An Engineer’s Guide to Picking The Right Startup To Join

An Engineer's Guide to Picking The Right Startup To Join

Many engineers are lured by the growth potential of joining a startup. Not only will you get exciting and innovative projects to work on but you can also have the opportunity to create a trail-blazing product with high impact.

Working for a great startup can give you tremendous satisfaction and accelerate your career but joining a bad one can lead to burnout, frustration, and disenchantment.

Over the course of your career as an engineer, you’d likely work for just 7 to 10 companies. Even if all of them are startups, you only have limited opportunities to pick a winner that will make a mark.

However, given that as many as 90% of new startups fail, picking one that’s a good fit and have the potential to succeed is often quite challenging.

An Engineer's Guide to Picking The Right Startup To Join

 

Source

As a software engineer, how can you figure out the legitimacy of the tech company you are interviewing at? What signs of success should you look out for? How can you tell the “real deal” from the smoke and mirrors?

Here are some signals you should look out for:

The Leadership and the Culture

  • The startup should be founded on a vision and mission that are aligned with your values and interests. You’ll put in the hours and take on more risks so make sure the company is building something that you believe in and are excited about.
  • Consider the caliber and experience of the CEO, CTO, and VP of Engineering. Tenure, credibility, and past exits go a very very long way to a successful venture.
  • Most startups depend on VC investments to stay afloat and expand. The CEO should have the ability and track record of raising capital, help VCs see the company’s vision, and sell the product to the first customers.
  • The CEO of a startup has a substantial impact on the success of the company, so pay attention to whether he/she has the traits needed to take the startup off the ground. E.g., a CEO that’s dismissive of challenges is often a red flag.
  • Evaluate the caliber of everyone working at the company, not just the engineer department. Have they worked at other VC backed startups?  Did those startups have good engineering and culture?  You should even be appraising the sales team and/or customer acquisition strategy. If a company wants to solely use craigslist to find talent – that’s a bit of a red flag.

The Investors

  • The VC firms or investors funding a startup are good indicators of its potential. Of course, VCs can be wrong but they have done a lot of research on the founders, the technologies, and the market before whipping out their checkbooks.
  • Consider the names and history of the partners on a VC firm’s board to see if they have a good track record in picking startups that succeed. VCs are typically well connected and have either raised capital or sold companies, so they often have unique insights from their experiences and networks.
  • Look for a startup that gets repeated investment from reputable VC firms. For example, if a top-tier VC (e.g., Sequoia, Benchmark, or A16) invested in seed and then series A, then you could take that as a promising sign.
  • Ignore vanity signs that look good on paper but bring nothing substantial to the table. For example, “fancy advisors” that aren’t involved in the day-to-day operation or “big clients” who simply tested a free auxiliary product. If their corp site seems kind of fluffy, red flag.

Company Size and the Team

  • For a small startup (e.g., 10 employees), you’d likely be working directly with the leadership team instead of middle managers. Find out how the CEO views management to get a gauge on how the company is likely to evolve.
  • When evaluating a 100-person company, you’d probably be talking to a couple of managers during the interview process. Make sure to find out about the company’s approach to management and its priorities.
  • Observe the workplace environment and talk to those “in the trenches” – how employees act and interact in the workplace often tell you more about the company than management would in an interview. For example, do people seem cagey, sincere, controlling, result-oriented, narcissistic, driven, etc.?
  • Find out what “growth” looks like for the leadership team and if they’re approaching the company’s expansion thoughtfully. For instance, how’s the company handling mentorship and onboarding? What’s the growth projection for the team? Are they hiring in a well-orchestrated manner with a reasonable junior to senior employee ratio?

The Market, the Product, and the Path to Profits

  • Ultimately, a product needs buyers in order to be successful. Research the competitive dynamics of the market and the position of the company within the market to see if the product is likely to succeed.
  • Consider the current profitability of the company or if there are a clear path and timeline to becoming profitable.
  • Ask open-ended “big picture” questions at the strategic level, such as:
    • The source of funding and eventual exit strategy, if any.
    • The overall product or service direction.
    • The startup’s primary customers and competitors.
    • Short-term and long-term challenges to growth and survival.
    • Where you fit into their big picture (e.g., how they see you helping them succeed.)

Conclusion

The startup environment isn’t always easy to navigate but it offers exciting opportunities that are stimulating and potentially lucrative for engineers.

When evaluating a startup, consider both direct answers from the leadership and indirect answers (e.g., from your observation or informal conversations with other employees) to paint a picture of what you can expect life to be like at the company.

Since you’ll be working closely with everyone in the company, make sure to take your values and personalities into consideration so you can create an enriching experience for yourself while building a career.

Not everything is glossy and fun in a startup. In fact, if everything sounds too perfect, generic, polished, canned, or politically correct – that could be a red flag that you should dig deeper before getting onboard.


 

Cadre is a quality over quantity boutique recruiting shop specializing in all things software engineering, robotics, artificial intelligence, and autonomous vehicles. Cadre is building a talent network utilizing AI and Machine Learning to help solve the tech talent crisis across their portfolio of 85 startups throughout California, Seattle, and Austin.

 

Jason Stomel
Contributor
Cadre Talent, Santa Monica, CA
Jason is the founder and CEO of Cadre; a talent agency, recruiting software incubator and Angel Investor. He has been recruiting in LA for 12 years across a portfolio of startups ranging from Pre-Series A to publicly traded tech companies and Venture Capitalists.
×
Jason Stomel
Cadre Talent, Santa Monica, CA
Jason is the founder and CEO of Cadre; a talent agency, recruiting software incubator and Angel Investor. He has been recruiting in LA for 12 years across a portfolio of startups ranging from Pre-Series A to publicly traded tech companies and Venture Capitalists.

20 Steps You Need to Take to Get Your Startup Off the Ground

20 Steps You Need to Take to Get Your Startup Off the Ground

You don’t need to take too many months to prepare if you’re really determined to start a business. Instead, you can complete these steps in a few days.


When you’re pondering the prospect of starting your own business, it’s easy to get lost in the myriad details of the process. You can end up spending too many months preparing, and during this time you might even hesitate and lose your nerve.

The truth of it is that you really don’t have to spend a lot of time to prepare to start your own business. You just need to focus, and with the following checklist of steps, you need to take you can be well on your way.

  1. Come up with a business idea. You need a business that best suits your preferences, skills, and interests. Pretend you have to ask for some seed money from a prospective investor. You have to make sure you have the skill set and the background for the business idea you’re offering. To make your idea more concrete, you have to serve a particular need or solve a specific problem. You need to identify this need or problem so that you can customize your solution and design your business accordingly.
  1. Do market research. You can go online for this, starting out by checking out your competition. If you’re starting a plumbing business, then you better know how many plumbers there already are in your town. You should also find out the level of demand for the business service or product you’re thinking about offering to the consumer public.
  2. Choose a unique business name. Uniqueness is more important than how catchy your business name is. You can always do a quick web search, though you also need to check with your state department of revenue that no one else in your state is already using the business name you’re considering. A trademark search will also be necessary. Check GoDaddy.com for a domain name.
  3. Define your target market. You can find lots of apps online that can help, and you can always conduct your own surveys.
  4. Pick the location where you’ll be working. Most people start by working at home, but that may change later on. But you have to find workspace options that you may need to use eventually, such as when you’re meeting with clients.
  5. Set up your website. That means buying your domain, obtaining your web hosting (we uses MediaTemple), and building a website. It probably will help a great deal if you let a pro handle all this, although you will have to pay for these services. The point is that a website is a must—people don’t really trust new businesses without websites these days.
  6. Put up phone service. Even though just about everyone has a smartphone these days, it’s still a good idea to have a business phone setup to make things a lot more professional. You can still use your smartphone, but the other people at the other end of the line will see your business phone number instead.
  7. Set up your customer database. You’ll need this if you regularly interact with customers. If you find keeping lots of contact information on Rolodex cards, then you certainly will find a database a lot more useful/
  8. Use lead generation software. Leads tell you where you can focus your sales tactics so that you don’t waste time contacting people who are unlikely to become your customers. You can find software that can identify these likely customers for you, and you can use them with your database.
  9. Get your business on social media. You should have a business profile on the social media platforms where you will find your most likely customers. You should also consider getting on Yelp and Google My Business.
  10. Obtain the business licenses you’ll need. You can do some research on the state licenses and permits you’ll need, along with the fees you have to pay.
  11. Get your Employer Identification Number if you have workers. The EIN will be required by the IRS if you’re going to operate as a partnership or corporation, or if you’re going to hire workers. You can just go to the IRS website for this.
  12. Open a business bank account. The most convenient bank is the one where you already have a personal savings account. But you can check out other banks in your area if they specialize in business accounts. You’ll most likely need your EIN, the documentation you needed to register your business with the state, and a copy of your business license.
  13. Invest in accounting software. Try FreshBooks and QuickBooks, along with Zoho Books and Xero. You’ll need this type of software to keep track of your revenues and expenses, and the reports will be necessary come tax time.
  14. Draw up a marketing plan. Again, you can go online and find templates you can use to promote your business. Your plan needs to identify your target market, as well as the ways to reach and advertise to these potential customers.
  15. Write your business plan. A business plan comes in handy to help you focus on the tasks you need to do to start and develop your business. This business plan also will be necessary when you’re looking for investors. This business plan will include a general description of your company, the data from the market analysis you’ve done, information about the products or services you’re offering, and some financial data.
  16. Obtain the funding you need. You can go to a bank or a relative to obtain a loan, and perhaps use up some of your savings. But you should also see if there are grants available for your business. Crowdfunding may also be possible.
  17. Think about trademarks and patents. You can discuss this with an attorney, though if a lawyer does all the work the fees can go into the thousands of dollars.
  18. Prepare a logo. A logo helps your business to stand out, and it can be very useful for marketing. We use 99designs.com and Fiverr.com for this task.
  19. Think about insurance. At the very least, you may need professional liability insurance. Check with your insurance agency to find out what your business insurance needs and options are.

You can do some of these steps in just a single day, so there’s no good reason to feel overwhelmed about the preparations you need to make. Starting a business can be a risk, but you can’t reap the rewards if you don’t take the plunge.

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
×
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

6 Top Soft Skills You Need To Work At a Startup

6 Top Soft Skills You Need To Work At a Startup

When Google first started, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, set up their hiring algorithms to sift for Computer Science students with top grades from the elite universities. Their belief was that technology can only be truly understood by those who actually studied technology.

They found out much later that this hiring principle wasn’t exactly accurate. In 2013, Google computers tracked all their data concerning their hiring, promoting, and firing of employees. They then found that among the most important qualities of the most successful Google employees, STEM knowledge actually came in last!

The other more important skills are what we call “soft skills”. These are the non-technical attributes that help employees become more productive and better able to work with others.

The soft skills that many startup companies today are looking for include:

Communication Skills

Being able to communicate well is a crucial skill if you want to work well with others. After all, what’s the point of having a good idea if you can’t communicate well enough to convince the other team members about the merits of your idea? If you’re able to communicate well, then you can help convince the rest of the team to believe in your idea. They can understand the idea because you’re able to explain it.

Self-Awareness

This is the ability to recognize how your words and actions affect others. A successful leader needs to develop this mindset because they can then discover how to encourage and motivate others properly. They can also avoid awkward situations when their words and actions hurt and offend their teammates.

Project Management

This means you’re able to organize the work and the team, you can focus on the task at hand, and can work under pressure and time constraints. Even if you’re not the project manager, you can do your part by meeting your deadlines.  You can give updates on your progress and send alerts if you’re having trouble.

Perseverance

You should be able to commit to an assignment until you complete it, even if takes longer than what you anticipated. This also means you need to be flexible, as requirements may change before the due date and you should be able to adapt to the new scope of the project.

Team Mentality

Plenty of people automatically say that they’re a team player, but of course, it isn’t always true. The true team mentality is about getting the work done and helping out one another. But some people seem more focused on getting credit for the success of foisting blame on others when things go wrong.

Willingness and Ability to Learn

Things change all the time, and that’s especially true in the workplace. What employers are looking for are workers who can change with the times and adapt to the new conditions. You can’t be dead-set on using traditional ways when new and more effective tools and processes become available. This means you need to demonstrate your willingness to learn, and that you can and have learned before.

During your job interview, it’s not enough that you demonstrate your technical proficiency for the job. Try to demonstrate these traits in your responses to interview questions, as these are the traits your future employers are looking for.

Also, check out these 5 Things NOT to Say to a Recruiter

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
×
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

4 Secrets to Retaining Your Tech Talent

4 Secrets to Retaining Your Tech Talent

The supply of tech talent is dwindling, so how can you entice your current tech workers to stay? We have some tips to help you convince your workers to remain.

Many smaller tech companies these days feel like they’re the Kansas City Royals when they have great shortstops and pitchers. Once the Yankees and the Red Sox come calling, these small market teams have to no choice but to say goodbye to their superstars.

Is it then inevitable that you’ll lose your tech workers when headhunters dangle more lucrative salaries for these wizards? Not necessarily. There are ways for you to foster the kind of work environment that makes people want to stay. To achieve that type of work environment, here’s what you need to do if you’re the boss:

1. Remember the Human Element

Sometimes we just think of our employees by their job titles and what they can do for the company. But they’re not just chess pieces we move around the board. These are people, with human emotions and beliefs. You can’t forget that.

That’s why you need to learn how to emphasize and listen to your employees. One way to improve your skills in these aspects is to take coaching courses and read coaching materials. You’re more like a coach of a sports team rather than a chess player with unfeeling game pieces.

2. Have a Clear Vision and Mission

It’s not just money that drives people. Sometimes it’s as simple as wanting to succeed, especially when the purpose is something they wholeheartedly believe in. To help your employees get on the bandwagon, you have to make it clear what your company’s vision is regarding its purpose. Workers are then more apt to be motivated to work for a noble purpose, and they’ll be more engaged.

Disengagement is a huge problem with workers, as this state makes them more likely to leave and find something more engaging. That’s why you need to set clear goals. Your workers need to know that what they’re doing is actually important.

3. Help Your Talent Become Better Leaders

You should have processes that support team leaders, especially those who have been thrust into leadership positions for the first time. Helping them to succeed helps your company in many ways, as you improve the productivity of those teams. In addition, you give your new team leaders a sense of belonging in your company, as they have a greater influence on the success of your business. Once they believe that your company is also in a way “their baby”, they’re less likely to abandon their position for a new company.

4. Offer Recognition

It’s no secret that the majority of employees tend to work harder when they’re recognized for their efforts. They’re disheartened when their efforts are seemingly ignored, which tempts them to leave for other companies where their efforts may be more appreciated. You don’t need to give them lavish prizes—just offer the recognition in a timely manner and make it personal. Make sure it’s sincere, and not just something that seems forced.

Remember, people aren’t always motivated by money. People can love their jobs not just because of the money, and if they love their job while they work for you they’re less likely to leave.

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
×
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

5 Technology Trends Startup Should Follow Right Now

5 Technology Trends Startups Should Follow Right Now

Be current with today’s technology trends if you want to get ahead (or even just keep up) with your competitors. Here are the most important tech trends for 2019.

Technology trends come and go, depending on the current landscape of the business world. It’s best if you can come in on these trends to get ahead of your competitors so that you can reap the benefits. If you’re lagging behind, you better catch on quick to at least keep up.

So which tech trends are important? For 2019, these are the trends to note:

1 Using Facebook Messenger for Marketing

For years now we’ve heard how sooner or later Facebook will no longer be popular. Yet this behemoth of a website still draws in 1.3 billion users a month. That’s the kind of audience size no business can ignore, which is why it’s crucial to do your marketing on this platform.

Then there’s Messenger, which is a handy tool that can do a lot of stuff for you. It can boost brand awareness, enhance the shopping experience, and demonstrate that you actually care about customers. One great example: this can help resolve various customer complaints and questions in less a minute on average.

2 Using Social Media as a Retail Platform

A lot of companies have already started using social media for marketing by engaging with customers directly. Of course, it occurred to someone (to an increasing number of companies, in fact) that you can also use this platform to engage with customers by selling to them directly. It’s a pretty logical extension of the principle.

Right now a number of social media platforms are doing their bit by making it easier for companies to sell their wares directly. Instagram has the Stories platform, while you have the Shoppable Snap Ads on Snapchat.

3 Optimize for Voice Search

More and more people aren’t typing in the words in the Google search box. They’re now just using voice search. A lot of households now also have auto assistants like Alexa and Siri.

These people who use voice search also use a much different set of keywords. They tend to ask complete questions, so you better optimize your website to match those likely questions.

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Ready to ride, #CES2019? Just say #HeyGoogle.

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4 Assist in Paying Employees’ Student Loans

This is a rather innovative way to attract and retain top talent, especially tech talent. There are no repayment providers that enable employers to provide assistance to their employees when they’re paying off their college debts.

5 Use Square to Offer Customer Financing for Purchases

Square is great. It became popular among many small business owners when it first enabled formerly “cash only” small businesses to finally take customer credit cards so these businesses won’t miss out on making a sale.

Now, Square has come up with its Installments service. This time, Square acts as a middleman between merchants and customers, so that customers can buy items worth $250 to $10,000. It’s like Square is the credit card company, and customers pay Square back through fixed monthly installments for 3 to 12 months. The APR varies, from zero up to 24%. It’s available in 22 states, but this number should grow soon.

Also, check out these 6 Easy Steps to Optimizing Your Voice Search – And Why It’s Important

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
×
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

Want to Work at a Startup? Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile With These Simple Tips

Want to Work at a Startup? Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile With These Simple Tips

If you’re looking for a job at a startup, no other social networking tool will be of greater help to you than LinkedIn. The vast majority of startups use it as their primary candidate search tool, so you need to do a version of SEO on your LinkedIn profile to make it stand out.

Even if you are happily employed, you owe it to yourself to be well represented on Linkedin, as you NEVER know what will come your way. LinkedIn is the first place companies go to find out about you.

Here Are The Must-Haves

Right from the very beginning, your profile has to stand out from the rest of the riff-raff. Startups are a lot about the mission of the company their building. Show why you are passionate about working for their company by sharing your experiences that align with their mission. Startups want to find someone who loves their company almost as much as they do.

So, first, make sure that you have the basic steps covered. This starts with a professional-looking profile photo to help them recognize you. It’s been found that you get 9 times more connection requests when you have a photo than when you don’t have one.

You also need to make sure that your profile is updated with the latest information. It must include your present industry, company, and position, so that you’re better able to connect with the content, groups, and jobs you’re interested in.

Your current location is also crucial, as this type of listing helps searches made by recruiters, former coworkers, and fellow alumni. With your location listed, you’re 10 times more likely to be found.

A good profile can immediately display your work affiliation and location, your contact info, and your list of connections. It can feature your education history, though you can also hide this easily if you don’t want to highlight it. You should also add videos and images to your summary.

Make your profile stand out from others by adding your FUN side to it.  Use emoji, symbols and visual cues in your profile will definitely help to make it stands out from the crowd in a positive way especially if you use them conservatively. Make sure you don’t overuse them. You don’t want your profile to appear unprofessional.

Keyword Your Skills

Recruiters spend hours searching on LinkedIn looking for top performers. And when they find them, they will contact the top performers. Knowing this, you’ll serve yourself well to market yourself as a top performer by highlighting your skills in the summary and experience section.

With the ever-increasing data available about you, the candidate, many companies are using innovative Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to quickly weave out the low performers. AI technology has the ability to quickly sifts out keywords and key skills in your resume. Customize your profile with keywords that represent the required soft and hard skills found in the job listings. Incorporate these terms throughout your profile, particularly in the “Key Skills” and “Work Experience” sections will definitely help. Remember, hiring managers to need to know what industry you are an expert in, what technologies you are most fluent in, and which types of products/services do you have the most familiarity with.

You can start by featuring your top 3 skills on your profile. These are the skills for which you want to be recognized. You can also categorize your skills so that others will find it easier to find out if you have the particular skills they’re looking for.

One example of categorization is to have categories such as Skills in Technology and Tools, Industry Expertise, Interpersonal Skills, and Miscellaneous Skills. You should take care of the order of the skills you list within each category, as the most important ones should be at the top of the list. Don’t forget to update these lists as you gain more skills. Whether you learn a new program or even just a new musical instrument, include them all here.

These listings matter a lot, in case you still don’t realize their importance. If you have at least 5 skills on your profile, you’ll get 17 times more profile views. Recruiters and other people who can help you advance in your professional career can send up to 31 times more messages.

You can finish off the profile by adding more clues to who you are aside from your work and educational experience. Mention every charity or community work you’ve, and don’t forget to add new awards and accomplishments. Always update, as you’re never really done with your LinkedIn profile.

This might interest you: Top 5 Items that Job Seekers Need to Remove from Their LinkedIn Profile


 

Cadre is a quality over quantity boutique recruiting shop specializing in all things software engineering, robotics, artificial intelligence, and autonomous vehicles. Cadre is building a talent network utilizing AI and Machine Learning to help solve the tech talent crisis across their portfolio of 85 startups throughout California, Seattle, and Austin.

 

Jason Stomel
Contributor
Cadre Talent, Santa Monica, CA
Jason is the founder and CEO of Cadre; a talent agency, recruiting software incubator and Angel Investor. He has been recruiting in LA for 12 years across a portfolio of startups ranging from Pre-Series A to publicly traded tech companies and Venture Capitalists.
×
Jason Stomel
Cadre Talent, Santa Monica, CA
Jason is the founder and CEO of Cadre; a talent agency, recruiting software incubator and Angel Investor. He has been recruiting in LA for 12 years across a portfolio of startups ranging from Pre-Series A to publicly traded tech companies and Venture Capitalists.

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