June 23, 2020 (Washington, DC) —Village Capital announced today that two startups, BridgeCare and JobBliss, were peer-selected to receive investment as a part of the Future of Work & Learning accelerator program for startups that are helping adults improve their lives through workforce development solutions, such as alternative credentialing, upskilling, and reskilling.
BridgeCare and JobBliss were selected for investment by their peers last fall on the final day of a three-month accelerator program overseen by Village Capital in collaboration with lead partner Autodesk Foundation and supporting partners AT&T and Lumina Foundation. The Michelson 20MM Foundation was the investment partner providing $100,000 to each of the peer selected startups.
The two companies selected include:
“With unemployment skyrocketing, millions of Americans need to be retrained for jobs in other industries,” said Allie Burns, CEO, Village Capital. “Any company that fails to prepare its workers with the tools and skills they need right now will be at a major disadvantage in the future. Startups like BridgeCare and JobBliss are helping companies of all sizes build solutions that will help prepare workers for the jobs of the future.”
“Advances in automation are disrupting how we work and what we work on, so it’s critical that companies large and small prepare for these disruptions now. That’s why it’s great to see companies like BridgeCare and JobBliss offering unique solutions for today’s workforce,” said Joe Speicher, Executive Director, Autodesk Foundation. “Inequality has a negative impact on our economy and society – and we’ve got to support workers in an increasingly automated world to ensure greater equity.”
"We are grateful to the Village Capital program for surfacing and shepherding along such a solid cohort of startups, each redefining the future of work landscape,” said Gary K. Michelson, M.D., Founder, Michelson 20MM Foundation. “We are particularly thrilled to be adding three exceptional, women-led companies to the Michelson impact portfolio, as support for female founders will be an increasingly important element of our thesis moving forward.” Cohort company Localized did not participate in the peer selection process since they had received pre-seed investment from Michelson20MM and would not have been able to accept the funding on the same terms as their pre-seed round.
This was Village Capital’s fifth US-based program designed for early stage startups in the future of work and learning, and our third year in a row focused on workforce development. At each workshop, entrepreneurs were introduced to investors and mentors who offered them strategic advice and feedback. Entrepreneurs who complete a Village Capital program raise 173% more capital and generate 28% more revenue than a control group.
The full list of companies in the Future of Work & Learning 2019 cohort were:
For more information, reach out to Rustin Finkler at Village Capital (email@example.com)
About Village Capital
Village Capital helps entrepreneurs bring big ideas from vision to scale. Our mission is to reinvent the system to back the entrepreneurs of the future. Our vision is a future where business creates equity and long-term prosperity. Since 2009, we have supported more than 1,000 early-stage entrepreneurs through our investment readiness programs. Our affiliated fund, VilCap Investments, has invested in more than 110 program graduates, including 9 early-stage US education companies like Landit, PAIRIN, and Upswing.
AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. AT&T Aspire is AT&T’s signature philanthropic initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring. Through Aspire, we’ve passed the $250 million mark on our plan to invest $350 million in education from 2008-2017.
About Autodesk Foundation
The Autodesk Foundation supports the design and creation of innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges. We seek out impact-driven, design-focused organizations—from nonprofits to social enterprises and startups—and help them scale. We provide funding, software, training, and related support, so these organizations can have the greatest impact possible. For more information, visit www.autodesk.org.
About Lumina Foundation
Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. The foundation envisions a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s need for talent through a broad range of credentials. Lumina’s goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy.
About The Michelson 20MM Foundation
The Michelson 20MM Foundation is a Los Angeles based private foundation dedicated to supporting and investing in leading edge entrepreneurs, technologies, and initiatives that seek to transform learning and improve access to educational opportunities that lead to a meaningful career. Michelson 20MM was founded in 2010 thanks to the generous support of renowned spinal surgeon and inventor Dr. Gary K. Michelson and his wife, Alya Michelson.