04 May YBF Success Stories: A glimpse into the Vumero Group
One thing is strikingly obvious when talking to the Vumero Group – they’re always focused on their long-term game. Founded by ex-investment bankers and corporate financiers John Persico and Johann Odou at the York Butter Factory in Melbourne, the company is unconventional and contrarian in so many ways that it seemingly disrupts the start-up world itself.
Vumero Group: A Finance and Technology Talent company
To understand why the Vumero Group is so unusual, it is necessary to understand that the business is structured in two parts, comprised of Vumero Institute, and the soon-to-launch Vumero.
Since 2013, the education-focused Vumero Institute has been providing educational training, certifications, conferences, hackathons and innovation programs to over 100,000 professionals in Finance and Technology industries around the world. The Institute provides training and education to emerging and growth sectors within the Finance & Technology industries, such as in Financial Modeling, Data Science, Big Data Analytics, Sports Technology, Cybersecurity, Internet of Things and more.
But the company’s ultimate, long-term vision is much more ambitious – to launch Vumero, the world’s education and online hiring marketplace for Finance and Technology professionals. The marketplace is preparing for public release in the coming 6-12 months.
Building Solid Foundations with Vumero Institute
However, the truly radical aspect of Vumero Group is not their bold ambition with Vumero, but rather the gradualist approach they’ve taken to achieving their vision for their online hiring marketplace.
Marketplaces are commonly regarded as the most difficult start-up business models to master for many reasons. Among the most formidable challenges is balancing the art and science of nurturing a loyal, trusting, active and high-value ecosystem of professionals and university students for the marketplace to draw on consistently.
It’s here that the company’s genius comes to light. While outsiders may think that the Vumero Group is an education and training company, their Conferences, Training, Competitions, and Hackathons, while productive, are key to Vumero’s ultimate success.
“The goal has always been to develop a hiring solution. However, the hiring market is built on trust and reputation. Therefore, we need to first build a strong foundation and credibility in the industries upon which we are intending to penetrate.” says Co-Founder, John Persico. Vumero Institute has been key to developing this marketplace credibility.
To build this brand loyalty and trust, Vumero Institute runs well-known educational activities and hosts over 30 different websites – including the Financial Modeling World Championships in New York, Big Data Analytics World Championships in Texas and Sports Analytics World Series across the globe, Financial Modeling Certification, IoT Festival, Cyber in Business Conferences, Melbourne Business Analytics Conference and Cyber Talent Labs.
Their long-term focus on curated talent in the emerging fields of cybersecurity, data science and big data space will no doubt attract significant corporate interest, and has already done so. Alongside the network of finance and technology professionals, Vumero Institute has cultivated an impressive client list including Microsoft, IBM, CISCO, Thomson Reuters, SAS, PwC, KPMG, Intel, Bloomberg, American Mensa, Oracle, Sportsbet, World Vision, and many more.
All the events are carefully and purposefully orientated by Vumero Institute towards building a global and relevant community of Finance and Technology professionals in over 100 countries across the world. These global community building exercises are crucial to Vumero’s long term success.
Connecting a Global Community
Having a geographically dispersed community can create challenges in keeping everyone engaged and actively contributing, which is an absolute necessity for any marketplace service. Building the community is a priority, and travel is an essential component of this. For this reason, the team travels extensively for almost half the year.
Thomas Alomes, General Manager at Vumero Institute highlights the destinations they’ve visited as of April 2017 so far – London, New York, Toronto, Upstate NY, Austin, Boston, San Francisco, Dubai, Hong Kong, Madrid, and more.
It’s all part and parcel of taking care of the many people in the Vumero Institute network, by providing ongoing education and training. It is this that sets the company apart; the care they have for their community. “There is no substitute for human interaction,” notes Alomes.
Sustainable Business Models for Sustainable Advantage
While most young marketplace start-ups spend their first few years perfecting their MVP, putting their product to market and hoping the market will provide the ecosystem, the Vumero Group has completely flipped this conventional model on its head. Instead, the company spent its first four years focusing on customer acquisition by building a loyal and trusting global community around the Vumero brand.
Only once the ecosystem achieved the calibre and consistency that Vumero requires has the team begun developing their proprietary technology.
Now in 2017, after four years of community building, the company is preparing to launch their hiring and booking platform for Finance & Technology talent, Vumero. Their proprietary technology solution aims to create a game-changing marketplace, which will create a faster, more affordable way of hiring talent for projects and full-time professionals.
When it comes to creating a competitive advantage, Vumero Institute’s diverse educational activities across Finance, Accounting, Data and Technology create a serious global footprint for their entry into the online talent hiring business in 2017. International ranking systems, proprietary performance metrics and long-term trusted relationships with their Finance and Technology ecosystem will help ensure the Vumero Group can successfully transition from an education company towards a complementary online hiring platform.
“Team of Stars” Culture
Upending the classic start-up business model is just part of the story. Culturally, their long-term strategy stands in contrast to many in the start-up scene, which has undoubtedly bestowed a competitive advantage on the company.
Their self-assured move into developing the talent hiring marketplace wouldn’t be possible without their patiently confident approach to long term organic growth, contrasting the usually impatient and haphazard start-up growth trajectory of bloat and collapse. It is here that Vumero Group’s carefully cultivated strategy and culture comes into play.
In the start-up world, the prevailing belief is that any spare money should be pumped into making more hires. For this reason, you’ll often see a predictable correlation between balance sheets and employee numbers.
Again, the Vumero Group differs, keeping their team small and efficient at 8 full time employees, placing an emphasis on hiring the only most talented, hard-working and entrepreneurial team members. This stringency on quality means that each employee can easily flex in and out of business activities ensuring the team can quickly come together to achieve maximum results at crucial times.
The founders – Johann and John – are the culture setters. The two are immensely private founders and together they make a formidable team. While John seeks to push the business forward strategically with his creative thinking, marketing prowess and commitment to long-term vision, Johann puts this thinking into practice, connecting the many parts and ensuring their well-oiled machine continues to operate seamlessly and effectively.
John and Johann are opposites in the real-world, but their strategic and operational skillsets are perfect complements for the company. This combination affords them with the speed and cut-through required to drive rapid change, growth and results in the business.
What’s Next in 2017?
Vumero Group will continue to expand its global educational footprint (via the Vumero Institute) and begin launching its pure-play online hiring marketplace (Vumero) for the Accounting, Finance, Data and Technology industries. Moving off such a solid foundation of engaged users will ensure that Vumero.com is a business and team to watch.
If you would like to get in touch with the Vumero team, feel free to reach out to Johann at firstname.lastname@example.org.