Saturday, December 4, 2021

Talk to as many people as possible

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Sabine Elsässer
Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

Unionise for startup and tech employees to help them navigate working life

Please introduce yourself and your startup Unionise to our readers!

I, along with Anna Corp, am a co-founder of Unionise. We started this project to help many others who work in startups and the technology sector to get more support and information about their careers and to help them use collective bargaining to get the things they need to make their working lives better. We want to give a little bit more control back to employees. 

Both of us have worked in big blue-chip companies as well as startups and could see the difference in what it was like to work for those companies. 

How did you get the idea of Unionise?

Honestly? Unionise started off as a bit of fun. We were sharing various OMG startup stories with friends and realised so many were going through the same challenges: the under-developed HR function, young companies with no processes in place, uncertain roles, high pressure growth targets, lack of experienced and middle management, and the commercialisation of employee benefits. Simply put, many of these problems could be addressed if a well-functioning employee representation was created.

Why did you decide to start with Unionise?

It is a service that we knew many friends would use straight away. 

What is the vision behind Unionise?

Traditional trade unions – and we need to look beyond the days of Arthur Scargill – do have a fantastic purpose. One major problem is that with mass industrial action we have seen a big slide in membership since the late 1970s. But look through this. 

Worker unions formed when the industrial revolution meant power shifted into the hands of capitalists who were then able to replace workers with machines. Sound familiar?  Automaton and software are not only changing how we live but also altering the way we work. To be able to help employees transition to this future, we need a collective body that will help them on that journey. 

How difficult was the start and which challenges you had to overcome?

Starting has been so much easier than we expected. Everyone seems to understand the problem and solution. That said, we know this isn’t going to be an easy ride. But it’s definitely enjoyable. 

Who is your target audience?

We are starting with startup and technology sector employees because they are most likely to adapt to this digital solution. If you work in these sectors and feel that you need support from others in a similar situation, then Unionise is a place to go. 

What is the USP of your startup?

Getting employees ready for the Future of Work. 

Can you describe your typical workday?

With currently just two of us, we need to balance content, technology, financials, and marketing. It has been a bit of a whirlwind getting launched and we will start to hire people for specific roles later this year or early next year. 

Where do you see yourself and your startup Unionise in five years?

We state that we are unlikely to become a trade union – instead we are a digital alternative. The reasons for this are that we need to invest upfront and maintain a technology platform that might be hard to manage in a pure trade union structure. But this doesn’t stop us from delivering similar services and new services we feel modern careers and jobs require. 

In 5 years we hope to be the business that stops the decline of trade union membership (if we are included in the statistics) and are invited to be part of the trade union networks – albeit with our view on helping employees. 

What 3 tips would you give to founders?

Find an easy to deliver MVP

Talk to as many people as possible

Make sure you have all the required skills to build an MVP in your founding team. If not, make the MVP simpler. 

More information you will find here

Thank you Damian Horton for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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