Here is a write up of this weeks newsletter. Today we were looking at potential banana extinction and how BioTech, AI and CRISPR can be used to help! As always you can get this content straight to your inbox on our weekly newsletter – we always try to include some fun and interesting tech news! Go bananas! […]
How can artificial intelligence save the world’s favourite fruit?
Tropical Race 4 – don’t worry we aren’t talking about that purple hurricane game every kid seem to be playing this summer! Better yet: crop destroying fungus. Fusarium Oxysporum has come to public attention after it hit land in Colombia. Short banana PSA: a different strain of Fusarium almost obliterated bananas as we knew them 30 years ago, leaving the more resistant ‘Cavendish’ as top banana. This strain is already present in Asia and can survive dormant in the soil for many years. It is expected to sweep through Latin America, where 99% of the world’s crop is grown, decimating bananas left and right. But all is not lost! An international team is using AI to detect diseases in bananas, developing tech that could be deployed on an international scale to contain and control the epidemic. Opening up the GMO debate, CRISPR and BioTech options have also been suggested to modify bananas (or even the disease itself) to sidestep a potential biological catastrophe. Without getting all Swedish child environmentalist on you, it seems like a good time to think about how to promote biodiversity within the confines of practical and ecological production needs. Thankfully BioTech is positioned to lead this attack and protect our precious bananas! Let the fights in offices across the nation continue over (objectively) the best fruit.
We have a truth bomb for you: the 9-5 office job is dead (sorry, Dolly Parton)! Remote work is the way of the future. Good news though for all our baby digital nomads, we work remotely at Work in Startups (in a variety of different ways) so we’re here to share our wisdom. […]
Remote Working Jobs: How Work in Startups works remotely
We have a truth bomb for you: the 9-5 office job is dead (sorry, Dolly Parton)! Remote work is the way of the future. Good news though for all our baby digital nomads, we work remotely at Work in Startups (in a variety of different ways) so we’re here to share our wisdom.
Advantages of Remote Working:
You might be asking, “Why should I jump on the remote working bandwagon?” Let us sell you on the merits:
Productivity – we all know offices can be ironically distracting places. Between the inane Love Island chatter with your deskmates, and comings and goings of the team, sometimes it can be hard to maintain focus. The beauty of remote work is you can choose your workspace and tweak it for maximum productivity.
Make your own hours – remote work is inherently flexible and lends itself toward nontraditional working hours. So, finish when you’re done rather than at 6pm on the nose! Need to take two hours out of your day for an appointment? Provided you can still make any pre-scheduled meetings or call, just catch up with your work later on when you’re free! And save time on that slog of a commute as well.
Best person for the job – when you are a flexible workplace you can hire the most qualified person for your role (hopefully sourced on Work in Startups) rather than the best person who can also make it to your office. This is particularly true for London startups where not all the best talent is within an easy commute!
Promotes Diversity – remote and flexible working is perfect for those with caring or parenting responsibilities which makes it a great option for an equal opportunities workplace.
How we work remotely at Work in Startups
WIS Fun Fact: the Work in Startups team is split between the UK and Greece!
Given this, we’ve had to develop a really tight remote-working system that works for all members of our team. Here’s how we do it:
Tech and Software – we use cloud-based, remote messaging software to communicate in real time, and a ticketing system for asynchronous project work. We are very thankful for cloud-based productivity software as it allows us to work simultaneously on projects despite the ocean between us – this is a MUST!
Workload and Organisation – when remotely working as part of a team (like we do) making sure you know what you need to be doing at any point is vital. We have clear goals over a variety of timeframes so we always know what to crack on with, regardless of where we are working!
Support – the most important way we make remote working work is by encouraging all kinds of remote work: WFH, full remote work and flexible working. Remote is now commonplace! Making us more than just a group of digital nomads – a tribe, if you will!
Tips from one of our remote developers
Chris is one of our lovely developers, who is based in Greece, so is well-versed in everything remote work! Here are some of his top tips:
Your Space – “Space is always really important in my opinion. Realistically you are either working from home, a co-working space, or a cafe. Wherever you are: it needs to be a productive and calm place to work”
Working from Home – “For those that work-from-home, a good tip is to have a separate space for work only. Something like an office (if it’s possible) because it’s exhausting to stay in the same room all day, even after you finish your ‘shift’! I used to work in my living room which was a big mistake because I was getting easily distracted!”
Do you want to find a remote working job in a startup?
Yes? Check out one of our favourite companies who have a few remote roles on our site; CausaLens. They are working on technology that predicts global economic developments in real-time – pretty cool right?
Sometimes landing a new startup job in London (or anywhere in the UK) can feel a bit like making some new friends who already have a lottttttt of obnoxious in-jokes and references. Luckily, Work In Startups is here to help bust that jargon today. Have a flick through our quick A-Z so you don’t feel like an outsider at your local Shoreditch flat-white dispensary! […]
Jargon Buster: The Work In Startups “A-Z” of Startup Terminology
Sometimes landing a new startup job in London (or anywhere in the UK) can feel a bit like making some new friends who already have a lottttttt of obnoxious in-jokes and references. Luckily, Work In Startups is here to help bust that jargon today. Have a flick through our quick A-Z so you don’t feel like an outsider at your local Shoreditch flat-white dispensary!
A private individual who invests capital (usually in the early stages of a startup), generally in exchange for equity. Accelerator – investment-fund program that provide funding and mentorship to budding startups in exchange for a stake
The amount of cash a startup is spending each month Bootstrapping – initial funding stage of a startup deploying only your personal savings or with help from friends and family (rather than angel or seed investment)
Cash Flow Positive
(The dream!) When a startup’s cash coming in is greater than its cash going out. Note this is different to being profitable!
A product or service that aims / is about to (hopefully) change or revolutionise an existing industry. A buzzword in the startup world!
Several geeky accounting definitions, but generally in startups equity refers to the relative amount (share) someone owns in the company
When your core produce or service is free, but there are premium / non-free features available which are designed to improve the user experience even further Frontend – the pretty face of software engineering (obviously so much more that). In short: the bit on startup websites that you (the user) see and interact with! It runs in tandem with the Backend which does the heavy lifting behind the scenes
A startup marketing term focused around experimentation on growth strategy – working out ways to acquire as many users as quickly / cheaply as possible Gamification – implementing elements or features you would find in a game in a non-gaming product GA – (Google Analytics) this is the big boy for tracking just about anything activity-related on a website. Given its heavy use, “GA” is an easier term to spit out!
A growth curve on a chart – an initial dip (where you’re investing) followed by a strong upward trajectory, leaving the progress line looking a bit like a hockey stick!
An “Initial Public Offering” – the first time a startup (or any company) lists its shares on a public stock market
One of the most commonly recognised programming languages – generally if you see knowledge of this as a requirement for a startup job and you don’t know what it means, don’t apply for it!
Key Performance Indicators – a measurable value tracked by a startup to gauge progress. When the name of the game is growth, we are slaves to the KPIs!
The easiest, quickest wins available in a given project. Essentially the fruit you don’t have to climb too high (or work too hard) to collect Liquidity Event – some form of opportunity for investors to cash in their stake, therefore turning some (or all) of their assets on paper into “liquid” cash Lifetime Value – the prediction of value you expect a customer (or supplier) relationship to generate over the whole of its existence. So hopefully more than just one transaction
Minimum Viable Product – the most basic version of the product that can viably work and be rolled-out, it often gets expanded with new features later on. Minotaur – a startup that has raised $1bn+ from investors (it might not necessarily be worth that much to prospective buyers!)
A very startuppy title for a supposed expert in a field (e.g. after reading this article , you’ll be a startup lingo ninja!)
An agreement giving someone (most likely a startup employee or investor) the option to purchase shares in a company at a given strike price (which you can then hopefully sell later for a profit). You might well get offered these when you join a startup – take them! OKRs – Objectives and Key Results – tangible goal-setting framework. You set your objective and then pick the metrics (key results) that will quantify your progress
Pre & Post Money Valuations
Terms referring to the valuation of a startup before investment or financing and then after (after factoring in the new cash). ProductManager – the person responsible for developing the product, owning the business strategy, features and functionality! Pivot – a shift (quite often a significant one) in business model following feedback on / performance of an initial product
Quality Assurance Testing. This is basic testing of the product, usually with an eye on user experience – think beta-tests and bugchecks a-plenty!
Return-on-Investment. At a very high level, and without getting too geeky about it, this is something that investors will monitor to determine the efficiency (usually financial) of a given investment. Bigger ROI generally means a better use of their funds!
The first round of external capital funding for a startup. SEM/SEO – Search Engine Marketing/Optimization – two distinct areas, but both relate to promoting a startup’s product by increasing its visibility on search engines. Best ask your marketing team directly if you want to learn more about the nuances (as there are many!)
A sign that all your startups growth efforts are taking effect, and whether people are actually buying or using the product..
A term to refer to startups that have been given a $1 billion valuation. Note this doesn’t have to have been realised in cash!
Venture Capital. In a nutshell, this is financial investment (or investors) in startups that are looking for high growth opportunities in exchange for equity Silicon Valley – The name given to an area in the southern San Francisco Bay where lots of startups and tech companies are based.
The “last in, first out” order that investors often get their money in a liquidity event. Those coming later to the table have often had the opportunity to negotiate better terms for themselves since they can see what others have committed to!
A startup that has grown revenue at over 100% a year…. Just kidding (unless it catches on)! It’s actually a weird frog – it’s hard to find an X word for this list!
Y-Combinator is a big seed accelerator with many ‘y-backed’ startups in their portfolio… (Cut us some slack, Y is hard too!)
A term used to refer to startups focused more on building a sustainable growth business than a “boom or bust” approach
The Worst Offender: Tech Startups
You’d hope that most of these are self-explanatory, but here are a few of the most common tech startup fields / buckets with definitions to help you out:
This blog was originally posted in September 2017 but its advice still stands today! So we thought we’d share one from the vault! A startup job-seeker’s life is never easy, and navigating dozens of ads that require a certain degree of experience in a field does not help. However, the fact that you have little […]
Getting an entry-level startup job with little experience
This blog was originally posted in September 2017 but its advice still stands today! So we thought we’d share one from the vault!
A startup job-seeker’s life is never easy, and navigating dozens of ads that require a certain degree of experience in a field does not help. However, the fact that you have little to no experience, does not mean that you aren’t the ideal candidate (just that you have to find a way to stand out!) Grab an employee’s attention, not with your vast experience, but with your potential.
Before you begin: try to remember that everyone starts from scratch and don’t be afraid to experiment with your approach and your resume, but do stay true to yourself.
Focussing on (and mitigating against) your skills that don’t match up to the job requirements is a mistake that a lot of candidates make when applying for a tech job. The truth is that you have likely overlooked startup skills that you do have that are actually transferable – look out for the following in your CV and big them up!
Soft skills – Communication skills can take so many forms – negotiating, mentoring, writing/ copywriting etc. That is why they’re often required in a wide range of startup job listings. Being able to first understand and then relay complex processes and technical aspects of a project to different departments, facilitating a smooth and efficient interaction is highly valuable (especially in a tech environment).
(for the 2019 Supplement: check out our soft and hard skills series).
Teamwork – being able to successfully work and integrate within a team is a crucial aspect of working in a startup. Keep in mind that some startup teams are based in an office, while others work remotely or on a flexible schedule. This can result in less-traditional interactions. Regardless of your work-style, the ability to professionally work with others towards a common goal is a must-have skill.
Planning and organising – Surely this sounds easy enough, but planning and organising goes well beyond keeping a neat desk and a beautifully organised google drive! Could you project manage, track deadlines, create templates or checklists, establish, optimise and explain project workflows to make sure that every aspect of the business is aligned and integrated seamlessly? Yes? Maybe a startup job is for you.
Research and Analysis – Just think about it – you are already doing this on the daily for your day-to-day activities (online shopping, researching new products/services or just source-collecting for your next university report). And you’re even reading this startup blog, so clearly you do your homework! If you are able to get through high volumes of data, put it all together in a relevant way and isolate the essential information, why wouldn’t you put that skill to work in a tech startup as well? Market research, competitive analysis, prospecting finding relevant tools and resources for the business are invaluable in the long-run for any startup.
Multitasking – Being able to juggle multiple tasks at once and stay productive might be one of the best skills you can have in a startup. There is no more dynamic an environment than a company with ambitions of massive growth. Keeping up with that pace and pressure isn’t for everyone, but if you are a multi-tasking rockstar you are definitely startup material.
Experience (or lack of it), does not have to be an impediment when it comes to getting hired by a tech startup! Remember: everything you put in your CV has to be accompanied by an example of work or a situation in which you had to use those skills! Most startups will hire you as a grad or for an internship for potential and not only for experience (but a shiny certificate never hurt anyone!)
As ever, we welcome willing candidates of all skill levels on Work in Startups. Come join the hiring frenzy!
Are you completely operational and are all your circuits functioning normally? Good!
2001, A Space Odyssey references aside, it really has been a banner week for robotics news. Post-bank holiday, we (and seemingly everyone else on startup social media) watched in awe as a £700k robot tentatively picked a raspberry. This may seem a relatively benign field to throw groundbreaking robotics research at but, in a post-Brexit UK, farming and labour costs could potentially rise quite aggressively. So this is Fieldwork Robotics’ solution, boasting a 150% increase in yield when compared to human harvesters.
Meanwhile Ford is upping the ante in the delivery space with its new bipedal, startlingly humanoid robot named Digit. This guy can climb stairs, lift packages and (hopefully) do a generally better job than simply lose your countless ASOS parcels in a depot somewhere. It’s worth noting that this is a ‘research project’ with no established plans for roll-out, but having watched the video we wouldn’t be surprised if this changed in the near(ish) future.
And there’s another area where robotics could potentially change the game, or rather, change your game. The Metro published an opinion piece on whether romantic or sexual relationships with bots (!) are likely to become widespread given how many individuals find love online. Now, it is a bit of a leap of faith to assume the occasional hungover right-swipe will lead to a future a la ex-Machina. But it does open up an interesting discussion about how we combat the loneliness that can come from increasingly living life on the web…
Whether or not the encroachment of our shiny metal friends is good or bad for the human race generally, we know we want to be at the party! Check out Work in Startups for a whole host of robotics, machine-learning and AI jobs. Whatever your taste in future tech we have you covered!
So you’ve found your dream startup job ad (obviously on Work in Startups, since we’ve got the biggest selection of UK startup jobs!)
Your CV is all set and you’re ready to apply. But there’s the option to add a cover letter – what the hell do you do? […]
So you’ve found your dream startup job ad (obviously on Work in Startups, since we’ve got the biggest selection of UK startup jobs!)
Your CV is all set and you’re ready to apply. But there’s the option to add a cover letter – what the hell do you do?
Surely it’s not worth bothering as the hiring manager just won’t read it, right? WRONG! There’s been plenty of research into this area and most reports (like this one) suggest about 50% of employers more than give a toss – they actually see it as the second-most important thing (behind a tweaked CV) to making you stand out from the crowd. Employers at smaller companies (AKA tech startups!) are even more likely to read them, as they’re going to be even fussier about who they bring onboard. So, why be on the back foot from the start – get something down if you’re serious about a career in growth, even if it’s brief!
Obviously, a downright bad cover letter won’t do you any favours. Jobs in startups are competitive, and they certainly aren’t going to be given out to broken English, terrible spelling or hilarious mistakes. But, if you can follow these 6 really simple tips / building blocks, then your job application’s far more likely to get the attention it deserves. It won’t take up unnecessary hours of preparation – we promise!
Address the message specifically to the hiring manager or startup founder(s) if you can find them in the ad / on the website, or to the company team if you can’t. “Dear Steve” or “Dear Adzuna Team” is going to get their attention (and show that you give a stuff!)
Tell them what you’re applying for and where you saw the role – set the whole tone of the letter up front. “I’m writing to apply for the Customer Success Executive role which I saw on WorkInStartups“. EASY
Say why you think the startup product or company mission is exciting, and therefore why you applied. That’s right – do some research and then prioritise them first! It’s like being on a date, you just sound arrogant if you talk about yourself straight away. And feel free to mention a referral, someone you met from their team at a startup event, or something you saw about them in the news – again, show that you CARE and show some PASSION. “I came across Adzuna’s mission to help match people to better, more fulfilling jobs and keep Britain working, and it really struck a chord with me. The tech behind ValueMyCV also really impressed me and I saw your team won the ‘Best Public Sector Project’ award at the National Technology Awards 2019 last month – it feels like a really exciting time to join!“
Then drop in a bit about yourself and your GENUINE, RELEVANT experience in a nutshell (name-drop some startup experience or cool tech company stints if you have them of course!) It’s also a good time to explain any career breaks or moves you want to make, in a succinct manner, and state why you’re the best candidate for this role. Don’t get too cocky and put them off of course, but this is your chance to sell yourself! How would you summarise your profile in 1-2 sentences? “I think I’d be a great fit for this role as I’m passionate about customer success, having spent the last 2 years in the Ops team at Company X honing my people skills. I actually started my career in design, but realised it wasn’t for me as I much prefer solving problems for ambitious clients, and I’m keen to keen learning!
Close it up POLITELY and leave your availability / contact details. Makes it much easier than them having to lift your email or phone number from the CV. “I’d love to discuss this role and my application in more detail with you at your convenience. You can reach me on email@example.com or 07710 123456. I look forward to hearing from you. Best, Steve.” Again, EASY
Keep the whole thing brief! They’re busy running a startup! Nobody wants to read more than 100-200 words of job application, and you want to save some ammo for the interviews, so keep it punchy
Then you can grab a cup of tea, pat yourself on the back, and reward yourself for a job well done knowing that you put your best startup foot forward. And then crack on with the next application – after all, it’s a competitive market and you’ll increase your chances if you apply for a few while you’re in the groove.
Of course, this is just a simple guide to getting a quick startup cover letter done. The style definitely won’t suit everyone’s character (nor every startup role), and obviously the more time and thought you can put into each one, the better you’ll feel about it. But there really should be no excuse for not including a clear and concise message like this. Any comments, let us know!
When coming out of university there are plenty of common routes into the working world, be it a grad scheme, grad job or an internship at a big firm. We’re here to tell you that there is only one way to make the most of those first years out of university. A tech startup. Here’s why: […]
Are you graduating summer 2019 (or still studying and looking at a summer internship)? Are you stressed about joining the “real world” and finding the perfect job to launch your career? Unsure what to do, or where to look? We have news for you – you need a startup job.
Why: what are the benefits of working at a startup fresh out of university?
When coming out of university there are plenty of common routes into the working world, be it a grad scheme, grad job or an internship at a big firm. We’re here to tell you that there is only one way to make the most of those first years out of university. A tech startup. Here’s why:
Team Size – because of the small head-count it is likely that you will be in a close-knit team and rubbing shoulders with far more senior members of the company. Think of the experience you can get that would take you years trying to accrue in a bigger firm.
Responsibility – similarly, you are likely to be thrown a bunch of unique opportunities and given responsibility far above your age and pay grade. Startup roles typically have varied projects allowing you to develop your skills in a variety of areas. Importantly, this can help you take a view on what you want to next – you’ll never find out you’re actually an amazing sales rep until you give it a shot!
Career Progression – while you may take a slight hit on pay when compared to a city graduate scheme, money cannot buy the amount of progression you get. Lots of startups follow a “promote from within” culture and will invest time and resources in their people, effectively growth-hacking your early career.
Culture – startups, particularly London startups, are well-known for their company culture. We’re talking: perk packages, casual dress-code, social events, learning & development training and a “family feel”. If that isn’t an expansion of uni culture we don’t know what is!
Top Intern Tip: Emily, Adzuna “Something that I found useful during my internship was having meetings with people from different departments to find out what they do as well. Even though you might be working primarily in one department, learning what other people in the company do on a daily basis can help to give a sense of how the company works on a larger scale, as well as providing other potential avenues to explore before embarking on a future career.”
How: Using our site as a graduate…
There are several filters on our site that play host to lots of good graduate jobs. Obviously interns is a great first port-of-call for grads who are open to a broad range of startup options. However if you already have a clear idea of what area you want to be in, check out marketers, sales and developers.
Top tips for securing a startup job as a graduate:
Experience – we encourage all our applicants to be ambitious and go for broke (after all it is a quality that startups have themselves) but do make sure you keep an eye on the experience level advertised on the role. If the ad is asking for two years of account management experience it is not going to be the sort of role that would nurture a grad. No-one wins!
Research – as tempting as it is to just spam-apply to every one of our many tech roles, you’re going to have a much better response if you put some proper, thoughtful effort into your application. We have it on good authority (from our lovely employer community) that they prefer and expect personalised CVs and Covering Letters.
It’s easy to amend a stock CV – just organise it by ‘relevant experience’ and make sure the message of the CV is that you are interested in that type of role in a startup (or bonus points, at that specific company!!).
We will expand on Covering Letters at another time but keep it brief and specific to the role and company. That’s right – mention why you like the company in your message! Do. Your. Research!
Use the site to its full potential –
The hottest jobs (where the companies are putting some serious effort into finding you, their dream, rockstar employee) are spotlighted at the top of each page (the highlighted ones). Check those out first and foremost as they’re most likely to respond to your applications
Next, be aware that jobs on Work in Startups are organised on a recency basis so there may be some fantastic roles a couple of pages into the board (not just on Page 1). Make sure you are using the search terms, filters and committing to scrolling through the board.
We recently rolled out email alerts – you can get a selection of new and interesting posts in the section of your choice straight to your inbox every day! You need to get on this – it’s us doing the work for you!
Similarly: follow us across all our startup social channels twitter, facebook, linkedin and make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter. We share interesting roles at all levels on these channels (plus an interesting story or two!)
Top Intern Tip: Jazmine, Adzuna “Be a yes-man! One of the things I really liked looking back at my placement, was taking on responsibility outside my initial job description. Wear as many hats as you can!”
If you still need to be convinced about the merits of working in a startup straight out of uni, all we can say is: check out the board and see what sorts of interesting companies and roles you could be doing. Bin the countless hours of biometric testing for robotic grad roles you inevitably have bookmarked. And join us: #startuplife.