Jennifer Dulski has held her fair share of leadership positions, from being president and COO of Change.org to serving as head of product for Google’s shopping and product ads to leading the team responsible for Facebook Groups.
But she’s identified a problem that most people managers will all too clearly understand: training and tools to be a great manager are at a shortage.
That’s why she founded Rising Team, which is today announcing the raise of a $3 million seed round led by Female Founders Fund, with participation from Peterson Ventures, Burst Capital, Xoogler Ventures, 500 Startups, Roble Ventures, Supernode Ventures and several angels.
Dulski explained that there are some tools for managers, like surveys from Gallup and Glint, and there are training options, like executive coaches. But there aren’t many options out there that combine the two.
“I was lucky enough to have the benefit of getting executive coaches or being sent to training, and those felt like being taught how to fish,” said Dulski. “But then it was like being dropped off at the lake with no fishing pole or bait, because I had learned all these things about how to be a good leader but I had no tools to implement what I had learned.”
Rising Team is a platform that combines tools and training to help managers motivate, organize and ultimately effectively lead their team.
The first layer of the platform is the tools suite, which includes proprietary assessments and 1:1 templates. Most employee surveys focus so heavily on the actual job, with questions like “I’m able to do my best work.” With Rising Team, the assessments are geared toward who team members are personally, with a look at how they want to be appreciated or what they believe their talents and skills are.
This helps managers understand how to pair team members together, what tasks they should be assigned to, and truly grasp what motivates each individual that works for them. Alongside these assessment tools, Rising Team also offers training in the form of videos, articles, and audio resources. In the future, the company plans to build out AI-based custom training tips that are powered by data from the assessments.
Rising Team is also building out a community that lets managers communicate with one another.
Interestingly, the startup is taking a bottom-up approach when it comes to revenue, pricing the product in a way that will allow individual managers to personally purchase the software, and hopefully spread the word to the rest of their team. But the door is open for organizations to get the full employee base on the product as well.
For now, Rising Team is in a free beta, so pricing has not yet been announced.
The team is currently made up of 8 people, 60 percent of whom are female and 50 percent of whom are BIPOC.
“It’s really, really important to me and to our team as a whole that we build a diverse team from the start,” said Dulski. “I believe in that so firmly and all the data is really clear that more diverse teams are more successful.”
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By Jordan Crook