April 6, 2022

Investment Notes: Earlywork $700k Pre-Seed

We're thrilled to lead Earlywork's $700k Pre-Seed round

James Tynan

March 14, 2022

Investment Notes: Earlywork $700k Pre-Seed

We're thrilled to lead Earlywork's $700k Pre-Seed round

James Tynan

We’re excited to be joining founders Dan, Marina and Jono on their mission to build the most helpful and ambitious community of talent in the world.

We’re happy to be joined by Archangel Ventures and PhaseOne Ventures.

This is a particularly special investment for Square Peg. We’re investing from our balance sheet because we believe in the power of exceptional people to change the world and think the growth of Earlywork will act like a magnet - bringing more of these people into the world of technology and startups.

The Problem

The world of work is changing rapidly. Traditionally it has been a safe bet to build your career in banking, consulting, corporate law and professional services. Those industries have long had a near monopoly on the top business talent coming out of university.

But today, the most ambitious and passionate workers are keen to bring change to a world that often seems to have been let down by incumbents.

This is now more possible than ever thanks to waves of technological disruption and rapid social change. Whether it’s working at a world-leading tech company, a growing startup, an innovative not for profit or starting your own venture - there is a whole new world out there.

The problem is the world of work is still set up to funnel talent into old school jobs. University degrees aren’t teaching the required skills and the classroom/lecture format can encourage habits of passive learning that generally need to be unlearned to be a successful founder or operator.

And where is your network? If you take the “safe” option of a grad program you’ve got a built in group of friends (with the occasional frenemy) but jumping into the new world can mean having to form your own community from scratch.

It’s clear that we need a new interface between talent and work.

Enter Earlywork

Earlywork is building the home for young people creating the careers of tomorrow. Whether they’re building a new company or forging a career path in tech, startups or social impact, it’s a place where talented, passionate people find their people. EarlyWork is a community for:

  • Learning new skills from peers and experts
  • Self-organising around projects, experiences and even new companies
  • Building a network of supportive friends with shared interests and ambitions

The Earlywork team have already launched three products to support the thousands of people who have signed up to the community. These are:

  • Slack channel - from sharing intel on the latest jobs, to collaborating on a new project, finding a cofounder, or even anonymously sharing your cringiest moments, the Slack channel is full of groups of supportive people and challenging opportunities
  • Content - a newsletter chock full of the latest nuggets on all the soft and hard skills required for success in fast-moving industries
  • Hiring platform - a job board and talent search engine connecting the community to the best opportunities in the ecosystem

The Team

Earlywork was born from a shared frustration at how difficult it can be to find non-traditional career pathways.

Before starting her career as a Product Manager, Marina was COO and Head of Schools at Generation Entrepreneur - a non-profit delivering entrepreneurship programs to students.

Jono had a similar trajectory - leading Startup-Link to help students look beyond mainstream roles.

Before getting a job at Atlassian, Dan was VP of Operations for BusinessOne Consulting - a firm placing students in pro-bono projects inside startups.

The catalyst for Earlywork was Dan starting a newsletter that shared intel on how to pursue opportunities outside the mainstream.

When this newsletter blew up to thousands of subscribers the team could see their frustration was shared by a critical mass of passionate people. They bootstrapped for 18 months launching the slack community and (more recently) the hiring platform.

The ethos of Earlywork is equal parts of ambition, empathy, a hunger for knowledge and a desire to help others. That has been the nucleus of a unique community with a core of “keen beans” - scores of supporters working alongside the founders to help more and more talented people find their most compelling path.

The Future

In the coming years the founders are dedicated to growing the depth and power of the community. Eventually, Earlywork will connect people from all over the world with global opportunities and knowledge.

What we see today is only the beginning.

If you’re interested in being part of this journey join Earlywork here.