NEW YORK, Oct. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Viridis, an online education technology platform for training and placing the middle-skill workforce, announced today that it has raised funding from a set of investors that includes venture capital firms such as Comcast Ventures, ULU Ventures and Expansion VC.
The middle-skill sector requires workers that have more than a high school level education and less than a four-year degree. While only 25 percent of the American workforce in 2012 was qualified for middle-skills work, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that 45 percent of the jobs added to the U.S. economy over the next decade will require workers with this level of skill. The shortage of middle-skill workers is not just an American problem, and Viridis is poised to make a global impact by training workers the world over and placing them in the jobs best suited for them.
“We aim to redefine the middle class,” said Viridis founder Felix W. Ortiz, III. “This technology has been engineered to accelerate career growth for the very people who need it most. Middle skill workers, with their dedication and commitment to their jobs, are the backbone of our economy in sectors such as manufacturing, hospitality and transportation. Men and women interested in or already pursuing middle-skill jobs deserve a technology platform for growth. Viridis is that solution.”
Viridis offers a constantly expanding list of courses that cost users $250 each and take between 18 and 40 hours to complete. Backed by algorithms that analyze the candidate’s goals, personality, skill set and certificates, Viridis places users in jobs that maximize their potential. During Viridis’ pilot program, users had a 93% completion rate, 70% placement rate and a 65% retention rate.
Based on this initial success, Viridis sought venture funding and found support from the following organizations:
Blue Ridge Foundation supports, over a period of years, the incubation of start-ups with great potential. It does so by providing a range of services, including funding, co-working space and management assistance. Its portfolio includes Code for America, College Summit and WomensLaw.org.
CNF Investments, an affiliate of Clark Enterprises, Inc. established in 1997, manages more than $280 million in capital with current investments in technology, healthcare, oil and gas, social media and education. This firm’s investment portfolio includes American Honors College and HelloWallet.
Comcast Ventures acts as both a traditional venture fund and strategic investor, providing technical insight, scale and experience, to technology companies. This fund’s portfolio includes BlogHer, Flipboard and TiVo.
Dauk/Wagner Investments, LLC is a privately held investment and advisory firm that focuses on early stage investment.
Expansion Venture Capital is an angel and venture capital firm founded by brothers, Joseph and Ryan Melohn, and supports early stage companies focused on the Internet, e-commerce, education, biotechnology and energy markets. Its portfolio includes Careerosity and LearnMetrics.
ULU Ventures provides early-stage investment to internet-enabled consumer and business services. It takes its name from the Hawaiian word meaning to grow and protect. Its portfolio includes Learn Zillion and Novo ED.
Viridis also has received angel investment from founder Ortiz’s parents, Felix W. Ortiz, Jr. and Elba Ortiz. Ortiz founded Viridis on their couch when he had no money of his own to invest in his business and he’s continually grateful for their love and support.
Viridis is a human capital technology solution offering training to individuals that lead to industry recognized credentials and job placement for those looking to enter, sustain or grow within the middle-skill workforce.
The Viridis system captures unique data on its users, enabling the matching of job seekers to employers by industry sector, location and skill. With a 93% completion rate, 70% placement rate and a 65% retention rate among early adopters YouthBuild USA, STRIVE, City University of New York and many others, Viridis is a proven system for closing the middle skills gap and matching talent supply to job demand globally.
About Felix W. Ortiz, III
Felix Ortiz is a Brooklyn-born and raised entrepreneur who served in the U.S. Army 18th Airborne Corps and JAG Corps, and attended St. John’s University. Felix is the founder, chairman, and chief product officer of Viridis, an education technology company that combines workforce education and human capital solutions for the middle-skill workforce.
Felix is a serial entrepreneur, having started several companies, including Visionary Trade & Export, which he founded at age 20. After netting several multimillion-dollar deals through this venture, Felix sold Visionary Trade & Export in 2007 at age 23.
In 2008, Felix served on the National Finance Committee Council for then-presidential candidate Barack Obama and was a member of the Advisory Group for International Trade & Economics on the Obama-Biden Transition Team. During the 2012 presidential campaign, Felix served as a national co-chair of Gen44.
Today, he also serves on the advisory board of Spring Bank.
Skai Blue Media