Redfish Gives Back – Announcing the Annual “Redfish Technology Young Entrepreneur Scholarship”

Filed under: Community Service, Redfish Speaks, Work-Life Balance

Redfish Gives Back – Announcing the Annual “Redfish Technology Young Entrepreneur Scholarship”

 

Philanthropy and community service have always been tenets in Redfish Technology’s mission to “Diligently work to preserve and improve the quality of life in our community.” To that end, Redfish CEO Rob Reeves has paired up with Wood River High School’s senior class president Jake Gorham to ease the financial burden of secondary education (college & trade schools) with a donation of $1,000 to the Blaine County Education Foundation.

 

As a compliment to BCEF’s goal “…to focus community resources and raise funds for the students of Blaine County School District, promoting academic excellence, equitable education, and a healthy and sustainable student environment.”, the Redfish Technology scholarship is aimed at helping students who show initiative, creativity and drive and can be applied towards either the first year of college or a capital investment for a local Wood River Valley based business. Recipients of Blaine County Education Foundation scholarships will be announced in concert with Spring 2020 High School graduation ceremonies.

 

 

 

 

Redfish Technology Helping FinTech & InsureTech Clients Scale With Multiple Sales & Engineering Placements This Week!

Filed under: Jobs/Employment, News, Redfish Speaks

Redfish Technology Helping FinTech & InsureTech Clients Scale With Multiple Sales & Engineering Placements This Week!

As Rob Reeves & Will Brewer look on, Leah O’Flynn & Walker Cross gong in honor of their placements this week with a couple of our Bay Area based startups – Leah’s 2nd of many hires to come w/a company that’s disrupting the home insurance space and Walker’s 7th this year with a firm who’s mission it is to make it easy for SMB’s to offer 401k plans to their employees. Best of luck to our candidates in their new positions!

 

10 Robotics Companies to Watch in 2020

Filed under: High Tech / IT / Software, Redfish Speaks, Tech Trends

10 Robotics Companies to Watch in 2020

By: Jon Piggins, Redfish Technology

 

Fear & apprehension have dominated the narrative around robotics for years (“Robophobia” is a clinically recognized anxiety disorder). Common concerns include the dangers & ethics regarding autonomous military machines, “job stealing” manufacturing robots, and machines that become sentient and turn on humans.

One things is for sure…Robotics applications (and associated technology; Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning/Deep Learning) are destined for ubiquity. Fortunately, there are plenty of companies working hard to leverage robotics to improve & enhance our lives…here are some of our favorite companies in the space who are doing some really cool stuff for our common good.

 

Canvas

“Pneubotics”? The inflatable robot of the movie “Big Hero 6” was based on real soft robotics research, like the kinds being experimented with at Canvas. We haven’t yet seen many inflatable robots, but they offer a number of advantages; they’re relatively inexpensive, adaptive, and they’re very easy to fix. Compared to traditional robots, they’re extraordinarily lightweight, and they pack down to a small fraction of their size once deflated. Despite their compactness, they can be strong and unexpectedly fast. Perhaps most important, they’re passively safe, since they don’t have much in the way of rigid components or the inertia that comes with them. See their robots in action HERE.

 

 

Roam

Roam is building the first commercial wearable robotic devices, called exoskeletons, to help people with mobility issues and improve how people play sports. The company’s first commercial device is a robotic exoskeleton designed to boost the skiing experience. The Elevate Ski XO is targeted toward diehard skiers who wish to ski longer and stronger while pushing the edges of what’s possible. The Elevate is also great for those who love skiing but are limited due to knee pain or muscle fatigue.

 

 

Piaggio Fast Foward

Founded in 2015 by the Piaggio Group, Piaggio Fast Forward creates lightweight, intelligent, and sustainable mobility solutions. Based in Boston, MA, the company is dedicated to helping people move better, further, faster, and more enjoyably. PFF products leverage state-of-the-art technology and design to promote more vibrant cities filled with pedestrians, cyclists, and skaters. PFF’s first product is “gita” a mobile-carrier that follows people on the go. Carrying up to 45 pounds, “gita” encourages an active lifestyle for anyone who wants to move with efficiency and ease, from millennials and parents to seniors and disabled individuals.

 

 

Dorabot

Dorabot, founded in 2014, develops automated warehouse solutions using cutting-edge AI and robotics, including computer vision, motion planning, mobility and deep learning, etc. Covering induction, sorting, transportation and loading, we provide end-to-end solutions for logistics, express, e-commerce, seaports, airports, manufacturing and other scenarios.

 

 

Sphero

Sphero invented a now world-famous app-enabled robotic ball, which is used in classrooms all over the world to teach through play. In addition to the original ball, other products include the Sphero 2.0 and the Sphero Mini as well as app-enabled racing robots named Ollie and Darkside. The company’s Sphero Edu app is a hub for programming its robots and more.

 

 

Diligent Robots

Diligent Robotics is an A.I. company creating robot assistants that empower service teams to focus on the work they care most about. They build the Artificial Intelligence that enables service robots to collaborate with people and adapt to dynamic human environments. With a founding team of social robotics experts, their robots feature mobile manipulation, social intelligence and human-guided learning capabilities. “Moxi” is their hospital robot assistant that helps clinical staff with non-patient-facing tasks, so staff have more time for patient care.

 

 

Picknik Robots

Picknik offers open source, customizable robotics solutions. Their wide array of services include motion planning, advanced inverse kinematics, real-time control, collision avoidance, custom ros integration, 2D navigation, virtual reality, robot modeling, workspace analysis machine learning and more.

 

 

Anybots

Short of being face-to-face, Anybots offers one of the most interactive forms of communication available today by providing the user a personal remote avatar that can be controlled through a simple browser-based interface, with intuitive controls allowing for a truly immersive experience. With Anybots you can instantly be immersed in a distant environment experiencing the forefront of a new class of communication called mobile telepresence, allowing you to never miss an important event, meeting, or experience again. Individuals who cannot make it to a distant location can use this robot to afford them an experience that is, geographically, out of reach, or those who are homebound could use Anybot’s robot to attend social gatherings, be they in or out-of-doors.

 

 

Makani Power

Makani is developing energy kites that use a wing tethered to a ground station to efficiently harness energy from the wind, generating electricity at utility-scale. As the kite flies autonomously in loops, rotors on the wing spin as the wind moves through them, generating electricity that is sent down the tether to the grid.

 

 

Sunfolding

Sunfolding designs and manufactures simpler solar trackers that fuel the future of smart solar and move our world forward. Sunfolding’s flagship product, the Sunfolding T29™ Single-Axis Tracker, features seriously simplified components. The Sunfolding T29 makes solar power plants easy to install and smarter to operate, with motor-free tracker rows and 95% fewer maintenance locations.

15 Cybersecurity Companies to watch in 2020

Filed under: Industry Info, Redfish Speaks, Tech Trends

15 Cybersecurity Companies to watch in 2020

By Redfish Technology

 

Every emerging technology poses its own unique set of security challenges. Traditional concerns about financial & identity theft, espionage, and malware haven’t gone away, they’ve just been joined by new dangers like Denial of Service attacks, data breaches and cyberattacks on connected “Internet of Things” devices. As the growing ubiquity of technology exposes us to new threats, here are some companies hard at work to protect us.

 

Fortscale (www.fortscale.com) Fortscale is redefining behavioral analytics, with the industry’s first embeddable engine, making behavioral analytics available for everyone. Fortscale automates the delivery and use of behavioral analytics throughout the security infrastructure, embedding it within the native operations of security devices, so it can be used to quickly pinpoint risks, improve decision-making and strengthen security. When integrated, Fortscale processes the data collected by the device, using predictive, big data analytics and advanced machine learning, to autonomously model behaviors and quickly and accurately identify anomalous, high-risk activity.

 

Firelayers (www.firelayers.com) FireLayers enables IT to proactively protect the usage of cloud applications via rule-based policies while ensuring that they maintain the required security and compliance levels. They protect cloud application usage from initial user identification to the safe retrieval of data and request fulfillment. They add a layer of proactive protection and monitoring to any cloud application identifying all users, applications, and actions.

 

CyberHaven (www.cyberhaven.io) Cyberhaven provides rapid enablement for GDPR and CCPA compliance, streamlined data security and modern risk management. Cyberhaven automatically traces all of your data as it moves through your enterprise in real time, on prem and in the cloud, enabling you to search, navigate, and control the flows of data as easily as finding your way around city streets with a GPS. Their technology is simple and blazingly fast to deploy, and you don’t need to change, tag or classify your data to use it.

 

NokNok Labs (www.noknoklabs.com) Nok Nok Labs, Inc., based in San Jose, CA, was founded to transform online authentication for modern computing. The company is backed by a team of security industry veterans from PGP, Netscape, PayPal & Phoenix, and have a deep experience in building Internet scale security protocols and products. The company’s products transform authentication by enabling end-to-end trust across the web using authentication methods that are natural to end-users and provide strong proof of identity.

 

Voltage Security (www.voltagesecurity.com) Voltage Security provides data-centric security and stateless key management solutions to combat new security threats and address compliance by protecting structured and unstructured data as it is used across data centers, public and private clouds and mobile devices. Voltage solutions are in use at almost 1,000 enterprise customers, including some of the world’s leading brand-name companies in payments, banking, retail, insurance, energy, healthcare and government such as ING, Kaiser Permanente, Kodak, Wells Fargo and Heartland Payment Systems.

 

Arxan (www.arxan.com) Arxan Technologies is an American technology company specializing in Application Attack Prevention and Self-Protection solution for IoT, Mobile, and other applications. The company reports that applications secured by it are running on over 500 million devices. Arxan solutions are used to protect applications across a range of industries, including: Mobile Payments & Banking, Automotive IoT, Healthcare IoT, Gaming and High-Tech. Arxan’s security products are used to protect the confidentiality of applications (which can be breached by reverse-engineering, code analysis and other means) and the integrity of applications (which can be compromised through code modification, malware insertion and other types of attacks).

 

TigerConnect (www.tigerconnect.com) Of the largest hospital systems in the U.S., 5 out of 10 trust TigerConnect with their healthcare communications. By using TigerConnect’s secure messaging platform to expedite admissions and discharges, hospitals ensure continuity of care during shift changes, consultations, and so much more. TigerConnect also integrates with the systems organizations already use, which means that work gets streamlined – not disrupted. No matter the size of your organization, TigerConnect was designed with the goal of helping you treat more patients, in a safer way, in less time than ever before.

 

Cloudmark (www.cloudmark.com) Cloudmark is a trusted leader in intelligent threat protection against known and future attacks, safeguarding 12 percent of the world’s inboxes from wide-scale and targeted email threats. With more than a decade of experience protecting the world’s largest messaging environments, only Cloudmark combines global threat intelligence from a billion subscribers with local behavioral context tracking to deliver instant and predictive defense against data theft and security breaches that result in financial loss and damage to brand and reputation. Cloudmark protects more than 120 tier-one service providers and tens of thousands of enterprises, including, Verizon, Swisscom, Comcast, Cox and NTT.

TrueVault (www.truevault.com) TrueVault is the first data security company entirely focused on protecting Personally Identifiable Information (PII). TrueVault decouples consumer identity from consumer behavior to eliminate data security risks and compliance liabilities, giving companies only the data they need. As organizations collect and store more data to drive their businesses forward, they are simultaneously increasing their risk and liability. TrueVault removes 100 percent of that liability and ensures compliance with regulations such as HIPAA, GDPR, and the California Privacy Act.

 

ThinAir (www.thinair.com) The ThinAir Next-Gen Endpoint Data Visibility Platform delivers complete intelligence about every information in your organization, with simplicity and speed. ThinAir’s patented technology answers sophisticated questions about user interaction with data including information creation, consumption and communication empowering security and IT professionals with instant data-element level visibility including financial impact, in real time and historically.

 

Contrast Security (www.contrastsecurity.com) Contrast Security is a world leading provider of security technology that enables software applications to protect themselves against cyber attacks, heralding a new era of self-protecting software. More accurate and effective than outdated legacy security measures, Contrast Security is a completely new approach to application security – the world’s first comprehensive platform for protecting enterprise applications from within. Contrast’s patented deep security instrumentation is the breakthrough technology that enables highly accurate analysis and always-on protection of an entire application portfolio, without disruptive scanning or expensive security experts.

 

Distil Networks (www.distilnetworks.com) Distil Networks, the global leader in bot detection and mitigation, is the only proactive and precise way to mitigate bad bots across web applications, mobile and APIs. With Distil, you automatically block 99.9% of malicious traffic without impacting legitimate users. Distil Web Security defends websites against web scraping, competitive data mining, account takeovers, transaction fraud, unauthorized vulnerability scans, spam, man-in-the-middle attacks, digital ad fraud, and denial of service. Distil API Security protects public and partner-facing APIs against developer errors, integration bugs, automated scraping, and web and mobile hijacking. Distil Analyst Managed Service brings human intelligence to the science of bot mitigation.

 

CodeDX (www.codedx.com) Code Dx Enterprise is an automated application vulnerability management tool that makes all of your testing tools work together to provide one set of correlated results, then helps you prioritize and manage vulnerabilities—integrating with your application lifecycle management tools so your security and development teams work together for faster remediation.

 

ForAllSecure (www.forallsecure.com) ForAllSecure is building autonomous cybersecurity tools for developers, enterprise IT, and end-users that automatically find and fix vulnerabilities in run-time executable software pre-production and when deployed. A startup with ties to Carnegie Mellon University, ForAllSecure has created a system it calls Mayhem that can scan code for security holes and plug them without any human intervention.

 

Karamba Security (www.karambasecurity.com) Karamba Security’s automotive-grade software detects and prevents cyberattacks on connected devices: automotive ECUs, Industry 4.0 controllers, enterprise edge devices, and IoT endpoints. Karamba’s patented run-time integrity is automatically integrated with the system’s software, as a part of the software build process. It automatically detects and prevents changes to the system’s factory settings, i.e. exploits of security vulnerabilities within the system.

 

11 HeathTech Companies to Watch in 2020

Filed under: Industry Info, News, Redfish Speaks, Tech Trends

11 HeathTech Companies to Watch in 2020

Redfish Technology

 

Technology is bringing about massive and welcome changes to the healthcare industry. Patients now have access to some of the best diagnostic tools, new and cutting-edge treatments, and improved procedures resulting in less pain, quicker healing and improved quality of life. Advances in 3-D printing, AI/ML, “Virtual” Healthcare, robotics, targeted treatments, and the availability of intuitive mobile apps have led to; improved care, streamlined processes, lower costs, and increased. Here are eleven of Redfish Technology’s favorite companies in the HealthTech space

 

Human API (www.humanapi.co) Human API started with two simple questions: “why can’t consumers access their health data?” and “why do enterprises struggle to connect this data?”. Human API empowers health consumers to share their health data with the companies that can provide them with better care and services. Through their large, distributed network of integrations, we’ve created a simple, on-demand way for everyone to exchange and use the health data they need.

 

HealthTap (www.healthtap.com) HealthTap is delivering universal access to high-quality, virtual primary healthcare. HealthTap improves the healthcare experience for both patients and doctors while saving time and reducing costs for all. HealthTap’s doctor-trained, augmented intelligence system personalizes users’ care and enables an instant connection to doctors and their knowledge from 163 specialties.

 

Thrasys (www.thrasys) Thrasys’ platform, SyntraNet, provides a suite of database-driven technology to the healthcare community; enabling functionality such as Electronic Medical Records (EMR), integrating healthcare information from numerous discrete data sources, secure HIPAA-compliant messaging, and analytics of populations and reporting on patient risk and costs of care.

 

Sypase (www.syapse.com) Syapse partners with health systems and life sciences companies to deliver clinical, programmatic, and research insights from the world’s largest network of health systems focused on precision medicine.

 

TrueVault (www.truevault.com) TrueVault is the first data security company entirely focused on protecting Personally Identifiable Information (PII). TrueVault decouples consumer identity from consumer behavior to eliminate data security risks and compliance liabilities, giving companies only the data they need. As organizations collect and store more data to drive their businesses forward, they are simultaneously increasing their risk and liability. TrueVault removes 100 percent of that liability and ensures compliance with regulations such as HIPAA, GDPR, and the California Privacy Act.

 

Limelight Health (www.limelighthealth.com) Limelight Health is a leading provider of cloud-based enterprise software solutions delivering the most efficient and compelling quoting & underwriting platform for the employee benefits industry. They provide process automation and seamless integration between every participant in the employee benefits industry including carriers, underwriters, sales executives, agents, advisors, and their customers.

 

MedBridge (www.medbridgeeducation.com) MedBridge builds the tools to improve patient outcomes, increase profitability, and mitigate regulatory risk for more than 1,100 organizations nationwide. Named by Inc. Magazine as one of the nation’s fastest growing companies, MedBridge drives better patient care while helping organizations improve financial performance. The fully integrated MedBridge platform provides the industry’s most powerful patient engagement, continuing education, compliance training, and enterprise-level reporting tools.

 

Luma Health (www.lumahealth.io) Needing to see the doctor is hard. Actually being able to see your doctor shouldn’t be. Luma Health solves the biggest challenge in healthcare — getting a patient in front of the right healthcare provider quickly. Delivering over a 65%+ patient response rate, their highly engaging mobile communication platform delivers real-time insight into all aspects of patient engagement, helping healthcare providers win back $27B/yr in lost revenue by directly connecting patients to care.

 

Alto Pharmacy (www.alto.com) One big problem with the healthcare industry: half of all prescriptions are never picked up, never make a milligram of impact. Alto was started to put healthcare in a better position to succeed, by building ever faster, friendlier ways to get medicine into the hands of people who need it.

 

Ciitizen (www.ciitizen.com) When You Control Your Health Data, You Control Your Options. Ciitizen helps you collect, summarize, and share your medical records digitally, free of charge. You can use it to get a second opinion, coordinate with caregivers, or donate to research.

 

CloudMedx Health (www.cloudmedxhealth.com) CloudMedx is building a world class clinical AI platform that uses healthcare specific NLP and machine learning to generate healthcare insights to improve patient journeys. CloudMedx aims to bring unprecedented scale and simplicity to healthcare by combining evidence based algorithms and big data architecture. By using scale and machine learning algorithms, clinical partners at all levels can derive meaningful and real-time insights from their data and intervene at critical junctures of patient care.

19 Companies That Are Helping to Change the World of Financial Services

Filed under: High Tech / IT / Software, Industry Info, Recruiting, Staffing & Employment News, Redfish Speaks, Tech Trends

19 Companies That Are Helping to Change the World of Financial Services

By Jon Piggins, Director of Business Development

Redfish Technology

 

The news these days is full of cautionary tales regarding data & security breaches, ransomware, and identity theft…and while these are valid concerns for the FinTech industry, there is plenty going on in the space to feel hopeful about. One thing is for sure, there is a sea change underway in the Financial Services industry. Here are some of our favorite companies who are looking to help shape those changes for the positive.

 

Token

Token’s universal open banking platform, TokenOS, allows banks and third parties to interact in a digital global financial services ecosystem. TokenOS provides one API to access all banks, with the tools to deliver best-in-class data access and payments use cases, and better open banking propositions.

 

Twine

The Twine app is a savings and investing app designed to help couples work towards joint financial goals. It allows couples to set up automated savings in a high(ish)-yield FDIC-insured account, or to invest their money in different portfolios.

 

Hippo Insurance

Hippo Insurance launched in 2015 with the deep belief that homeowners deserve better home insurance. They’ve automated the process and modernized coverage, offering policies that cover the homes and possessions that consumers own today, often with greater savings. A smarter home is a safer home: Hippo takes a proactive approach to home insurance, providing customers with smart home devices and working with them to identify and solve small issues in their homes before they become big claims.

 

Forge Global (fka “Equidate”)

Forge Global Inc. is a premier trading and settlement partner for a wide range of investors in the private markets. Established in 2014 as Equidate Inc, the company empowers investors and shareholders by enabling liquidity in the private markets. Forge, Inc. was founded by Y Combinator alumni and backed by top investors including Tim Draper, FT Partners and Munich Re. Forge Global’s platform allows shareholders and investors in privately held innovation firms to liquidate a portion of their shares and provides private and institutional investors access to top companies like Spotify, Lyft and 23 and Me before their IPO.

Trim

Trim is a personal assistant for your financial life. First, Trim analyzes your transaction history to show you all of your subscriptions. Then they cancel anything you don’t want to keep paying for. Now they’re working on the hard stuff… How do I get out of debt? Do I have enough money in my emergency savings fund? Will I have enough money to retire someday? Am I financially healthy?

 

Wyre

Wyre is a leading infrastructure provider in crypto. After trading over $3.5 billion in cryptocurrency assets and completing over $750 million in bank-to-bank FX payments since 2016, they have an established network of relationships with leading banks, exchanges, and decentralized partners. Using Wyre’s API, customers are able to instantly convert fiat to crypto globally in over 50 countries, in 8 different fiat currencies, and 3 cryptocurrencies. Their focus is on compliance, licensing, regulatory, liquidity and payment processing aspects so their partners can do what they do best, creating amazing tools on the blockchain.

 

VEEM

Veem is a global payments company trusted by over 125,000 small businesses around the world. They let businesses pay their vendors, suppliers and contractors anytime. Using a proprietary multi-rail technology, businesses can send or receive money in a click, track their payments end-to-end, and even connect to their favorite accounting software – Quickbooks, Xero, or NetSuite.

 

Tipalti

Tipalti streamlines and automates the way companies make payments to their suppliers, partners, publishers, and crowd. Tipalti brings a comprehensive solution that addresses all phases of mass pay-out from payee onboarding and payment method selection to funds disbursement, while keeping the payer in full tax and regulatory compliance.

 

CollegeBacker

CollegeBacker believes every child in America deserves a college fund, and they’ve already helped the next generation avoid more than $7.5 million in student loans. Whether it’s your child or a friend or relatives, you can kick off their tax-free college fund (529 plan) today at CollegeBacker.com.

 

Digital Reasoning

Digital Reasoning is a leader in cognitive computing. They build software that understands human communication – in many languages, across many domains, and at enormous scale, and their technology learns from experience and is able to transform data into the knowledge clients need to accurately answer questions (like what behavior indicates the potential for illegal stock trades).

 

Advisor Engine

Operating at the forefront of wealth management, AdvisorEngineer is reimagining how technology can serve financial advisors. Their offering is an all-in-one digital wealth management platform helping financial advisors connect more deeply, scale more efficiently and deliver better outcomes.

 

Tala

Tala is a leading mobile technology and data science company committed to financial inclusion globally. Millions of people have borrowed through Tala’s smartphone app, which provides instant, personalized credit to underserved customers in East Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.

 

Earnin

Earnin works on a pay-as-you-can model and is available for Android and iOS devices. You make a withdrawal of up to $100 per day based on the hours you actually worked. Then you pay a “tip” on top of the withdrawal–usually just a few bucks or up to about $15. That’s a steal compared to the fees and interest you’ll be charged on a traditional payday loan.

 

Axoni

Uses blockchain-based smart contracts to overhaul the back office of the world’s biggest derivative markets. Its distributed ledger will allow counterparties to see payments, calculations and other vital trade information in real time, improving efficiency and lowering risk. Already partnering with world’s biggest banks and financial intermediaries.

 

Bolt

Their mobile-ready checkout software for ecommerce sites incorporates sales analysis and fraud prevention, topped by a guarantee to cover any fraud losses. Bolt claims the integrated functions can cut checkout times from more than one minute to 30 seconds…and time is money!

 

Tradeshift

Processes payments for supply-chain transactions, handling everything from “know your customer” (KYC) regulatory checks to running cash flow analytics and recommending how quickly a customer should pay a supplier.

 

Own Up

Yet another example of how tech can help turn a complicated process into a simple one. Own Up is a platform that works as the middleman between consumers and home lenders. Once you build your profile, Own Up can connect you to a home advisor. They will help you compare pre-qualified rates, lenders, and everything else you need before making such a big decision.

 

Finix

Finix Payments offers a B2B payments platform for banks, acquirers, and enterprises to enable push payments over the debit card. It also decreases the cost, headache SaaS businesses, ISVs, cost, and marketplaces experience when bringing payments in-house. The platform also gives businesses a better way to manage, monetize, and own their entire payments experience without the headaches or expenses associated with building an in-house system from scratch.

 

CoverWallet

CoverWallet was started by tech entrepreneurs who worked in software startups in the past, building easy to use online products for consumers and enterprises. Frustrated with how opaque, high pressure and time consuming the management of commercial insurance was, they decided to build a better experience for other business owners and a concierge service for them. Their solution brings beautiful Internet products together with the state-of-the-art online technologies to create efficiencies, save you money, and simplify your life when it comes to managing business insurance.

 

 

6 Tips on How to Discuss & Negotiate Salary / Compensation

Filed under: Redfish Speaks, Salary

6 Tips on How to Discuss & Negotiate Salary / Compensation

By: Jon Piggins, Director of Business Development

Redfish Technology

 

The Pay Equity & Salary History regulations that are being adopted by more cities & states are making the discussion around compensation a bit tricky. Back in the “old days” a recruiter or company would simply ask “How much are you making now?” and even request W2’s to support the figures provided. The questions you’ll most likely get today are “What are your salary/compensation expectations” or “what sort of compensation range would you need to consider making a move?”.

 

While laws surrounding the topic of compensation are well intentioned as an effort to chip away at pay inequity, they have created a bit of ambiguity around the subject. As recruiters, we talk to candidates & companies about compensation all the time and here are some recommendations to help you navigate the matter, with recruiters, hiring companies or even your current employer.

 

Do your homework & Educate yourself on the market: There are plenty of compensation surveys & calculators out there…here are a few common ones we often share with our clients & candidates.

https://www.dice.com/salary-calculator
https://www.payscale.com/salary-calculator
https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/know-your-worth.htm
https://hired.com/salary-calculator

 

Ask your recruiter: There are times when our clients have asked us to leave compensation open, but we try to nail it down to at least a range. You can also ask your recruiter…we spend every day talking to candidates, companies & each other about the current market, so any good recruiter should be able to give you a realistic estimate of someone with your experience, education, etc. is making these days…and don’t let initial figures rule anything out. We recently had a company peg their comp range at $170-$180k/yr & wound up offering someone well over $200k, but they were able to justify it because of how much our candidate was brining to the table (essentially a hire & a half).

 

Flip it: A great way to deal with questions surrounding your compensation expectations is to turn it back on your interviewer. Something like, “If it turns out that I’m the person you hire for this position, I’m sure we’d be able to reach a mutually agreeable salary, as I’m willing to be flexible. Can you give me an idea as to what the budgeted salary range is?” You’re not trying to be evasive, you’re establishing even footing & looking to have an open discussion around compensations…plus it frames things well, that you’re optimistic you’ll be able to figure things out if it turns out that there’s a fit and mutual interest.

 

OK, you’ve made it past the initial “How much do you (want to) make?” and “What does the position pay?” stage and we’re moving in the direction of an offer…here are some tips to help you across the finish line.

 

Provide context, your “why”: Its one thing to say “I need $180k to even look at something new.” Vs. “I’m really interested in what ABC Company is doing, but I’m currently at $180k with 2 kids in college & a mortgage in Mountain View, plus my Mom just moved in & we’re helping to take care of her until we find a more permanent option.”. Explaining your “why” gives context and humanizes things, so don’t be afraid to share some insight into what’s driving your compensations expectations and needs.

Be Flexible: Beyond cash, what else is important to you? e.g. Benefits, RSU’s/stock/options, opportunity, track record of the founders (have they had successful exits?), commute? Don’t forget to take a holistic view of the compensation package. We have many clients who work hard to not just remain competitive in the marketplace from a cash standpoint, but go above & beyond by offering benefits like; school or home loan pay downs, 529 education fund donations for employee’s children, and mandatory paid vacations.

 

Leverage (how to use it properly), “If-Then”: Another mistake we see is when people simply keep asking for more money to see if they can get it. Assuming you’re interested in potentially working at a company, figure out what you’d need to work there, and quantify your needs. Help your potential employer by giving them something when you’re asking them for more money, benefits, stock…it means a lot more to be able to extend and “If – Then” commitment vs. “can you increase the offer?”. It’s reciprocal, you’re giving your commitment in return for their increased offer, plus it gives your hiring manager the internal leverage to get approval for the increase…they’re not just asking for money, they’re guaranteeing a hire if the increase is approved. It goes something like this; “Based on our conversations, I believe I’ll be a good fit at “ABC Company” because of (X, Y, and Z). I know this position was slated for $150k/yr, that’s currently what I’m making. My expectation when I started looking for a new position was at least a 10% bump and if we can get to that I’m ready to give my notice, decline any counter offer & start within 2-3 weeks.”

 

Be Realistic: the Curse of the “Golden Handcuffs”: We get people coming out of the “FANGS” or other large, well established tech companies with deep pockets who say they’re bored & want in on the exciting startup world, but they want to have their cake & eat it too…they still want $350k/yr from a 20 person Series A company where the founders haven’t pulled a paycheck for 6 months. There’s a happy medium that needs to be reached & you have to be realistic about the risk-reward…and big companies aren’t always less risky. A quick way to fix a bad quarter or two @ a big company is to lay off a few thousand employees, especially the expensive ones.

 

The subject of compensation can be a touchy one and it isn’t something that most people deal with on a regular basis. However, there are plenty of ways the topic can be managed from initial conversations through to an offer. If you have any questions, or could use some help navigating the subject of “money”, please feel free to CONTACT US.

Tips for Building Rapport & Making Connections in an Interview

Filed under: Best Practices, Interview, Redfish Speaks

CONNECTING IN YOUR INTERVIEW
IDEAS FOR MEETING PEOPLE AND RELATIONSHIP BUILDING

By: Walker Cross, Senior Recruiter at Redfish Technology

 

Making connections in an interview

 

Business is made up of people working together on an activity for the benefit of all involved: boss, employee, customer, the society at large hopefully! And the interview is an interactive opportunity for both employer and prospective employee to evaluate fit and decide if they want to collaborate on the company’s goals.

 

While hard skills may need to be verified, such as a software developer being able to code efficiently, and while references should always be checked, the interview has other objectives beyond these.

 

People spend a lot of time together at work. All parties hope for a great cultural fit and personal flow with their colleagues. So how to you determine this in a single meeting? Here are some recommendations that might help.

 

PASSION:
What about the job excites you and spoke to you? Again this can be from either side, in the form or a question or simply offered up in the conversation. Ask/tell about the upcoming campaigns or projects that this role entails.

 

PROACTIVITY:
Ask/tell about the expectations for performance on the job, for example in the first 3 months on the job, and on a yearly basis. Setting clear expectations makes to easier to assess and fulfill goals, and introduces the opportunity to discuss accountability.

 

GRATITUDE:
Showing your appreciation says a lot about what kind of person you are. This is highly personal and contextual, but one might share their appreciation for their team or a project they’ve worked on; you could express thanks for the opportunity to meet, or gratitude for a mentor who helped further one’s career. There’s no shortage of things for us to be grateful for in this life.

 

HUMOR:
Laughter is the best medicine; a smile and a chuckle can go a long way to breaking tension, revealing personality, and fostering ease. Humor is a great way to warm people up and kick start an easy dialogue. Putting people at ease is a great way to show your likeability, and facilitate connection.

 

PERSONALITY:

All of the above should be clue you into the personality of the person you are interviewing with.

If they are a Power (Choleric) person, it’s better to focus on what you can do for the organization or what you expect of the candidate. The Power person is future-oriented, and wants to hit the high points and move on.

The Party (Sanguine) person is focused on the present and is very enthusiastic but not always constant. Passion and attention resonate with Party people.

The Peace (Phlegmatic) person is not an extrovert but is concerned with everyone getting along, they are not big risk takers. Like Power and Party people, Peace people like examples from the past to reassure them about the present; references, especially from people in their network go a long way.

The Perfectionist (Melancholy) is data-driven and organized, may be fairly reserved, and you may not notice the intensity at first glance. These people want to hear your quantifiable achievements but they also want to hear the ins and outs of the problem-solving you employed along the way.

 

Once you get an idea of the personality type you are interacting with, try to adapt to their energy and relational style in your dialogue and expression. Meeting people in their own style helps you to communicate with them and facilitate a meaningful connection.

A Beginner’s Guide to Startup Options & Equity

Filed under: Industry Info, Jobs/Employment, Offers / CounterOffers, Redfish Speaks

A Beginner’s Guide to Startup Options & Equity

By: Jon Piggins, VP Business Development 

Redfish Technology

 

A Beginner’s Guide to Startup Options & Equity

In the startup world, most offers of employment include stock “options”, essentially granting you the right to buy shares of the company’s stock in the future at a predetermined price. For example (in a best case, simplified scenario), you accept an offer to work at “XYZ Company”, stay there more than 4 years (to fully “vest” 100% of your options). The “strike price” for your options is $2/share. In year 5, XYZ Company decides to issue an “Initial Public Offering” to begin selling shares of their company to investment banks & the general public. They price their stock at $20/share and it begins trading on the open market (e. “NASDAQ”, where the price will fluctuate based on demand). You now have the right to “exercise” your options, buying them at the predetermined $2/share and then sell them at the market price of $20/share, giving you a gross profit of $18/share.

 

So now that we have a basic understanding of what an option is, we’ll look at a few more important considerations when evaluating your offer (or current position).

 

Valuation

While a company is private, it’s valuation is managed by the board of directors (via a “409A Appraisal”) usually one a year (or if there’s a significant change, like a new VC round of funding). The valuation is based on a number of factors, but is intended to be an independent/objective Fair Market Value, or “FMV” (think of a house appraisal). Each round of valuation, in principal, represents an increase in the value of each share in the company. So, each increase in value also means that the cost per share in that company goes up. Meaning, if you started employment at XYZ Company when they were valued at $5 Million and your “strike price” was $2/share and now the company is valued at $10 Million and new hire would now have to pay $4/share for the same option. Hence, the benefit of “early equity”…getting in while the cost to exercise (“purchase”) your options is low (as it allows for more potential profit margin).

 

Calculations
In simple terms, you can come up with a rough value for your shares by using the following equations (and a company should be able to provide you with this information once you get to the offer stage).

 

% of “ownership”, how much your potential shares represent of all the company’s outstanding shares:
# of shares/options, divided by “total number of shares outstanding” = % of equity you’d have in the company. (eg. your # of shares/options of 50,000, divided by the total number of outstanding shares for the company of 10,000,000 = 0.005 or .5% equity in the company).

 

Value (on paper) of your shares/options:
# of shares/options x current FMV strike price – # of shares/options x your strike price = your current spread or profit margin. (eg. 10,000 shares at the last Board of Director’s FMV of $10/share – your 10,000 shares/options x your strike price of $5/share = $50,000 in a “paper” gross profit).

 

 

Vesting Schedule

This is simply the rate at which you gain the ability to purchase your options/shares. Industry standard is 4 years, the 1st year vesting (25%) after one year of employment and the remaining 75% vesting each month at a rate of 1/48 over the remaining 3yrs. After 4 years, you now own the right to exercise (“buy”) all of your options.

 

 

Liquidity Preference

Venture Capitalists & other investors get paid 1st. So, if a company has taken $40 million in funding and it decides to go public, no one else but the investors get paid until the proceeds exceed the $40M+ mark. Important to note (from an equity standpoint) when looking at a company that’s taken on a lot of funding & doesn’t have good traction, as there’s a good chance you’ll probably never realize any benefit from your options.

 

 

Summary

This is meant to be a very high level “Options 101” review of the topic. There are a multitude of factors that can come into play; dilution of shares/equity, different classes of stock, company acquisition, Restricted Stock Units (“RSU’s) vs. Options…but our hope is that a basic understanding of what options are & how you can calculate a rough valuation of a company and what your options represent in “ownership” of that company, you’ll be able to better evaluate your next (or current) opportunity. We’d be happy to answer any questions or do a deeper dive on these (or other) topics, so contact us if we can be of service!

5 Tips for a Successful Lunch Interview

Filed under: Candidate / Job Seeker, Job Search, News, Redfish Speaks

5 Tips for a Successful Lunch Interview

By: Jon Piggins, Director of Business Development @ Redfish Technology

 

In today’s busy world where time is at a premium, we’re seeing more of our clients scheduling lunch interviews with our candidates (everyone has to eat, right?). In addition to convenience, holding an interview out in public offers a unique opportunity to gain insight you just don’t get in a conference room or office setting. Here are 5 tips to help you prepare for the next time you’re invited to meet with a prospective employer over lunch.

 

1. Be courteous to everyone (hearing “please” & “thank you” never gets old)

This is where the value of a public setting for your interview comes into play. Your potential employer will be evaluating the answers you provide to their questions just as they would in the office, but they’ll also be looking for cues to indicate how you might be a personality & cultural fit for their team. They’ll be watching for manners, not the “finishing school” type, but to see if you are self-aware & polite in a general sense. A lunch interview provides a less controlled environment, so they’ll be looking to see how you deal with mistakes (eg. you’re delivered something different from what you ordered) and if you show a level of common kindness & respect. Formal interviews & technical exercises do a good job of vetting skill and ability, but human interaction provides insight into a person’s “EQ” (Emotional Intelligence).

 

2. Make smart small talk

Lunch interviews are more casual than those held in a traditional office setting, so they will be more conversational by nature. Never lose sight of the fact that you are indeed in a business setting, not a social event. Keep your topics neutral & positive, don’t bring up things like politics or religion and focus on upbeat subject matter, like new construction you noticed in the area or volunteer work you’re involved with.

 

3. Come prepared

Yes, you’re interviewing in a more relaxed setting, but it’s still an important opportunity for you to reinforce your capabilities & value. You should still be prepared to answer the standard interview questions you’d get in a regular interview. Bring copies of your resume & any relevant work samples, as well as a professional notepad binder & a pen to take notes. As with any interview, you’ll want to send the hiring manager a meaningful thank you email, as well as a handwritten letter.

 

4. Plan ahead, do your research, arrive early, order strategically

Interviewing can be stressful enough…do yourself a favor and research the restaurant ahead of time so that you’re not compounding your anxiety by trying to figure things out at the last minute. Know the restaurant’s exact location & plan your transportation/logistics accordingly (arrive 10 minutes ahead of time). Eat a little bit an hour or so before your interview. Look up the restaurant online to see how the restaurant is organized (noisy, busy, dark) and how people are dressed. Check out the menu & pick a few “safe” options to order (avoid messy, spicy, greasy food). Don’t complain about your food, or send it back (you might be eating at the hiring manager’s favorite restaurant). Do refuse (and don’t request) any alcohol with your meal.

 

5. Know who you’ll be meeting with

Get the names & titles of all the people you’ll be meeting with. Google them & take a look at their Linkedin profile & their social media presence (most likely, they’ll be doing the same for you). If you’ve never met before, seeing their profile picture will make it easier to recognize them at the restaurant, plus Linkedin will reveal connections you have in common. Doing some research will also help you to come up with prepared topics of conversation, including shared interests (see #2).

 

At Redfish, our mission is to build long-term productive partnerships with both candidates and companies. We pride ourselves on offering progressive service to our client partners without leaving honesty, integrity, excellence or performance behind. We aim to spark innovation, breed efficiency, and fuel market dominance by providing talent who can help take your company and product to the next level.

Our philosophy is simple: build long-term relationships by providing top-quality service and confidentiality, leveraging our expertise and resources, and having fun!