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Academy scores $4m seed

UK-based Academy, which trains tech talent, has raised $4 million in seed funding.

UK-based Academy, which trains tech talent, has raised $4 million in seed funding. The investors include Saul Klein of LocalGlobe, Ric Lewis, chair of the Black Heart Foundation and Angie Ma, chief people officer at Faculty.

PRESS RELEASE

Academy – a UK startup that attracts, trains and accelerates a new diverse generation of tech leaders – has raised a $4m seed round to build a talent and leadership infrastructure for the tech industry.

Current and former leaders from Microsoft, Facebook, Slack, Farfetch and GoCardless are amongst the high-profile angel investors participating in the round, which is being led by LocalGlobe, with participation from Emerge Education.

A proven multi-billion dollar talent model
Academy’s CEO and Founder, Ashley Ramrachia, was Chief People Officer at THG, building the talent investment blueprint that powered them to their $7bn IPO – London’s largest ever tech IPO at the time.

Whilst at THG, Ramrachia pioneered a radical new model to meet the scaling needs of the company: building an internal technology and leadership academy that transformed raw tech potential into high performance technologists.

In doing so, THG uncovered a source of untapped, premium talent – non-Computer Science graduates with an enormous aptitude for tech acceleration, who ended up outperforming their Computer Science peers in tech roles.

This “merit over means” strategy – converting high-potential into high-performance in tech, with an open door to anybody with the right aptitude, regardless of experience – is one that delivers both on delivery and diversity. Now, with Academy, Ramrachia is embedding this model at the very heart of the tech industry.

Fuel for the most ambitious tech talent and companies
Academy works with the most ambitious tech talent and companies to build the next generation of tech leaders from diverse backgrounds – modelled on the career trajectories of Academy’s angel investors such as Ric Lewis (Chair of the Black Heart Foundation), Angie Ma (Chief People Officer at Faculty) and Wing Chan (former CTO of THG).
Portfolio companies from Sequoia Capital, Index Ventures and Y Combinator – along with rapidly growing public companies like Soho House – are amongst the companies working with Academy to find and accelerate their future tech leaders.

Academy partners gain exclusive access to a premium community of diverse future leaders in tech. From a degree-agnostic background, Academy selects the top 0.5% of talent – making it more selective than Google, and 10x more competitive than Harvard.
Through a transformative rapid training experience, Academy accelerates them into tech roles and leadership trajectories – with a training NPS of 75 that is almost twice the 41 reported for Harvard Business School.

Beating society on both performance and diversity
Academy is showing that high performance doesn’t have to come at the cost of high diversity – whilst just 0.5% of applicants are accepted, over 50% are female, over 60% are from minority ethnic backgrounds, and 30% identify as Black.

This is made possible by cutting through economic barriers: Academy’s training programme is zero-tuition, grant-funded and remote-first, making it accessible to anybody with an internet connection.

This makes Academy a powerful engine of social mobility: even though many of Academy’s trainees come from non-STEM backgrounds, the average employment salary is higher than Computer Science graduates from some of the UK’s leading Russell Group universities, like Durham and Bristol.

Case study partnership with a future unicorn
Beamery, recently valued at $800M in their Series C, have been working with Academy to identify, train and accelerate their future leaders in software engineering with twin ambitions of high performance and high focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.
The partnership has included nurturing of both technical and leadership skills for incoming hires and existing employees, including workshops on mentoring, ongoing leadership coaching and core technical training.

Through the partnership, seven individuals are joining Beamery in software engineering roles – achieving a cohort diversity of 57% female and 43% minority ethnic background – as a key part of Beamery’s commitment to increasing access to opportunities.