It is with mixed emotions that we announce LearnCore graduated from Catapult and has moved into their own designated office space. Of course we are thrilled that LearnCore's continued success and growth has led them to go out on their own, but we will miss this amazing team at Catapult. Happily, they are staying in River North and are just a skip and a jump across the river.
Led by University of Michigan alumni and friends Vishal Shah (CEO), Ethan Linkner (COO) and Ryan Leavitt (Chief Revenue Officer), LearnCore is corporate training at its finest. The cloud-based platform enables enterprise clients to create and deploy training in their departments and teams, with an emphasis on skills that drive a business. LearnCore, with its Pitch IQ skills assessment and improvement tool, provides a product that's easy, efficient, and effective for companies of all sizes. The goal: turning everyday employees into top performers.
It looks like it's working. With 70 enterprise clients, in 2015 their revenue has already grown fourfold. The team is now 17 employees strong (yes, they literally outgrew Catapult). And the accolades keep coming. LearnCore was named Most Promising MidWest Startup at Startup VooDoo in St. Louis last fall. They were named a 2014 Up-Start Cloud Awards Finalist. And they won a Startup of the Year bronze medal at the 2015 Stevie's.
Vishal and Ethan founded the company in 2010, originally as VLinks Media, with a focus on web-based training platforms for education publishers. Recognizing a need and an opportunity for the platform to be used for corporate managers looking to train their employees, they shifted directions and launched LearnCore in 2013, bootstrapping while solidifying their new direction and product.
Catapult and LearnCore have grown together. LearnCore is an "Original 7" - one of the first seven companies to reside in our space. Ryan Leavitt and Vishal Shah are also co-founders of Catapult. According to April Lane, Catapult's Executive Director, "Without Vishal and Ryan's support of the startup community in Chicago and their tireless dedication to making a space where later-stage startups could work and prosper, Catapult would not exist."
Ryan says, "We have been at Catapult since the beginning and by now have probably worn out our welcome [Never!]. It has been incredible to be surrounded by the best and brightest entrepreneurs in Chicago and the Catapult community has truly grown into an inspiring collection of entrepreneurs, advisors, investors, mentors, and partners; the support we've received has been key in getting where we are today."
He adds, "As LearnCore continues to grow, we will always be involved in the Catapult community, events, and peer selection process...and maybe one day will even be successful enough to be part of the Everest Program. Until then, we just need to focus on taking the next step and continuing to execute."
Says April, "LearnCore represents the best of the best at Catapult. They took full advantage of all that Catapult has to offer - leveraging the sponsor relationships, collaborating with other startups and founders in the space, and attending all of our events and programs. We are excited for their growth and wish them continued success. I will miss seeing them every day, but I'm confident they will be very active Catapult alumni."