Picking yourself up after a confidence knock, be it professional or personal, is no easy feat.
And in the wake of this year’s onslaught of tech layoffs — nearly 400,000 tech professionals have been let go since 2022 — this has never been more apparent for those working within the sector.
For every 100 tech professionals laid off since the start of 2023, 13 have channeled their energy into starting their own company. Of this 13%, software developers are the most entrepreneurial at 9%, followed by engineering managers and product managers.
It seems certain companies are better than others at fostering an entrepreneurial spark and planting the startup seed, and former employees of Meta are the most likely to start their own business — three of every four former Meta staffers have gone on to launch their own company.
This trend is followed by former DoorDash employees at 30%, Amazon at 25%, Flexport at 24%, Twitter at 16% and Shopify at 15%.
However, it’s also worth noting that nearly half (44.4%) of these startups were started by people who were at manager or director level, and those with the longest work experience and most developed skills are more likely to launch a business after being laid off.
Aside from knee-jerk reactions to layoffs, the post-pandemic landscape has seen over five million startups launch in 2022 in the U.S., despite a decline in funding after 2021’s record year which saw VCs invest $624 billion.
It seems function is proving to be the most successful metric when it comes to those that succeed versus those that don’t, as David Eli, chief executive officer of StartupBlink suggests in its Startup Ecosystem Report 2023.
“The startup ecosystem is going through a cycle of cleaning; ‘vitamin’ startups that provide luxury are out, and ‘aspirin’ startups that reduce real pain are getting the attention they deserve. Some of the world’s most successful startups were born in a period when easy funding was not available, and we expect the same to happen in this period as well.”
And for those who want to transition from big tech to a startup, but don’t want to make the leap themselves, the good news is that the hiring landscape is ripe with opportunities, especially when it comes to startups that are focused on AI and machine learning technology.
The World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs Report 2023 found that 50% of organizations expect AI to create job growth and AI is expected to be adopted by nearly 75% of surveyed companies.
Separate data predicts that AI is expected to create 133 million new jobs globally, so if you’re hoping to pivot to a career in AI, now is the time and the TechRepublic Job Board is the perfect place to start your search as it features thousands of jobs in startups that are currently hiring.
Below we’re profiling three that are making waves and expanding at a rapid pace thanks to investment and funding.
Backed by Nvidia and Salesforce, generative AI startup Cohere was founded by ex-Google Brain employees, Aidan Gomez and Nick Frosst along with Ivan Zhang in 2019. It recently raised $270 million in a Series C round of VC investment, having previously raised $175 million. Cohere provides natural language processing models to help companies improve human-machine interactions and already works with Google Cloud.
Founded in 2021 and focused on increasing the safety and transparency of AI and increasing the reliability of machine learning models, Anthropic recently secured $450 million in May. They hope to grow its product offering accordingly, which currently includes a next-generation AI assistant named Claude. Backed by companies including Google and Zoom, Claude is currently available as a Slack plugin in beta and Zoom.
Can anyone rival OpenAI’s record-breaking success? Adept is hoping to with its AI-system ACT-1 that translates text prompts into actions on the software that you use every day. For example, it can organize your expenses into a spreadsheet, create profit and loss calculations and even follow up on emails, just like a real-life assistant would. Founded in 2021, this startup has raised $350 million as part of its Series B funding round.
By Aoibhinn McBride