into technology, removing a barrier to entry.”
The training is in specific technologies in enterprise transformations — DevOps and cloud computing, full stack software development. site reliability engineering, data science, and cybersecurity, he said. Once qualified, Strategio Technologists, as they are called, immediately join high-growth enterprise organizations for 1-2 year job placements. Strategio pays competitive salaries and full benefits during that placement, and the person can join the enterprise after that. Strategio makes money from the businesses it contracts with so the employees get the free training and placement services.
The funding, from Hydrogen Group, comes at a time when hiring is on the upswing again and will help Strategio scale up. “A lot of enterprise companies have made statements about improving DE&I, but many haven’t figured out how to bring these strategies to life,” said Delanbanque. “This investment allows us to go full gas towards our mission of increasing diversity, equity and inclusion for underrepresented and underserved groups, within enterprise IT.”
Strategio’s first cohort for its Strategio Simulator, so named because it will simulate the tech environment, will start in November for 20 participants and four companies where the participants will work upon completion of the training. Next year, simulators will be held quarterly, Delanbanque said.
Delanbanque, who is of British and Caribbean heritage and grew up in London, recently worked in New York City, where he held a variety of tech talent leadership and consulting roles, seeing the staffing issues first-hand. During the pandemic, he and his wife relocated to Miami. “It wasn’t a hard choice because you get so much more for your money here and a way, way higher quality of life.”
Delanbanque said he hopes to work with Miami companies as well as talent coming out of South Florida’s universities and they can reach him at [email protected] He’s also hiring for his team, including seven engineering roles as well as sales.
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