What do you get when you cross a lawyer, an entrepreneur, and an interest in the talent acquisition space? The answer is Jonathan F. Kestenbaum, who is the Executive Director at Talent Tech Labs. I had the opportunity to meet with him this past week at Talent Tech Labs in New York City. The introduction was made Jessica Miller-Merrill.
Talent Tech Labs is an incubator of talent, more correctly they are a space where start-ups focusing in some aspect of talent acquisition can come and get support, guidance, and connections. As their website says they work “in investigation, research, validation, and acceleration of talent acquisition technology by fostering and connecting early stage companies with forward thinkers in the industry.” It is a place where the creators of the software can sit and work, bounce ideas off of others, meet with mentors and advisers, and get advice on connecting with investors interested in financing their start-up.
They have an impressive board of advisers including Bill Boorman, Steve Levy, Dan Schawbel, and George Larocque just to name a few. Jonathan Kestenbaum is the young executive director that is the heartbeat of the organization. He is a bundle of energy and is constantly on the move. Trained as a lawyer, Kestenbaum got the entrepreneurial bug in college where he established a tutoring company to help fellow students. He then took that tutoring company online, all before the age of 21.
The genesis of Talent Tech Labs
Kestenbaum was hired by Gene Holtzman, who is the Founder and President Of Mitchell Martin, a nationwide talent acquisition firm, to help start up the incubator which became known as Talent Tech Labs. Initially they created a talent acquisition ecosystem to capture who all the players where in the talent acquisition software space. You can find a graphic of that ecosystem here.
Talent Tech Lab then started collecting companies looking for opportunities and they offered them help in exchange for some equity, or fees, or sometimes just rent. TTL creates events to introduce these companies to investors. They work together to create white papers and other content that are going to highlight the field. They have gotten people like Maren Hogan and Jessica Miller-Merrill to create content for them all with the hope of shining a spotlight on their fledgling companies.
Some of these companies have done well, some not so well, and others it is too early to be able to tell. Some of the companies to come out of Talent Tech Labs have been Interview Jet, Take the Interview, Planted , TalentTron, and Step.com. They cover the field from video interviewing to determining your worth as a candidate.
They all represent a group of creative, hardworking individuals, striving to improve the talent acquisition experience for candidates and companies. Check out Talent Tech Labs’ website to learn more about this creative endeavor. Who knows you may find something to invest in, or get a creative spark yourself.
Thanks to Jonathan Kestenbaum for making some time in his very busy day to talk to me. By the way here is an excellent post Jonathan wrote about 5 fast approaching trends in talent acquisition technology.