The past two months have been a whirlwind at Uplevel. We publicly launched the company in January after 18 months in stealth mode. We partied in the dark to celebrate. And we found out we were nominated for Startup of the Year at this 2020 Geekwire awards. There are so many ingredients to making a great start-up and it’s something I think about daily as I bike into work. We’re surely not perfect, but I get so excited thinking about all the ingredients we DO have.
We’re solving a huge problem that hasn’t been solved. We founded Uplevel to empower engineers to do their best work. In today’s world of work, there are so many things in the way of doing our “best” work. Few people outside of software development appreciate the creativity and uniqueness of how engineers get their work done. A great day for a software developer looks nothing like a great day for a person in sales, marketing, finance, legal, etc. The ‘hit’ in effectiveness a developer experiences when they are interrupted, context switch, or even just try to understand which task is a higher priority, can be much more frustrating to their job than others. We aren’t going to solve this problem overnight, but I truly believe we’re approaching this problem in a unique way through a mix of technology, nudges, and culture change.
I can’t imagine working with a better team to solve this problem. While I know I’m the stereotypical white guy with an MBA running this company, our team behind the curtain is anything but stereotypical. I’m proud that our executive team is 50% women. I’m proud of the gender and racial diversity of the team — as well as the diversity of professional backgrounds and ways of thinking. I see the deep rooted gender bias as my own daughters show interest in STEM and I know that I have to work to change how technology companies run — if only for them. We created our diverse team intentionally from the very beginning and will make diversity and inclusion a top priority as we grow the company. And we’ll be better for it.
I’m inspired by the energy of this team. I’m proud of the ways we come together to find solutions to our customers problems. I love that I can debate the future of engineering with our team in a company brainstorm and also get my butt kicked in a game of Mafia or Telestrations during our week Friday lunch and games. I don’t take for granted that hiring at a small start-up with seed funding is usually hard. But we’re on to something. Most of our staff found us via employee referral. People are joining because they want to be part of something big and they love the culture. I look out from my desk and see sketches all over the walls that depict our future vision (A Beautiful Mind style), and I know we’re going to achieve it.
I couldn’t be more proud to put in my personal vote for Uplevel as Start-up of the Year – and I hope you do too. Help us get on that stage and show the community what we’ve got! Vote here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/T9TJF8Z. You have until midnight on Friday, March 6th.
Thank you so much for your support and for cheering on this journey we’re on. It’s going to be a ride.
This post was written by Joe Levy, Uplevel co-founder and CEO.