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SHRM's Technology PitchFest to Include Member Track

2023 competition for workplace tech startups is now open

Better workplaces challenge cup logo.

​The 2023 SHRMLabs Better Workplaces Challenge Cup (BWCC) competition will feature a new track for SHRM members to present innovative HR solutions.

SHRMLabs is the workplace innovation hub and venture capital arm of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The competition, entering its third year, aims to bridge the gap between companies that are creating workplace technologies and the end users of their products: HR professionals and their workforces.  

The application window for the BWCC member track will open Jan. 2 and close Feb. 19, 2023.

The track recognizes individual SHRM members developing innovative HR solutions or process changes that align with the SHRMLabs' mission of addressing pressing challenges in the workplace. The public will vote on the participants competing in the track, and a panel of top HR industry leader judges will review each presentation. Judges will assess the contestants based on strategy, impact, popularity and relevance in HR.

"With the addition of the member track, the BWCC will continue to become a bellwether and a brain trust for the smartest minds in HR to collaborate and resolve the most pressing issues facing the field today," said Alex Alonso, SHRM-SCP, SHRM's chief knowledge officer.

"It is important for SHRM members to be the thought leaders on workplace innovation," said Guillermo Corea, the managing director of SHRMLabs. "What better way to do it, than to show how they have been innovating in the workplace? Next year's member track will allow members to showcase how they've innovated the workplace as well as further advanced HR as a strategic function."

To qualify, members must be early to midlevel in their careers, with three-plus years of professional work experience, two-plus years of HR work experience, and be comfortable sharing the size of their company and a revolutionary idea.

Each member must also have a profile with the SHRMLabs WorkplaceTech Community, a platform for HR professionals to learn, network and share best practices. Each applicant will compete for one of 10 finalist spots. The winning member will attend the SHRM Annual Conference & Expo 2023 in Las Vegas in June.

General BWCC Competitors

The general BWCC application window is currently open until Jan. 15, 2023. Early-stage companies in the HR tech, future of work or human capital services market should be able to convey a business model and demonstrate traction, engagement and adoption metrics upon application. Each applicant will have the opportunity to secure one of 50 spots and compete in front of a panel of seasoned HR judges to continue in the competition. There will be three rounds of global competition culminating in the final match at the SHRM Annual Conference & Expo 2023.

Finalists will receive an all-expenses-paid trip consisting of flight and hotel accommodations for two company representatives to the conference, complimentary booth space on the exposition hall floor, and exposure to over 300,000 HR and business executive members in 165 countries.

The winner, to be named at the conference, will also be awarded a cash prize of $50,000.

"Winning SHRM's Better Workplaces Challenge Cup has opened a lot of doors for us, leading to even greater international recognition, especially with HR teams looking to upskill their operational base and front-line workers," said Lissy Giacoman, co-founder and CEO of Vinco, an education-technology company based in Monterrey, Mexico. "With the greater connections, we are able to advance our mission to provide greater and better access to education."

Since winning the competition earlier this year, Vinco has added more international education partners and expanded to new countries in Latin America like Colombia and Costa Rica.

Compt, a Boston-based perk stipend software company, won the inaugural SHRMLabs Better Workplaces Challenge Cup in 2021.

"We grew by nearly 500 percent the year we won," said Amy Spurling, Compt co-founder and CEO. "We are now supporting companies with employees in over 60 countries while still maintaining 91 percent employee engagement across the platform. Because of this, we were able to secure our Series A funding in March. Additionally, our team has grown three times in size while remaining diverse to meet the unique needs of our customers."


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