@techvitamin 1.3: Kristen Hamilton, Founder/CEO of KORU on talent, women in tech, and making the leap

Kristen Hamilton Founder/CEO of KORU
Kristen Hamilton, Founder/CEO of KORU

If you’ve thought at all about what you’re buying your kids in a college education, or how the job market is going to evolve, or why companies like Google are looking far beyond the Ivy League for talent, or why female HR execs don’t magically fix pay gaps, or why companies are beginning to split strategic talent management and HR into separate functions, or, or… this episode is a great listen.

Is it time to “Disrupt the degree”? Is free college attendance a good idea if the system doesn’t change. Do you want to put your federal tax dollars to work on a system that can’t seem to control its costs? Should so many people go to college, or should we be thinking more about training people for jobs that don’t necessarily require a college degree, as explored in this NYT piece.

I’ve known Kristen Hamilton for over ten years, and she’s always been wicked smart, refreshingly pragmatic, and full of insights and turns of phrase that make the time fly. Happily, in this episode I talk very little, because you’ll hear very quickly that what Kristen says is information rich, fascinating, and truly strategic.

I didn’t know what it was called officially, but in talking with Kristen, I discovered the term “Entrepreneur Imposter Syndrome” (thank you Dan Shapiro) … the gut feeling that you don’t know what you’re doing and everybody’s about to find out? Ever experienced that? I certainly have.

We talk a lot about the “KORU 7”: not a TV station, but the success traits they’ve discovered at KORU — the company she founded in Seattle — which is trying to give recent college grads essential job skills. Kristen’s of course not new to the startup game, but KORU has raised more than $13M from top tier VCs like Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures and Seattle heavyweights Maveron and Trilogy. We go into depth on what KORU’s up to, how they’re doing, and I think you’ll find it inspiring.

Note: we had some bandwidth issues, especially late in the recording, so there are some places where the sound isn’t stellar, and where bizarre Skype noises have been cut out. Apologies.