We have worked at startups and big companies, invested and operated, worked across fields like consumer internet, financial services, clean energy, and worked around the globe. Some of us come from recruiting and HR backgrounds, and some of us don’t.
All of us share a passion for unlocking professional potential.
Our core values
Own yourself and your work. Don’t wait; see the needful and do it. Generate discipline. Drive for results.
Do the work to get clear. Buck convention. Big goals start with small steps; step with purpose.
Act with intention.
Changing the world should be fun. Inject spirit into the everyday. Be bold. Dream loud. Swashbuckle.
We’re more than our work. Seek balance and health. Learn from differences. Unlock your potential.
Find the adventure.
Be a whole person.
Do you believe that talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity isn’t?
Are you passionate about building great teams?
Looking to find multi-cultural colleagues that own it, act with intention, and find the adventure?
Want to play at the cutting edge of technology, human capital, startups, and social enterprise?
Co-Founders Matt and Paul meet freshman year at Amherst College. They talk about how maybe they’ll someday start a company together…
Co-Founder Simon (while at Shell Foundation) meets Paul (while at SKS Microfinance in Hyderabad) in India, and they start working together to distribute cookstoves and solar lights through microfinance partnerships across India.
Matt sells his digital marketing business Trouvé Media to Bankrate, and starts wondering what’s next. He begins to hunt for a big idea that can change the world around the theme of human potential.
Simon, Paul (now Founder of Accion Venture Lab), and their friend Ross Baird (Founder of Village Capital) realize that their portfolio companies are really, really struggling to hire great people. Brainstorming ensues: “Wouldn’t it be great if there was an easier way to recruit?”
Simon, Paul, and Ross start learning more about recruiting in India and Kenya. They talk to many recruiters. They post jobs for their portfolio companies and screen thousands of CVs. They decide that there has got to be a better way than just looking at and relying on CVs.
Matt, Simon, and Paul sit down to figure out how they could help great companies hire better, and even more importantly, how they could help unlock the professional potential of the next generation in emerging markets.
An entity is born, registered initially as “First Cut, Inc.” Now we just need a product and some customers!
The early “team” assembles to brainstorm First Cut’s mission, vision, and initial go-to-market approach.
The team decides First Cut sounds like a hair salon; the hunt begins for a better name. Many terrible ideas followed. Finally, over dinner, M-Kopa Co-Founder Jesse Moore suggests: “How about Shortlist?” The clouds part and the angels sing.
The team expands to include Ben Lane (Director of Special Projects) and Birma Ram (Product Manager)
Sets up shop in donated office space in Mumbai – thank you Samir Shah!
Shortlist starts working with its initial customers, including Husk Power, Varthana and Envirofit. We have a lot to learn from them!
Shortlist Kenya is launched! Work begins with some of our first customers, like M-KOPA.
A brave set of early funders agree to support Shortlist through its early experimental period. Thank you Shell Centenary Scholarship Fund, Lundin Foundation, and Blue Haven Initiative!
Our India team, now at 10, goes on a boat trip wearing wigs. Hilarity ensues.
Winners are announced in the Argidius-ANDE Talent Challenge, selected for its “promising solutions to the human capital constraints.” And we’re one of them!
We work with our 20th employer!
We shift from our co-working space in Andheri to our first “real” office. We worry the space is too much, only to find 6 months later that we’ve almost outgrown it!
We created values! We believe that values must bubble up from the team, but be defined, lived, and breathed by our leadership. We headed off for a head-clearing weekend in Varkala, Kerala to write down what’s important.
Town Halls start!
We screen our 50,000th candidate!
Career development and personal growth retreat, thanks co-founder Matt. - take text from timeline
Kenya turns 1!
We sign our biggest client!
We screen our 100,000th candidate!
We announce a US$1,000,000 round of funding from investors like University Ventures, Zephyr Acorn, FARM Ventures, and angel investor Samir Shah, and others.