Editor’s note: Startland News selected 10 Kansas City firms to spotlight for its annual Startups to Watch list. The following is one of 2021’s companies. Click here to view the full, ranked list of Startups to Watch — presented by sponsors Husch Blackwell and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
LaborChart wants to be among Kansas City’s top-tier tech companies, said Ben Schultz, downloading reasons 2021 could be the year that puts the startup over the top in its home city and beyond.
Elevator pitch: LaborChart is a leading provider of workforce management software for the construction industry. The platform helps businesses manage employee scheduling, dispatching, forecasting and communication. Built from a unique blend of construction and software expertise, LaborChart helps contractors of all trades organize their largest and most valuable company asset — their workforce — into one secure and easy-to-manage platform.
• Founders: Ben Schultz, Hunter Browning
• Founding Year: 2015
• Amount Raised to Date: $7.05M
• Noteworthy Investors: Five Elms Capital and Perceptive Equity
• Programs Completed: Pipeline Entrepreneurs
• Current Employee Count: 30
“We are building one of the most unique opportunities to work inside high-growth tech here in the Midwest,” Schultz, CEO and co-founder, said of the quiet-but-mighty high-growth small business’s mission and why its commitment to scaling responsibly is expected to pay off in 2021, teasing international market expansion and anticipated team growth.
“We just work our asses off and refuse to not make something of it. [In the early days] we made so many bad decisions, so many mistakes, we did so many things wrong — but we would just continue to go home and come back and do better,” he said of an attitude that’s helped the company become the leading construction workforce management platform in the United States.
Click here to read more about LaborChart and its mission to help businesses manage employee scheduling, dispatching, forecasting and communication.
Schultz and his team are determined to achieve the same status in a number of international markets in 2021.
“It sets us up to always make a right decision versus having some external or environmental factor coming in and changing our business overnight — which happens to so many tech companies anymore. The wind blows the wrong way and you’ll see a billion-dollar entity crumple in three months.”
Using such mistakes as examples, Labor Chart is expected to prioritize value as it expands its headcount, focusing its efforts on strategic hiring that positions the company to reach the next level.
“We’re growing the team aggressively across every department in our business. Finding those people who want to show up, want to focus on value, and want to get personally better every single day is huge for us,” he said, adding the hiring spree won’t be a game of optics, but rather an intentional effort to expand the company’s current skill set and provide valuable opportunities for growth within Kansas City’s tech sector.
“It’s very much about finding the right person — and if we can’t find the right person, we’re not going to fill roles. We’re keeping our eye on these things, not just trying to grow at all costs,” Schultz said.
The Kansas City Startups Watch in 2021 list is made possible by presenting sponsors Husch Blackwell, a value-driven law firm with offices in Kansas City, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, though independently produced by Startland News.
Startups to Watch is now in its sixth year, thanks to ongoing support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.