This NYC Startup is Teaching Practical Skills to Everyone



Not all degrees are created equal, and therefore, depending on whom you are hiring, you may need to take more time training one newbie a week more than another one. But where is there a resource to teach these skills? Stop bothering your HR team and start opening Grovo. Grovo is the solution to a more educated workforce, with thousands of videos that are all made to help develop today’s and tomorrow’s workforce. If you aren’t convinced yet, take a look at there high quality videos that are bound to make your new employees become equipped faster.

CEO Jeff Fernandez joins us to tell us about Grovo and how it intends to change learning business.

Tell us about the product or service.

Simply put, Grovo is reinventing learning for the 21st century workforce. As technology evolves, the skills and resources people need to do their best work are rapidly changing. Recognizing this, businesses have increased training budgets and are seeking innovative learning solutions to better attract, engage, and retain their talent.

Grovo arms these companies with a complete learning ecosystem to develop their people. We’ve designed a consumerized learning platform and rich library of more than 6,000 one-minute video lessons to teach everything today’s employees need. Additionally, each client is matched with a two-person advisory team that weaves learning into their people strategy.

Grovo’s learning ecosystem is built using the principles of microlearning – short bursts of focused content that are proven to command attention and increase effectiveness. Our microlearning video lessons stack together to teach everything from project management to creative leadership. It’s learning that matches the fast-paced nature of work today

Jeff Fernandez_CEO_Cofounder[1]

Jeff Fernandez

How is it different?

Today’s workforce is faced daily with information overload, fierce competition for our attention, technology that’s evolving at the speed of light, and new roles to manage this shifting landscape.

Grovo’s bite-sized videos are created for today’s workforce. We have an in-house team of instructional designers, animators and producers creating learning content as new technology arrives and faster than competitors. Our team has the speed and agility to quickly respond to requests for new content. From digital tools like Salesforce and Slack to professional topics like leadership, innovation, and compliance, our on-demand library of microlearning lessons spans the gamut of modern topics. This nimble approach keeps us in touch with the trends, ahead of the curve, and always learning.

Not only do we have an easily accessible platform and up-to-date library of content, but we have made a huge investment in the talent to provide best-in-class service it takes to meet our customers’ unique needs. Each Grovo client is paired with a two-person account team dedicated to helping them build a long-term development strategy and culture of learning within their organization.

What market are you attacking and how big is it?

The corporate training industry has seen explosive growth in the last few years and is currently valued at $130 billion. Grovo’s own growth reflects that better learning in the workplace has never been more important, thanks to an influx of new technology, a highly competitive labor market, and an increasingly millennial workforce.

What is the business model?

Grovo is an SaaS-based business selling to the enterprise. Our learning ecosystem – content, platform, and service – is priced per seat across a few tiers that fit the needs of the majority of our customers. In addition to this out-of-the-box learning solution, we also offer Content-as-a-Service to many of our largest customers.

What inspired the business?

Grovo was born out of a simple question I received via text during dinner with my friends, and soon-to-be co-founders, Surag Mungekar and Nick Narodny, back in 2010. It read, “How do I connect Google Analytics to my WordPress?” With this text message, we realized there was simply no place to quickly learn all the new skills that our high-velocity world was throwing at us.

We originally created Grovo to close that digital skills gap. But rapidly, companies with broader needs began approaching us. They found Grovo’s content engine enormously valuable for teaching everything from leadership to creativity. Soon, they were asking us to build a platform that provided them with robust analytics, learning management, and content authoring tools that were just as powerful and intuitive as our content.

We realized that traditional training methods were not only dull and ineffective; they just couldn’t keep up with the rapidly changing workplace. So we decided to deliver a better solution for this largely broken space. Since shifting to this business-to-business model, we have only seen the appetite continue to grow for for a better way to learn at work.

Why is learning methodology in the workplace often overlooked?

Traditionally, large organizations have been bogged down with legacy platforms that are slow and clunky, and with content that is irrelevant, fragmented, and outdated. In today’s fast-moving world, continuous, effective training is more important than ever, but it can be a daunting task to rewire outdated training methods. That said, the cons of not doing so are severe. Old-school employee training is not only leading to sunk costs, but is also a tremendous contributor to low employee engagement and increased turnover.

With employee retention and engagement a top priority for the C-suite today, we are in the midst of a seismic shift that requires organizations to no longer just provide “corporate training” but to create “a culture of learning.”

What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?

Companies like Major League Baseball, Return Path, and Chop’t Creative Salad Company are just a few of the hundreds of forward-thinking organizations that joined our portfolio in the first half of 2015, and we’re excited to bring turn-key solutions to even more brands in the next six months. We’ll also be continuing to grow our team, including a number of key executive hires that will help catapult us to the next stage of growth.

What is the one piece of business advice that you never got?

Business is only about two things: people and money.

You have built an impressive roster of marquee clients. Any advice for our startup audience that is looking to work with larger, established corporations?

Roll out the red carpet, especially for the first ten customers. Learn from them, call them, bend over backwards for them. They’ll help you more than you help them, and that’s ok. Thank them. Build product-market fit, systems and processes. Then start scaling.

If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?

I’d want to be close friends with Michael Bloomberg. He’s someone I really admire.

Why did you launch in New York?

My co-founders and I grew up around New York City, and the emerging tech scene felt like a natural fit for us. Now, NYC is truly establishing itself as a rising hub for SaaS startups and there’s never been a better time to be a part of driving that momentum.

What’s is your favorite restaurant in the city?

Wolfgang’s on 33rd. It’s right across the street from our office. If we’re celebrating something, that’s usually where you’ll find me.

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