VentureTech Announces Winner of First International "PeopleOps Innovation Challenge" for Startups

Nov 11 2015
By Joseph Knecht in Proteus News


LINCOLN, NEBRASKA; November 11, 2015--VentureTech today announced that Vocatio, a vocationally themed media network and talent marketplace created by Career Journey GPS, has been named the winner of the first-ever "PeopleOps Innovation Challenge," an international competition created by VentureTech to find and accelerate the next great idea in the area of job candidate screening and selection. VentureTech is awarding Vocatio $50,000 in professional services to assist with its development and launch efforts.

More than 160 startups from six countries initially engaged in the competition, with 27 completing the full application process. VentureTech announced the competition's winner at the 2015 HR Technology Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. Vocatio was selected from a group of four finalists that also included:

  • ProfHire—a single-source hiring and onboarding solution for vetted scholars.
  • Candyrate—a web application employers use to measure and analyze the candidate experience of potential future hires.
  • Hito—a virtual reality interviewing solution that eliminates the shortcomings of other interviewing technologies.

Vocatio's mission is to inspire, empower and equip students to navigate their path through school to a passionate and purposeful career of their choice. Expected to launch this winter, the platform is being designed to accomplish three key goals:

  1. Engage students in meaningful career readiness through employer-aligned content, talent assessments, game-based learning, social media and events.
  2. Promote employers and their job ads to targeted students.
  3. Match students with employer opportunities via a proprietary career readiness and engagement algorithm.

"While many of the entries were exceptional, these four finalists really stood out," said Joseph Knecht, CEO of VentureTech, an agile-based lean SaaS product development company and go-to-market partner for entrepreneurs. "Ultimately, Vocatio was selected based on the unique angle they are taking to solve the problem and the talent of the founding team."

"We're excited to win the PeopleOps Innovation Challenge," said Career Journey GPS Founder & CEO Patrick Jones. "And we're looking forward to collaborating with VentureTech to extend the depth of our technology innovations and to leverage their HR domain expertise on behalf of young entry-level job seekers."

The PeopleOps Innovation Challenge

The PeopleOps Innovation Challenge was judged by a panel of HR and technology experts including:

  • Jessica Miller-Merrell of Xceptional HR
  • Maren Hogan of RedBranch Media
  • Josh Berry of VentureTech
  • Craig Fisher of CA Technologies
  • William Tincup of KeyInterval Research
  • Trish McFarlane of H3 HR Advisors
  • Charlie Judy of TruWork

This inaugural competition was the first in a planned series of PeopleOps Innovation Challenges, all of which are intended to help accelerate the best new ideas and innovators in the talent space.

About VentureTech

With over 20 years experience, VentureTech has helped build and take to market over 65 enterprise-level products and start-ups worldwide. Using lean startup and customer development methods, VentureTech works with non-technical entrepreneurs to help them validate, build, grow and capitalize new B2B products and business models. For more information, visit

Joseph Knecht
Post by Joseph Knecht

Joseph Knecht is the CEO at Proteus and loves to cover the topics of entrepreneurship, digital transformation, and web product commercialization.

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