Not everyone will start a business during their lifetime.
But at retail checkout experience platform Bolt, that doesn’t prevent employees from embodying a startup mentality. Head of People Operations Torie Runzel said ownership is a pivotal part of company culture. For example, Runzel nominated herself when the company was looking to fill her current role. And when she noticed a lack of diversity in hiring, she started a DEI initiative.
“At Bolt, the experience is very much what you make of it and the culture here enables you to act like a founder and have a huge impact,” Runzel said.
Runzel and seven other employees from San Francisco’s expanding tech scene told us how company culture impacts their professional development and motivates them to be more productive. Strong core values, support from leadership and interesting projects — like building a sales enablement program from scratch and researching a COVID-19 vaccine — inspire employees at the following organizations to find purpose in their work and grow professionally.
Bolt is a checkout experience platform that is adaptable to any device. With built-in fraud detection, vendors can elevate their brand experience safely.
Bolt’s company culture in one word: Ownership
What company culture means at Bolt: “If you don’t embody the founder mentality, care about what’s happening at the company and own the solution, you won’t last here,” Head of People Operations Torie Runzel said. “I remember in January, I was frustrated because we kept hiring the same type of person and I would read the new hire introductions and say to myself, ‘Doesn’t anyone else see what’s happening?’ So I brought up the issue of diversity at an executive meeting. I asked what we were doing to make sure we’re bringing in different types of people. That’s how I started the DEI initiative at Bolt.”
When the executive team wanted to hire a head of people, instead of looking externally, I pitched myself for the role.”
Professional growth spurt: “I’ve been with Bolt just over a year,” Runzel said. “I came in as the chief of staff to our COO. In that role, I quickly took on many projects across the company, such as, refining our structure and managing our performance. In that work, I was drawn to the people challenges and people programs. When the executive team wanted to hire a head of people, instead of looking externally, I pitched myself for the role. I shared my background in HR and my vision for the organization. Through both roles, I have been given opportunities to work on high-impact projects and have also found support in our leadership team to weigh in and help guide how we want to operate. It has been a fun, challenging, and rewarding journey so far.”
Endpoint Clinical builds integrated response software that allows clinical trial administrators to change test parameters in real time. More than 54,000 healthcare sites use endpoint Clinical’s platform across the globe.
Endpoint Clinical’s company culture in one word: Determined
What company culture means at endpoint Clinical: “We’re determined to be the preferred provider of complete clinical-trial solutions for the pharmaceutical industry,” Associate Director of Information Technology Jeff Monson said. “We’ve redefined what an IRT solutions provider should be and we’re tenacious when it comes to giving our clients what they want. And despite what’s been thrown at us in 2020, we embraced the challenge of working toward a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19. Without missing a beat on existing work, we’ve been determined to take on our clients’ COVID-19 studies (more than 20 to date), launching those trials as rapidly and as efficiently as possible. We’ve got a clear mission and we’re determined to succeed.”
We value the talented people working here, and I’m fortunate to learn from and lead with a great team every day.”
Invested in talent: “I started with endpoint as a senior database administrator in 2014 and am now associate director of IT,” Monson said. “In that short amount of time, we’ve grown considerably and become a major force in IRT. We value the talented people working here, and I’m fortunate to learn from and lead with a great team every day.”
Benchling makes software designed to help life scientists with their biotech research. Their cloud-based R&D tools accelerate, measure and forecast R&D all in one place. Major industry companies such as Pfizer, Gilead, Regeneron and Zymergen use the Benchling R7D platform.
Benchling’s company culture in one word: Connected
What company culture means at Benchling: “At Benchling, I feel accepted, valued and a sense of belonging,” Amber Ithiphol, a sales enablement program manager, said. “We collaborate easily, value teamwork and share common goals. We are all currently working remotely, but I still feel everyone is engaged and makes an effort to stay connected. In this collaborative space I feel empowered to share my ideas knowing my fellow Benchlings welcome the opportunity to partner on projects.”
At Benchling, I feel accepted, valued and a sense of belonging.”
Making an impact: “I have been with Benchling for eight adventure-filled months, all of which I have been working remotely, including onboarding,” Ithiphol said. “I was the first sales enablement hire here at Benchling and have had the privilege to build the sales enablement program from the ground up. I have built our first official sales onboarding program, implemented a CMS and increased our global sales productivity with higher adoption of our sales tools.”
Sisense is a product development software company that provides solutions for preparing, analyzing and visualizing big data sets. Companies from more than 49 countries use Sisense’s platform to collect data and receive actionable business insights from customer and revenue datasets.
Sisense’s company culture in one word: Challenging
What company culture means at Sisense: “Working for a global organization, we have the opportunity to navigate through time zones, learn how to drive toward strategic outcomes across different cultures and work cross functionally with different departments and stakeholders,” Melanie Tantingco, the vice president of global talent acquisition, said. “Sisense values the ‘challenger mentality’ so much that it is now a core value of our organization. It’s important that we continuously ask ourselves how to improve, question the status quo and push each of our teammates to be better every day.”
We have built an award-winning culture that emphasizes outcomes and kindness.”
Well-equipped for change: “I’ve been with Periscope Data and Sisense for a little over four years now,” Tantingco said. “I started owning the talent acquisition strategy for Periscope, defining our hiring criteria and training our managers on how to conduct a structured interview process. This then led to me owning the entire people operations through the acquisition of the company in 2019. I’ve learned so much during my time with both companies. We have built an award-winning culture that emphasizes outcomes and kindness while infusing data into our decision making. Working through the diligence of a merger and acquisition, and also the company integration process, was also a valuable experience that I will forever take with me in my career.”
Every year, 77 million people are dissatisfied with their debt collection process, according to TrueAccord. The company combines machine learning with a human-agnostic approach to help clients and consumers collect debt better.
TrueAccord’s company culture in one word: Collaborative
What company culture means at TrueAccord: “TrueAccord is collaborative in everything that we do,” Shannon Brown, a product design manager, said. “From onboarding a new client to rolling out new product features, TrueAccord’s tight-knit culture of collaboration and knowledge-sharing allows us to innovate to meet customer needs.”
“This spirit of collaboration extends outside of the organization as well. At the start of the pandemic, we had creditors contacting us asking how they could help their customers. On the other end, customers contacted us because they weren’t sure if they could stay on their payment plans. As the product team at a B2B and B2C company, we were in a unique position to collaborate with both the creditors and the consumers to come up with ideas that would maximize benefits. Soe launched a feature allowing customers to lengthen their payment plans.”
I started as an individual contributor and now run a cross-disciplinary team of content strategists, designers and researchers.”
Personal and professional growth: “I started at TrueAccord as an individual contributor and now run a cross-disciplinary team of content strategists, designers and researchers,” Brown said. “Many of my current team members began their time at TrueAccord in a different department but expressed interest in transitioning to a new role. The leadership team at TrueAccord understands that employee personal growth impacts productivity, which directly affects revenue. This kind of dedication to its employees makes TrueAccord stand out to me. And we’ve been able to achieve this level of growth while keeping consumers and their financial health top of mind.”
NUVIA wants to reimagine silicon design to create computing platforms for the modern data center. Their processors will deliver performance and energy efficiency improvements to meet the increasing demands of the next era of computing.
NUVIA’s company culture in one word: High-performing
What company culture means at Nuvia: “Our vision as a company is bold and audacious,” Founder and SVP of Silicon Engineering Manu Gulati said. “At NUVIA, we’re looking to disrupt the market for high-performance processors in the data center. We are creating a new class of product that is a step-function improvement over anything ever created. That commitment to high-performance leadership applies to everything we do –– how we approach problems, the speed with which we iterate and the spirit we are creating among our team.”
Our vision as a company is bold and audacious.”
Strong beginnings: “As one of the founders of NUVIA, I’ve had the privilege to watch our initial idea of how to disrupt processing in the data center turn into a 200+ person company with offices in Santa Clara, Austin, Toronto, Bangalore and a growing number of remote workers around the world,” Gulati said. “Making the jump from very large, well-established companies to founding your own is not for the faint of heart. But I wouldn’t trade in this experience for anything. I’ve had the opportunity to meet and work with the best and brightest in the semiconductor industry and an incredible group of investors. The work we’ve done in our first 18 months has has resulted in a very successful Series B round of funding.”
Figure is transforming financial services through blockchain to bring speed, savings and efficiency to consumers and institutions. Blockchain and artificial intelligence help users access home equity lines of credit, lower-rate mortgage refinancing and personal loan alternatives.
Figure’s company culture in one word: Dynamic
What company culture means at Figure: “Things are constantly evolving and progressing here,” Devin Gray, a director of engineering, said. “Our employees always have new ideas, endless drive and positive attitudes to build new things.”
The projects I’m excited about are the ones that have the most challenging technical problems to solve.”
Cool projects: “The projects I’m excited about are the ones that have the most challenging technical problems to solve,” Gray said.” The mortgage origination product, for example, contains a series of data collection screens, followed by backend validation and integration with both internal and external systems. All of this processing across many microservices ultimately ends up as a series of documents that are presented to the user and subsequently onboarded into the provenance platform as a loan asset.
“The challenging and fun aspects revolve around how to make this process faster and easier for both the borrowers and our admin agents (MLOs, processors and underwriters). At the same time, we’re trying to make it scale to larger numbers of applications. There are times when we really need to come together as a group to solve these issues and it is exciting to come up with an elegant solution as a team and see it live in production in a short time period. Figure is an exciting, fast-paced environment with many problems on the horizon we get to solve together.”
Afterpay is an international payment platform built to enable financial wellness for shoppers. Afterpay partners with brands to offer quartered payment plans with no credit checks or interest rates for customers.
Afterpay’s company culture in one word: Agile
What company culture means at Afterpay: “Afterpay moves quickly when it comes to providing experiences to our shoppers and merchant partners,” Han Qin, an engineering manager, said. “For example, after many Afterpay users asked when we would be available in Canada, our teams launched the market within six months.”
Afterpay moves quickly when it comes to providing experiences to our shoppers and merchant partners.”
Always learning: “I have been with the company for more than two years,” Qin said. “We had AWS training, Google Cloud training and many other internal and external knowledge-sharing presentations. People learn through their day-to-day jobs while getting in touch with experts all the time.”