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Focus on a Founder with Angela Hood

last modified Jul 15, 2020 08:07 AM
It was 10 years ago in June that ideaSpace welcomed its first member. The first of its kind in Cambridge, ideaSpace became home to a range of exciting start-ups – many of which have gone on to great success. We grew too – opening a second office in the city centre in 2013 and ideaSpace South three years later, on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. We are continuing to celebrate a decade of community with our ‘Focus on a Founder’ series. This week we spoke to Angela Hood of Thisway Global who joined ideaSpace back in 2013.

Angela Hood focus on a founder

Angela Hood – ThisWay Global 

Tell us the history behind ThisWay Global and how you got to where you are now?
There are few things more important than a person's ability to work and sustain themselves and their family. Our mission is to provide Matching That Matters, whilst removing bias from systems and processes so that recruitment and hiring is fair and increases diversity of teams. After struggling to gain job interviews, I began using my initials on my CV so that employers did not know I was female.  This strategy resulted in numerous interviews and some surprised expressions when I arrived for my first meeting. I quickly learnt that I was experiencing 1 of just 500 biases that our technology now removes. 

Over the course of 3 years I worked with numerous departments at the University of Cambridge, and across 7 countries, to structure our initial methodology. In 2016 I opened our company headquarters in Austin, Texas, USA where I am building my fourth company in two decades. I miss the thoughtful conversations and intellectual dialogue held in the halls of ideaSpace and love seeing the great companies that are born in Cambridge.


How is your venture doing?
Following months of planning a development in March 2020 we launched our partnership with Salesforce. Immediately afterwards, due to the pandemic, we knew that we needed to provide job matching to both employers and the millions who were now unemployed. With support from Amazon we launched WorkThisWay and we are now working with the engineering team from BB8 in Star Wars, developing an AI based Career Companion that will guide job seekers through their current job search and afterwards.


 Press Release


Do you have any advice for founders starting out?
Resiliency, perseverance and collaboration will serve you well as you navigate the ups and downs of building a team and your company.

The challenge I most underestimated is how important the right positioning would be and the art of building a repeatable sales process.


How was the ideaSpace community helpful to you?
Stew, and the other founders at ideaSpace, helped me to see around corners as I was developing our technology and strategy.  There is a level of thoughtfulness that permeates the culture at ideaSpace that I miss now that we have moved our company to the USA. Sharing my time at ideaSpace continues to be a great conversation starter and I'm no longer surprised when I cross paths with people that know about other companies that originated from the exceptional programme that Stew has built.


To find out more about ThisWay Global visit their website here.

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