Five Years of Kira Talent

by Emilie Cushman on Apr 21, 2017 1:00:00 PM

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This month, Kira is officially five years old. Looking back at where I was five years ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into or that the company I was starting would grow to nearly 30 staff and over 160 university clients worldwide.  Wow!

For those who don’t know, Kira was originally founded as part of the Next 36 entrepreneurship program in Toronto. Three other co-founders and I (all hovering around the age of 20) expected to build an Instagram-esque company in 18 months, sell it for millions, cash out, and do it again.

We were wrong.

We started like most startups do. We went to all the tech startup conferences, wore t-shirts and jeans, did pitch competitions, worked out of our shared condo and made frequent trips to San Francisco. Within six months, we began hiring employees and making big promises. We wanted everyone to “just add video” to their interviews, in every sector, in every country.

With growing comes growing pains. We needed more investors, more talent, more expertise, and more strategy. We made the decision to bring in a CEO who had experience growing startups.

It was the right move for us at the time, too. We grew the team, moved offices, and made a major pivot in our product and our positioning: Higher education admissions.

What initially started out as a simple video interview tool has evolved out into a holistic assessment platform that helps schools build exceptional classes. Since then, we have grown our management team, and we have invested in game-changing product features, validated our methodology with world-renowned researchers, and are listening closer than ever to our clients and their needs.

In December 2016, after two years of playing various roles in the company, I stepped back into the role of CEO with the full support of the company.

So, the story comes full circle. Here we are five years later.

I can confidently say, our team is stronger than ever. Kira has become the premium platform for admissions assessments with impeccable service, next to zero churn, and a growing base of fabulous clients who have been our strongest advocates.

Thank you to everyone who contributed in getting us to this day, thank you to all of our employees (both past and present), our amazing advisors and investors and to all of our clients who believed in us and continue to do so.

After five years, the best is yet to come.

So, all that to say, Happy 5th Birthday Kira - it’s been a slice!

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This post was written by Emilie Cushman

Emilie Cushman is the Founder and CEO of Kira Talent. Cushman founded the company in 2012, and since launching Kira she has been named the HSBC Woman Leader of Tomorrow and one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women.

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