I’m Shaan Hathiramani, the founder of Flockjay (https://www.flockjay.com). My team and I created Flockjay to make tech accessible for people from underrepresented communities. We're doing this by targeting a branch of the industry that itself has been neglected in this age of engineering bootcamps: a $0-upfront online sales academy that gives underserved jobseekers the tools and training they need to break into tech.
Startups are building formal sales processes earlier in their life cycles. Many struggle with predictably hiring top talent for sales. Skilled sales reps are critical for growing startups, as they accelerate revenue (4-5x their compensation) while understanding what customers want. Top performers are hard to find because they often come from non-traditional backgrounds. They are conscientious, curious, and emotionally intelligent, and have honed their skills through experience and mentorship.
As an industry, we focus most of our energy on teaching people to code. Yet, in a recent poll of 250 US college and university officials, not one school offered coursework in tools like Salesforce. Meanwhile, the best sales reps are amongst the highest earners in tech. Providing this training can create economic opportunity that changes lives.
I have witnessed the power of education and access in my own life. As a son of non-white immigrants, I grew up with a narrow view of opportunity. Then, 22 years ago, my parents crossed the street and asked our neighbors why their kids’ bus went one way, and mine went another. I applied for a scholarship to their private school, and my entire worldview changed.
After college, I taught financial literacy in inner-city Chicago and NY. Many of my students felt overlooked in tech job searches despite being qualified. They didn’t speak the tech language, rarely had an industry connection, and lacked fluency in business software. If they did land the dream job, there was often a steep learning curve with little training or support.
We built Flockjay to bridge this skills gap. Over 12 weeks part-time, students receive expert coaching, interview with top companies, and join a community of mentors. Our hired graduates make 2x or more their current income, while making real impact at breakout tech companies. They develop life-long skills for any professional transition.
Our team has 10+ years of domain expertise, and with help from world-class professionals (Facebook, Flexport, Google, etc.) we’ve developed a fully-immersive curriculum that uses cutting-edge tools (Summary: https://flockjay.com/applicants). Our students pay nothing until hired, after which we take 10% of their first year income.
We are working with groups representing different races, genders, sexual orientations, socioeconomic/educational backgrounds, geographic locations, and ages to attract high potential applicants. You can read more about our view of diversity here: https://flockjay.com/diversity.
We are from places like Mississippi and Ghana, and we are building a radical company to reflect the change we want to see in the world. What we’ve learned so far is there is no single story of success. We want to hear your experiences, ideas, feedback, and stories about breaking into tech. They have been the most meaningful part of our work.