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GigE conference: Judges hear from five firms ‘Shark Tank’ style; award goes to Bunker

September 15, 2017

Bunker, an online insurance broker focused on serving independent contractors, received the judges’ award during a panel on Thursday inspired by the “Shark Tank” television show at the Collaboration in the Gig Economy conference in Dallas. The conference was focused on the latest trends in technology, legal and other areas of the workforce ecosystem.

Judges on the panel were:

  • Jonathan Kestenbaum, managing director, Talent Tech Labs
  • John Nurthen, executive director, global research, Staffing Industry Analysts
  • Fabio Rosati, board member, investor and former CEO of Elance and Upwork
  • Raza Syed, director, corporate development and partnership, Indeed

The judges heard presentations from five workforce ecosystem firms and had an opportunity to ask questions of each presenter before making their final decision.

Bunker had announced its public launch in May and that it had closed a $6 million Series A funding round. The company had already announced a $2 million seed round and a launch in beta. The company is a licensed insurance broker in all 50 states, and it’s based in San Francisco with an office in Madison, Wis.

Separately, session audience members voted as well, with Bonsai being the audience pick. Bonsai provides a suite of online tools and a management system for freelancers including an invoicing & payments system and expense-tracking system. It has 40,000 freelancers on its platform and $40 million in projects. The company is based in San Francisco.

The three other firms competing in the event were Gustav, an open-source VMS; Koru, a firm focused on predictive hiring; and Talentify, a firm focused on automated talent sourcing.

In one of the final sessions of the day, attendees appreciated hearing the talent perspective about what makes them love a client or run for the door. The talent wish list on what they expect from a client included respect, managing expectations and intellectual property clarity.

The Collaboration in the Gig Economy conference, produced by Staffing Industry Analysts, ended Thursday.

The next Collaboration in the Gig Economy conference takes place April 25 to April 26 in London.

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