Maxwell Wins SHRM’s 2023 HR Technology Startup Competition

By Roy Maurer June 12, 2023

Adriana Cisneros Basulto, founder and CEO of Maxwell, and George Rivera, senior vice president of SHRM Enterprise Solutions, pose with the SHRMLabs Better Workplaces Challenge Cup.

​Maxwell, a platform for work/life balance benefits, has won the third annual SHRMLabs Better Workplaces Challenge Cup (BWCC). The announcement was made June 12 at the SHRM Annual Conference & Expo 2023 (SHRM23) in Las Vegas.

SHRMLabs is the workplace innovation hub and venture capital arm of SHRM. The competition aims to bridge the gap between companies that are creating workplace technologies and the end users of their products: HR professionals and their workforces.

Maxwell Founder and CEO Adriana Cisneros Basulto receives the Better Workplaces Challenge Cup from SHRMLabs Managing Director Guillermo Corea and celebrity judge Suzy Welch."We would like to congratulate the Maxwell team for their creativity and resourcefulness to the human resource field," said Alex Alonso, chief knowledge officer at SHRM. "As each new competition year passes, we get to see a new crop of competitors present new solutions to meet the existing gaps in the market. We'd also like to thank all the startup teams that submitted proposals—it's exciting to see all the new ideas coming into this field."

Based in Omaha, Neb., Maxwell is an app that provides a work/life balance benefits platform.

The startup was selected from a three-round competition involving over 450 initial submissions. At each round, innovators presented to a panel of judges composed of HR practitioners and business executives. The BWCC finalists gave one last pitch to a panel of judges at SHRM23, including celebrity judge Suzy Welch, bestselling author, "Today" show/CNBC contributor and Stern Professor of Management Practice at New York University; Amber Clayton, senior director of the SHRM Knowledge Center; Tim Sackett, president of HRU Technical Resources; William Tincup, president and editor-at-large of RecruitingDaily; and Jeff Wald, founder of Boomerang Intelligence.

Maxwell's founder and CEO, Adriana Cisneros Basulto, recently spoke with SHRM Online about Maxwell and how it improves work and the practice of human resources.

"Maxwell helps employers retain employees by bringing them balance and joy and delivering the employee value proposition that HR teams have worked hard to build," she said. "Employees receive a monthly budget to use how they choose to balance life/work via our technology. With their attention captured, Maxwell makes it easy to elevate traditional benefits; present important information you don't want your employees to miss; create connection; and capture employee data like demographics, levels of productivity and stress, so employers can make better decisions."

Cisneros Basulto added that there is a growing work/life imbalance worldwide. "There are talent segments and industries like health care that are struggling with burnout and a lack of balance," she said. "We know that when employees feel valued by their employer and are able to recharge, they are better at their jobs. However, what helps someone balance and feel valued is uniquely personal. Maxwell helps employers meet the diversity of needs their employees have to find balance."

Maxwell was awarded a cash prize of $50,000.

Collin Gehl shakes hands with Guillermo Corea.The other SHRMLabs 2023 BWCC finalist was Inuka, a coaching platform based in Amsterdam that improves employee resilience, engagement and business performance.

This year, SHRMLabs also launched its member track, and the inaugural winner is Collin Gehl, human resources director for Say Yes Buffalo and president of the Buffalo Niagara HR Association. Gehl was recognized for creating a professional development program to help emerging leaders within his organization.

"Each year, I can't help but be inspired by the next generation of innovators solving critical workplace challenges across the globe," said Guillermo Corea, managing director of SHRMLabs. "The solutions presented have real-world impact, and we're serving as a platform to make an even bigger impact. Congratulations to all the competitors, at each stage, for their work and dedication."



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