Editor’s note: Lucio Lanza, Managing Partner at Lanza techVentures, is noted for his savvy, visionary investments. What may not be as well-known or recognized is his willingness to mentor entrepreneurs. A recent example is the help he provided startup founders Jared Carlson and Devin Owen as they formulated their business plan and strategies for their company Savviest. “Lucio has helped quite a bit through his expertise and knowledge of go-to-market strategies,” remarked Jared, who found him to be a great listener, always available to take questions and offer well-considered answers. “Just being able to get a gut check from Lucio on the market is invaluable.”
For anyone doing a job search, it’s both exhilarating and mystifying, often at the same time. That certainly was the case for Jared Carlson and Devin Owen who took their personal experiences and parlayed them into an entrepreneurial venture called Savviest.
Jared said he was bewildered by the world of job seeking. He pushed on through the process and developed a set of skills that he began sharing with friends, coaching them in their job search. Devin was an academic neuroscientist who wanted to transition to coding, not an easy shift. Jared and Devin fully appreciated the intense process of job seekers, sending resumes and not getting any response, the anxiety of interviewing and trying to learn what seems like a foreign language to communicate their value. They knew they could make it easier and represent a broad community of job seekers, including those who are underrepresented in professional careers.
Together, they realized their experiences could be put to good use and began to develop a platform to empower job seekers. Employers have increasingly sophisticated tools to automatically weed out candidates, including pre-recorded interviews and applicant tracking software (ATS) that evaluate resumes, leaving candidates wondering what they can do to get a leg up and stand out. And with more people looking to transition careers and find fulfilling work — including those with non-traditional backgrounds or who have graduated from a bootcamp — there has never been a better time to solve this problem.
That’s where Savviest can help change the power dynamic between employer and job seeker. Savviest considers itself “mission control” for someone’s career. It covers the entire job search process from preparing a resume and cover letter, tracking a job search, and connecting candidates with the best professional coaches when they need help. “Where we excel best is with helping job seekers tell their unique story for each job they apply to, both by working with professional coaches and through our AI tools,” Jared added. He noted that while Savviest supports all job seekers well, their initial go to market strategy has been working with career switchers and young professionals in the tech sector.
“Lucio has helped quite a bit through his expertise and knowledge of go-to-market strategies. Just being able to get a gut check from Lucio on the market is invaluable.”
Savviest officially launched in November of 2020 with a suite of AI-based resume and cover letter tools. It’s since expanded the platform to help users find and evaluate positions, track their job search and learn modern best practices along the way. Savviest now applies its tools to disrupt the rapidly growing career coaching industry with a tech-enabled coaching marketplace that adds a human element to its offerings. Impressively, Savviest has helped job seekers land posts at Amazon, Facebook and Google, along with Acorns, Peleton and Redfin. In the future, Savviest will evolve the platform to help professional progress in their careers.
Of course, the world looks different today than it did pre-covid. According to Jared, covid created massive changes and enabled job seekers to reconsider their lives and their careers. It became a reckoning on whether they were fulfilled in their job and learning in it. They looked carefully at their compensation and whether their employer valued their contributions. Job seekers most affected by the pandemic have begun reskilling and upskilling, moving from hospitality and service sectors into technology, healthcare and consumer products, sectors that promise increased stability, pay and flexibility.
Savviest spent the last year interviewing hundreds of job seekers and people whose careers were affected by covid. The best way to support the new world of work, reasoned Jared and Devin, was through a holistic blend of cutting-edge tools and professional, human support. Currently, Savviest is focused on connecting job seekers to career coaches and building a modern platform that will enable more efficient, effective and affordable coaching interactions.
Savviest raised an angel round at the beginning of the year and is preparing for a seed round in the next few months.
With its momentum, solid business plan and next round of funding, Savviest may become the savviest place to go for the next generation of professionals to build their careers.