'Can’t Imagine Doing Anything Else', says Lisa First-Willis, CEO Truvelop by@truvelop

'Can’t Imagine Doing Anything Else', says Lisa First-Willis, CEO Truvelop

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HackerNoon Reporter: Please tell us briefly about your background.

I am a 25+ career HR executive. I have worked for start-ups, pre-IPO and post-IPO companies and led talent management programs for a global organization with 10,000+ employees. What I found throughout my career is that existing HR technology platforms fail to meet the complex challenges associated with today’s workforce. I walked away from a successful HR Consulting business to start Truvelop. We set out to solve one of the biggest pain points for managers and employees - the dreaded annual review process.

What's your startup called? And in a sentence or two, what does it do?

We are Truvelop. We are a best-in-breed HR technology performance management and development solution. Truvelop transforms how companies evaluate and develop employee talent. Our proprietary algorithm timely and accurately assesses employee and organizational strengths, weaknesses and quantifies value in real-time. Truvelop utilizes data science and artificial intelligence to recognize employee patterns, predict employee outcomes, and better guide management responses.

What is the origin story?

In late 2017, I was approached by the Voice of the Baltimore Ravens and WBAL Sports Broadcaster Gerard Sandusky to take a look at a simple assessment he created to evaluate NFL player talent. Gerard believed that the assessment could be valuable to corporate employers. With some minor tweaks to the question construct, I put the assessment in front of a few of my HR Consulting clients at the time and received immediate interest. The ease of use and simplicity of the question set and the scoring output made sense. With that, we raised a little money from friends and families and began the development journey. By mid 2018 we had a beta version of the product and in 2019 we launched our desktop and mobile app MVP. Today, we are focused on scaling the business.

What do you love about your team, and why are you the ones to solve this problem?

From the beginning, our team has worked efficiently and operates very lean. The team is super scrappy and willing to wear multiple hats which is critical for start-ups. Our team is passionate about the end-user experience and we provide best-in-class support and guidance to our customers. We survived COVID which I know was a challenge for many start-ups. But we put our heads down & focused on our existing customers to ensure we retained our customer base. In the first 6 months of 2021, we added 10 additional customers and doubled our revenue thanks to the teams’ resilience, commitment, and passion for what we do.

If you weren’t building your startup, what would you be doing?

I can’t imagine doing anything else quite honestly.

At the moment, how do you measure success? What are your core metrics?

Customer retention and new customer growth are our core metrics. We also take into account the large-scale data set we are building.

What’s most exciting about your traction to date?

That we survived COVID and came out the other side stronger than before. Since the beginning of 2021, we have added 10 new customers with larger annual contract values and have renewed 80% of our existing customer base. We are on the right path.

What technologies are you currently most excited about, and most worried about? And why?

We are just starting to leverage and analyze our large-scale data asset. Our product timely and accurately assesses an employee’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as assesses, determines, and/or quantifies the value of a person to the organization by utilizing data science and artificial intelligence to recognize employee patterns, predict employee outcomes, and better guide management responses. I am anxious to layer the data science on top of the data set to draw some fascinating conclusions and provide for predictive analytics.

What drew you to get published on HackerNoon? What do you like most about our platform?

I love reading other entrepreneur’s stories, their challenges. It is very inspiring to see people overcome challenges, especially the ones we faced over the last year. I like the community aspect.

What advice would you give to the 21-year-old version of yourself?

Follow your passion.

What is something surprising you've learned this year that your contemporaries would benefit from knowing?

That remote working actually works! We have never been more productive. As a start-up, being able to keep expenses low and conduct as many meetings as possible during the day the broad acceptance of a zoom Sales pitch has been a valuable shift for us.

To vote Truvelop - Baltimore, US, visit startups of the year page now!

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