Twenty startup companies from around the world are one step closer to winning the SHRMLabs 2nd Annual Better Workplaces Challenge Cup contest.
SHRMLabs is the workplace innovation incubator and venture capital arm of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
The competition aims to bridge the gap between companies that are creating workplace technologies and the end-users of those tools: HR professionals and their workforces.
"The competition is distinct because it's HR practitioners that are deciding the key technologies, cutting-edge products and solutions that all workplaces will use in the future to elevate their companies in the new world of work," said Guillermo Corea, the managing director of SHRMLabs.
The three-round competition kicked off with 10 virtual first rounds beginning in February. The top two startups from each of the first rounds will compete in one of two virtual semifinals on May 17 and 20. The 20 semifinalists represent innovations in areas such as benefits usage; diversity and inclusion; employee experience; hybrid and remote work; people analytics; and career development.
From each semifinal round, two companies will move on to the in-person finals being held at the SHRM Annual Conference & Expo 2022 (SHRM22) in New Orleans, June 12-15. They will make their last pitch to a panel of judges and an audience of investors, leading HR professionals, fellow innovators, and the media. Upon conclusion of the competition at SHRM22, the winner will be announced in front of a live audience at the conference.
The four startups advancing to the Better Workplaces Challenge Cup finals will receive an all-expenses-paid trip for two representatives to SHRM22, complimentary space on the Expo Hall floor and exposure to 15,000 potential future users. The winner will also be awarded a cash prize of $50,000 and/or other investment opportunities and prizes.
During the inaugural year of the competition in 2021, more than 150 organizations across the United States initially competed for the prize, with five regional winners being selected to present at the SHRM Annual Conference & Expo 2021 in the final round of competition. This year, the competition expanded globally to include innovators from over 30 countries.