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VMblog Expert Interview: Hack VC launches, connecting displaced software engineers with top tier jobs during COVID-19

interview hack shah roman 

VMblog:  Welcome, Ed and Vatsal. Today you launched a new initiative, Tell us about this and what led to its creation. 

Ed Roman: Thanks for having us today, Dave. We're thrilled to announce We've built this free platform for one reason - to help the millions of displaced workers who have lost their jobs due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. To begin, we're starting in an area we know best - software engineers.

Vatsal Shah: Many high-quality developers have lost their jobs due to COVID-19, yet there is a shortage of over one million developers in the United States today. This inefficiency needs to be addressed, and we're doing just that with this initiative.

VMblog:  Fantastic. Tell us more about the process from the perspective of a job seeker.

Roman: Simply put, high-quality developers are valuable and should have an easier time finding their dream job at a startup, rather than endlessly filling-out redundant job applications. By using, a developer can fill out a single job application and gain access to a multitude of venture-backed startups. We've built it to be incredibly simple and direct. 

VMblog:  You mentioned is a free service, what drove you to that decision?

Roman: Yes - this is completely free for both the employer and the job seeker. We truly see this as an experiment in social entrepreneurship. The platform was created to match displaced workers with fast growing venture-backed startups at no cost. The program is initially linked to Hack VC's portfolio of over 175 companies, and we plan to swiftly expand from there.

VMblog:  Is this service specific to the United States, or is it global?

Shah: is available globally. Applicants around the world can now broadcast their skill set to a wide network of startups across the United States who welcome remote work and/or have offices around the world. In fact, one of our goals in creating is to help international students and workers find job opportunities within the United States, which can be incredibly challenging as many of us personally know.

VMblog:  You mentioned the simplicity of, that one application can broadcast a candidate to a multitude of startups. How did you decide upon the application process?

Roman: Great question. When creating the platform and application, we worked closely with many of our startups to make sure all key questions were included. 

Shah: We also wanted to provide applicants with the opportunity to demonstrate their preferences with regards to work environments. Everyone differs in their work preferences (ideal company size, team vs. individual projects, work/life balance). We aim to help companies and candidates match each other's work culture with this process, helping find long term job placements.

VMblog:  Hack VC is also the creator and host of HackSummit, correct?

Roman: Yes, Hack Summit is the largest developer event series in history and we provide free technical education and training to developers and those interested in entering the field. Through this service, we've raised a community of over 135,000 developers worldwide, helping them improve their skills. It is a not-for-profit initiative that raises money for charities such as Women Who Code, Code for America and Black Girls Code.

VMblog:  Ed and Vatsal, thanks for your time today. A ny other details you'd like to share with our readers?

Roman: It's been a pleasure, Dave. We're looking forward to doing our part and helping with this initiative. For anyone looking for that next step or some help, please visit and see how we can assist.


Vatsal Shah is Project Manager at Ed Roman is the Managing Director of Hack VC, an early-stage venture capital firm focused on partnering with daring entrepreneurs at the earliest stages. Hack VC is a shareholder in over 175 startups, including four unicorns. Hack VC aims to democratize access to top early stage technology startups to investors across the globe. The firm also manages the world's largest programmer conference, hack.summit() with over 135,000 attendees from 157 countries.

Published Wednesday, October 07, 2020 9:18 AM by David Marshall
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