Mercer and WeWork Labs are collaborating to create an incubator program focused HR technology. Mercer said its “HRTech Incubator Program” is the first of its kind.
Noting that rapid developments in technology is quickly changing the nature of work, the effort is intended to “help incubate, support, and grow the next generation of workforce innovation startups,” the company said.
“The Mercer Incubator will create an environment to deliver new solutions that will help organizations thrive in the digital age and be forward-looking,” said Barb Marder, Mercer’s global innovation leader.
The program’s inaugural class was selected from over 200 applicants. It includes:
- Vetty, a blockchain and AI-based platform for employee vetting.
- Vantage Point, which will provide virtual reality-based training services.
- QLC, an online talent development network for internships and externships.
- Learnerbly, a SaaS enterprise learning tool.
- Retirety, a platform for employee benefits educational resources.
- Socrates, an enterprise-level HR chatbot.
Mercer Chief Digital Officer Gail Evans said the program represents “a significant commitment as we continue to unite people and technology.”
Each of the program’s participants undergoes “an intensive partnership development initiative” to help refine their product and value proposition. Mercer advisors will then work with the companies on product development concepts and exploring future market needs. Participants also receive product development and production support, the opportunity for future investment participation and access to segments of Mercer’s client base who’ve expressed interest in learning about new HR tech solutions.
“We’ve been through a few different accelerator programs. Those were good, but they were done in a silo – they offered access to mentors from outside the business, but it didn’t put the voice of the customer into the mix,” said Brad Heber, Vetty’s head of growth. Mercer’s program differs because it provides access to “customers who can offer us insights we won’t find anywhere else.”
Upon completing the program, each participant will present at a summit of key executives within the HR technology space to hear feedback and, of course, get exposure.
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