First Things First
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The Big One
A breakdown on the day’s biggest Inno story.
How 26 Letters is Teaching Companies to Build Inclusive Cultures
Caroline Karanja has always had diversity at the forefront of her mind. Throughout her tech career, she has noticed that different companies faced similar challenges surrounding workplace inclusion.
Karanja had dozens of meetings and conversations with others about the importance of feeling included in their companies. She realized that the time she spent having these disussions could be applied to a building a company that create solutions for these diversity issues.
She started 26 Letters in October 2016, an online platform that creates assessments and action plans for companies to increase diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
“It was really something that grew organically,” Karanja said. Scaling a solution around issues of diversity and inclusion is going to be the biggest way to make an impact, she said.
26 Letters collects data from client companies about employees’ experiences, then builds an assessment piece around it, most often in the form of a survey. Named after the number of letters in the alphabet, 26 Letters hopes to make people conscious of the culture and language used while trying to build more inclusive workplaces.
Inside the people, companies and organizations making moves today.
Vibes Founder Finds Success After Not Taking Shark Tank Bait
Local entrepreneur Jackson Mann made an appearance on Shark Tank in January 2017 looking for investment in Vibes, a startup offering high-end earplugs. One of the sharks, Kevin O’Leary, offered Mann $100K for 35% in the company, plus $2 for each pair of earplugs sold. Mann didn’t take the bait. But the exposure has fueled his business. Since appearing on the show, Vibes’ sales grew from $30K in 2016 to $2M in 2017.
Full story from the Star Tribune here.
Ceridian’s IPO Could Be Much Bigger Than Expected
Earlier this month, Bloomington-based Ceridian announced its planned $200M IPO. But now it’s shaping up to be closer to a $500M IPO. MarketWatch notes that the terms of the offering (21M shares at $19 to $21 per share) could be worth between $441M to $507M. This is Ceridian’s second go at being a public company. It was taken private in a $5B deal a decade ago.
More from the Biz Journal here.