Martha Hernandez Visionary Behind madeBOS
by Linda Castillo At the 2017 Silicon Valley Latino Leadership Summit, I had the opportunity to meet Martha Hernandez, who is disrupting ...
There are 15 million people employed in US retail.
wage retail workers are the largest segment of US employment and yet the least invested in. They feel it takes too long to get promoted and are starving for career development opportunities.
Most career development tools today are not effective:
madeBOS empowers employees to proactively manage their career development by focusing on the competencies needed for advancement:
Showing real career opportunities available aligned with Companies' strategic growth goals.
Creating an individualized plan to reach these opportunities.
madeBOS adds transparency to the career development process and makes each user accountable to their own progress.
madeBOS replaces and automates the antiquated Individual Development Plan process.
Employees do not have to wait for their managers to deliver scheduled reviews that could take months to a year.
madeBOS provides valuable insights and predictive analytics into the talent on hand.
madeBOS differentiates the company from competitors.
For the Employee:
Naomi, a Walmart employee wants to develop into a better paying job. In 4 simple steps Naomi is empowered to manage a realistic and attainable career development plan that unlocks her highest potential without having to leave her current employer.
For Naomi’s Employer:
Within 3 months of raising 216% of our goal in the first Republic round, we successfully launched on time, and on budget our MVP: the alpha version of the madeBOS platform.
We partnered with Tangelo, a venture studio and innovation lab in Palo Alto, California that executes digital transformations and develops deep technology platforms (for startups, midsize companies and corporations like Intel, Intuit, Facebook, and Google) to design and built the initial madeBOS platform. Here is what they said about us:
“We are thrilled to have Martha Hernandez as one of Tangelo’s partners. Her presence and drive matches our values and she embodies hard work and high standards through her work. Martha is a trailblazer in her field and we are proud to be supporting her company’s growth” said Antonio Altamirano, CEO of Tangelo, Inc.
We tested our proprietary algorithm using 2,600+ employee records and 1,600+ positions/job descriptions.
We invited madeBOS investors from our first campaign to experience the madeBOS platform. Here are some initial reactions:
“I was very impressed with the madeBOS MVP because it definitely benefits employees like myself who desire access to higher opportunity but lack the knowledge on the steps needed to grow. I loved how easy it is to use and also its versatility; any employee and any business will benefit. I’m proud to be an investor.” -Jazmani Cortez, Draught Beer Technician & madeBOS Investor
“Great job, this is excellent! The lay out is pleasant to the eye. madeBOS is easy to navigate through and super informative. Now I know the difference between being talented and being skilled and that no matter what, if I follow the madeBOS plan, I can always build my skills to reach my highest potential.” -Miriam Girotti, Hairstylist/Master Color Expert & madeBOS Investor
Juventino Mejia Jr. left Apple, Inc. to join madeBOS!
We are thrilled to have recruited an expert in data curation and content recommendation, a natural fit to madeBOS’ core career pathing methodology. Having an invested Co-Founder and CTO with a well rounded background in full stack development, multi platform app development (iOS/tvOS, Android, Web) account management and team leadership has positioned madeBOS to have faster and more strategic growth.
“This is a game changer” says madeBOS advisor Daniel Sonsino, HR Talent Management expert and Guia Founder. “Martha and Juventino have solved a problem for multiple industries as we see the unemployment rate dropping to 4.1%. Both companies and individual employees alike will benefit from this incredible technology that is thoughtfully designed and artfully created. Leveraging madeBOS inside an organization will increase employee engagement and commitment, improve retention, and demonstrate that you truly value your people. Employees will value the personalized approach to driving their own career aspirations, while connecting to a company they already value. When Martha showed me her idea I was intrigued, when I saw the actual platform, I was amazed,” states Daniel Sonsino, Founder, Guia Human Resources Consulting and madeBOS advisor and investor.
Within days of MVP launch we began scheduling demos with key entry level, low wage employers (including leaders in the service industry) and influencer organizations that include the following:
Potential Strategic Influencers
The madeBOS “formula” is based on 10+ years of experience giving people individualized plans to grow and develop professionally. Below are some recent stories of those who attest the formula has proven to work.
“I couldn't understand why after receiving my master’s degree I spent over 6 months unemployed failing close to a dozen interviews. madeBOS inspired self-confidence and incited a drive to accomplish what I hadn't thought I could, it gave me a tangible plan that I was easily able to follow – and it worked!”
"I was in a role where I was not utilizing my natural strengths and abilities. madeBOS recognized this and realigned my focus to a role that would allow me to use my talents. It showed me what I was capable of and gave me a plan to get there.”
"As a manager I was pretty content. However, madeBOS showed me I was capable of more and put a plan in place to earn my Bachelor’s Degree! In addition to my education plan, I was able to learn more about myself and what I did really well in my career and be able to focus on those strengths immediately."
"But more than that, it helped me build a pathway to my goals and ultimately success. The madeBOS formula sets plans and drives users to execute them step by step effectively. “
“madeBOS is creating user driven career paths to alleviate the confusion for people seeking advancement”
–Angela Mills-Dixon, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Executive Director, HR, The Save Mart Companies
"I am encouraged with the forward thinking of madeBOS, and how it aligns with ABRA’s Corporate immediate goal of becoming the Employer of choice.The concept of customizing this product, with our specific needs further piques our interest. We are establishing a focus group, to dial in on our priorities of how this product could best serve our needs, and look forward to more interaction toward our partnership with madeBOS."
–Greg Peeters, Regional VP at ABRA Auto Body & Glass
madeBOS will draw revenue from two sources:
Downloading the app for the general public is free, however, unlocking next level of app usability charges the independent user a small $2.99 annual fee.
The retail industry (Grocery Stores, General Merchandise Stores, Specialty Stores, Non-Store Retailers-by mail, catalog or online- and Restaurants) is expected to experience significant growth.
The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Statistics projects that employment in the retail industry overall will grow by about 12 percent; an additional 1.8 million jobs.
Retail salespeople are the second-fastest growing occupation.
The number of cashiers and retail salespeople is projected to increase by over one million by 2020.
Initially our plan is to focus on retailers pained by turnover and are value aligned, however, other major industries such as technology, health care, hospitality, service, manufacturing, claim they also suffer a talent gap and face significant turnover issues.
We are mobile.
We provide flexible, actionable and attainable plans.
We integrate external resources in the plan.
We act independently but collaboratively with Talent Management and Learning and Development Systems.
Web-employer site based.
Focus on internal learning resources limiting potential employee creativity regarding their growth.
Provide one-size-fits-all solutions or resources that are not user driven or user adaptive.
Direct sales to companies.
Strategic partnerships with:
Job aggregators and social recruiting platforms
Talent acquisition and talent management platforms
Learning and development solutions
The madeBOS v.1 product was launched in November, 2017. Currently we are talking to enterprises considering piloting our technology and will select 3 that best fit our deployment strategy.
My name is Martha Hernández and I love helping people reach their full potential.
As a Talent Acquisition executive with over 10 years of experience, I learned that the talent gap problem is too big to fix one company at a time and thus decided to build a scalable, global solution to address the real talent problem; lack of automation to facilitate more effective internal mobility and thus higher engagement and performance.
I am excited about combining my experience in sales, talent strategy, selection methodology, technical product sourcing, business requirements understanding, systems integration, implementation and compliance plus what I love most, selecting, developing and managing highly effective teams.
Growing up I struggled to navigate Oakland public schools. I made it to and through Occidental College thanks to the TRIO program, Upward Bound, completed the Mills College Institute for Civic Leadership Program, graduated from prestigious leadership development programs such as Coro Fellow Program in Public Affairs and ML4T (Management Leadership for Tomorrow) even though all odds were against me.
I didn’t even speak English but when my mentor, Romeo Garcia said to me, “if you stick to the plan, you will have a career”, I understood and believed him.
It took one mentor to believe in me and show me whom I could become. Since then, every day I make sure to stick to the plan. madeBOS is a representation of my journey's success; having an inspirational vision of my future, having a plan, sticking to that plan and meeting mentors to help reach it.
My name is Juventino Mejía Jr, and I am passionate about solving real world problems through technology.
I am an Electrical Engineering & Computer Science graduate from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and a former Apple engineer with 10+ years of development and management experience across a diverse set of industries and platforms. Early November I decided to leave Apple and join madeBOS because I am committed to solving a very common problem that I experienced first-hand early in my career. Luckily, I was able to successfully navigate my career path thanks to Martha’s methodology, the underlying vision of what would become madeBOS.
I come from humble beginnings and although I went to MIT, initially, I did not have the social capital to facilitate unlocking my highest potential. Today, I get to make significant local and global change so that people lacking resources, vision, exposure or simply motivation are empowered to be the best they can be.
Like the founder, the madeBOS team members and advisors also have amazing stories to tell and can relate to our target demographic. Together, we are experts in software and mobile development, talent management, talent engagement, business strategy, workforce development, operations, finance, development, marketing and analytics.
Our advisors are supporting madeBOS because they understand the problem enterprises face and because they believe that our solution can position us to be the first to actually solve the growing talent challenges.
We are thrilled about madeBOS’ impact in people’s prosperity and the fast progress we have made. With your investment today you help us create economic mobility for entry level workers in retail and adjacent sectors and at the same time support employers in retaining and developing talent. Thanks to industry experts such as the madeBOS team and advisors we are positioned to successfully lead in this market.
Bet bold for opportunity and become a madeBOS! Thank you in advance for your investment!
The smallest investment amount that madeBOS is accepting.
madeBOS needs to reach their minimum funding goal before
the deadline. If they don’t, all investments will be refunded.
The Crowd SAFE is an agreement for future equity in the startup,
meaning that it can convert to equity in the future.
The Crowd SAFE is an agreement for future equity in the startup, meaning that it can convert to equity in the future.
$25,000 – $448,000
madeBOS needs to raise
before the deadline. The maximum amount madeBOS is willing
to raise is $448K.
I want you to win!! I want Latinos and a strong minded woman like Martha to win. It is refreshing to see someone dedicated and persistent in wanting to attain their goals. I respect and admire that. Pa delante! CDLC
I invested in madeBOS because I am a strong supporter in creating greater opportunities for advancement in employment. I believe that everyone should be given an opportunity develop skill sets and to excel in their chosen field.
I invested again because I believe in Martha and her team! She is on a mission to make this succeed and I'm supporting her!
Thank you for wanting to download madeBOS. Currently madeBOS is available for enterprise level only. With your investment we will be able to continue our growth and development to eventually make madeBOS available to the general public. Investing $500 or more gives you access to early product features and first hand exposure prior to releasing our IOS and Android app.
We believe that everything we do should be intentional; our logo, our name, our work. madeBOS stands for made by own self. Since madeBOS is an individualized plan driven by the user, our name represents the accountability and commitment required to complete the plan.
Once ready, there are two ways to get the app:
1. Through your employer if they become an enterprise customer
2. Through the app store
Yes, eventually! Our goal is to make madeBOS available to all people looking for career growth.
I am doing an equity crowdfunding campaign because of its principal value being alined with madeBOS' mission – democratizing opportunity.
I personally knew very little about investments – however, several years ago I considered investing in startups and learned that in order to do that I had to be accredited (make over $250K per year and have a ton of money in assets). I realized this is why 97% of Americans were unable to participate in startup investment rounds. So, when title III passed (which is what unlocked equity crowdfunding) I made a commitment that I would open that opportunity to YOU –my family, friends, and value aligned investors to be part of madeBOS before going to traditional investors. Don't get me wrong, we will go to Seed and Angel investors (in fact we are having conversations with them now) but first, the offering is to you.
It's time to make bold choices if we want different results.
Most recently, Martha Hernandez ran the talent acquisition division for a 6 billion dollar company and almost 17,000 employees. She has experience running a multi million dollar budget and over 10 technological implementations and integrations.
Martha H: Hi, my name is Martha Hernandez and I am the founder and CEO of madeBOS, Made By Own Self, which is your smart development assistant. You know there's a story to tell. I've been in retail for over 15 years working with Talon Management and Talon Acquisition, and one of the things that I have found is that although we have over 50 million people employed in retail, the majority of them, actually 70% of them, are driven by low-wage workers, and so this means people living in poverty. Those living in poverty are driven by employers that have solutions in their growth and development that are not favoring their development and, therefore, they're staying in this cycle of low-wage work, and retailers are spending a lot of money.
For a company that's 5,000 employees, almost a million dollars to retain employees. This is a huge problem. We've developed a solution that actually supports the development by giving every employee an individualized development plan that drives them through the strategic development and growth of the organization. They understand their talents as they relate to the strategic goals of the company and then we show them three careers curated by our AI that show them where they could potentially be, and then an individualized plan that actually gives them where they fit in terms of skill sets so that they can follow our plan. What's really exciting is that this is a one billion dollar opportunity, just retail, just U.S., and this is, actually, retail is expected to grow by 6% worldwide, accounting for 22.7 trillion dollars.
Cindy Whitehead: So, help me understand the cost model for the companies. You said there is such an extraordinary opportunity, they're already investing. What are they investing in and what is your cost model?
Martha H: Yeah, so typically employers focus on managerial and above. They spend three times more than they do on low-wage workers because it's sort of a revolving door, and so that is the largest segment of U.S. employment, yet the least invested in and also the most difficult to impact or affect.
Tim Draper: Have you tested it with some companies and what's their response and what kinds of feedback are you getting?
Martha H: Actually, we're very early on, MBP. We've tested the methodology. In fact, I ran three million dollar departments in Talon Acquisition and we've implemented this methodology one-on-one.
Tim Draper: I've seen a lot of the diversity and inclusion software, but yours was sort of unique in that you're helping people with their career, right?
Martha H: Correct.
Tim Draper: And that ...
Jesse Draper: And specifically in retail.
Martha H: If you look at it, it's a representation of the entire nation in terms of demographics, women being the ones that earn the lowest in sort of the cashier roles and white men being the ones leading the organizations.
Tim Draper: So, if some woman comes to you and says, "I want to be president of this company in five years," and uses your software, are they gonna get there?
Martha H: You know, this is why you're gonna love what we're building because most people are not gonna think, "I wanna be the president," and these are the people working those low-wage jobs. They've never seen themselves being the president, so what we do is we say, "Oh, this company is gonna be acquired by Amazon and therefore they're gonna need the following skill sets," and so we say, "Hey, woman, you have the following talents and, by the way, you could be." We show them that big picture career path and then we say, "And here's your plan and how you're gonna get there."
Jesse Draper: Also, there is this big jump from the retail store working the cashier job to the corporate level, and how do corporations, I mean, maybe I'm just unfamiliar, but how do corporations kind of glue those together and how difficult is it to get someone from the retail floor to the corporate level?
Martha H: And I think that's another exposure issue, right? For me, working in retail is that almost 60% of those that are working in retail are actually getting an education, and then they're leaving. They go somewhere else to get the job where they can apply what they learned through their formal education background.
Jesse Draper: So, what I'm asking is how do you make that jump?
Martha H: Yeah, so they ...
Jesse Draper: How do you get the corporate ...
Tim Draper: Out of the store, into corporate.
Martha H: Yeah, so they already have some systems in place. They have learning management systems. They have partnerships with university. In fact, Starbucks is a great example of that. They've increased their retention in a way that no one else has been able to do that because of that partnership, but they're showing people that if you get this education and this certification then you can go to the next level, and what we're doing is we're automating that process. Instead of one-on-one sitting with people, we're just giving them an actual plan they can carry with them and work on it whether they're at work or at home or on the bus.
Tim Draper: Who pays you? It's the corporate that pays you?
Martha H: Yes, we're a B2B SaaS, yes.
Tim Draper: Yeah, and then do you ever get to the C? Do you ever get to the end consumer?
Martha H: That's next step. Yes, yes. Once we have enough data curated and we can understand pathing, we can understand behavior, we have AI, then we make that available and anyone can essentially download it, but by the time we give you a plan, we would definitely charge you.
Jesse Draper: And then, why are you doing this?
Martha H: I've spent over 15 years working in retail and every time I walked through the floor or saw drivers or saw people cleaning the floors, they looked like me, and they asked me, "How did you do it?" Sitting with every single one of them because, by the way, it is almost 70% of this nation, would be impossible, but if I can do what I did for those that I did sit with, by the way 90% of them got to that next level. That trajectory, I wanna make sure that is available.
Jesse Draper: How much are you raising and at what valuation, and then what have you raised to date?
Martha H: To date, I did an equity crowdfund. We're raising a million, gets us to hiring the rest of our team.
Tim Draper: And what was the valuation?
Martha H: So, valuation, we're at two million and we're raising a million. Thank you for that.
Jesse Draper: How did you meet your co-founder?
Martha H: You know, it's a really interesting story. I'm a mariachi singer and so we ...
Jesse Draper: Hold the phone.
Tim Draper: Oh, we gotta sing.
Jesse Draper: I think that we need you to sing.
Tim Draper: Let's do it. Which song is your favorite? Two lines of one of your favorite songs.
Jesse Draper: What's like a mariachi song?
Tim Draper: Cucaracha.
Martha H: No, but I don't like that song. That's like so ... [crosstalk 00:16:46]
Tim Draper: La Cucaracha is good because it's the cockroach, which is like you can't kill the cockroach, it just keeps going.
Martha H: I'll sing actually one that I really like.
Jesse Draper: Okay.
Tim Draper: Okay.
Martha H: It's called [inaudible 00:16:57] and it's for beautiful women since we're talking about women, and very smart, and ... [inaudible 00:17:11]
Jesse Draper: And so, I mean, this is the whole package right here.
Tim Draper: I feel like I got into doing back up.
Bill Draper: Why are you trying to be an entrepreneur? You got to [crosstalk 00:17:29]
Martha H: I wanna do something that's gonna really revolutionize people and the way they ...
Bill Draper: Your voice could do that.
Martha H: So, my ... Thank you. My co-founder actually founded a mariachi at MIT.
Jesse Draper: Oh.
Martha H: A very diverse mariachi, and so I was hired to sing and his mariachi was hired to play and we met and, since then, I have helped him in developing to becoming a lead in several startups in software development with the premise that when I was ready, he was gonna come and support building this company.
Jesse Draper: Wow, that's fantastic. [crosstalk 00:18:03]
Martha H: That's how strategic we have to be.
Cindy Whitehead: That's right. In fact, we love your story about [inaudible 00:18:06].
Martha H: Thank you.
Jesse Draper: So great. Incredible. Well, thank you so, so much.
Martha H: I appreciate you.
Jesse Draper: Do we have any questions from our audience?
Audience 1: Great presentation. Thank you so much. If I'm a worker at a company, how do I access the platform? Do I have any support from mentors or are they all in the platform? How do I connect with the platform, because I am talking to a computer or is gonna be there any person that I can connect with?
Martha H: Once you've selected your career and you've identified that you are interested in specific roles, then we look across the organization to give you recommendations on next steps that you should do.
Tim Draper: Terrific. Well, great. Thanks for joining us.
Jesse Draper: Thank you so, so much.
Bill Draper: We appreciate you coming in.
Martha H: Thank you. I appreciate you.
You know, I think I was so nervous. I don't even remember the very first two minutes of my pitch. I remember being in front of the monitor and realizing the monitor has two of my slides, like where do I focus? There's an internal conversation and at the same time, I'm talking. Overall, I think at the end of the entire process, I feel good because I was able to educate them on why I'm doing what I'm doing and why it's so important that individuals like themselves pay attention and start mobilizing and supporting people like me. I wish I would have done this once I had my company in a different stage, such as an example like actual users. We're so early. I think the lesson learned here is no matter where you come from and what you're building and what your resources are, if someone's willing to listen, we should take that opportunity whether ready or not. Let's not give up.
Jesse Draper: I mean, I think she's doing something really needed. I see a lot of companies in this space. I'm invested in one in this space, but they're not competitive at all. She's really targeting ... I like that she's targeting retail and that she's helping people work their way up and maintaining retention. She's clearly the whole package. She sings. She's incredible. I think she's fantastic.
Bill Draper: I agree with that. I think she understood the problem. She picked retail rather than just the whole world.
Cindy Whitehead: Listen, the passion is so intense you could cut it with a knife, right? It's wonderful. She's definitely the package. She's obviously helped mentor other people. She's passionate about it. I'm still disconnecting on the model and I want to believe, I want to believe that corporations would invest in this, but I don't know as I heard it that they're not investing in somebody sort of creating a career path that causes them to leave the organization.
Tim Draper: But she hasn't tested any of the corporations yet, and so she needs to get this in front of companies, see if they're willing to do it cause I'm a little suspect, as I think you were, that the company kinda likes keeping the people on the floor at a low price. Now, Walmart may be different. Maybe Walmart is, and maybe there is something there, and if there is, and if she can get through to the end customer, that's gonna be really powerful, and she can sell. [crosstalk 00:21:26] That girl can sell. She can sing. She can sell.
Jesse Draper: I would bet on her.
Cindy Whitehead: Yeah, I would too.
Jesse Draper: Ten times over.
Tim Draper: I think she needs a good, maybe this MIT guy, a good solid team around her would really help, but she can sell, so she could go lead the charge and she's so passionate about what she's doing ...
Jesse Draper: And she knows the problem.
Tim Draper: You can see her eyes tearing up when she was talking about how other people ...
Jesse Draper: She moved me. She moved me.
Tim Draper: Oh, absolutely.
Jesse Draper: Yeah, and she'll move many people. Okay, ready?
Tim Draper: Okay, here we go.
Jesse Draper: [crosstalk 00:21:56] Thumbs up, thumbs down, thumbs all around. I'm saying thumbs up on her. I'm betting on her, just to be clear. The business, we need to work out.
Tim Draper: I'm thumb sideways.
Cindy Whitehead: I am too. I need more information.
Bill Draper: And I'm thumbs down.
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