SAN FRANCISCO — Kristen Koh Goldstein created a startup to address what she describes as a "huge labor pool of highly educated and credentialed moms" who need flexibility in their life.
The former Wall Street trader and mother of three is the founder of HireAthena, an on-demand labor marketplace that aims to connect remote workers with top-tier partners. "We’re bringing moms back to work," her company website claims.
Work-Life Balance (for Women)
Backed by Google Ventures and Sherpa Capital, the startup — named after Goldstein's daughter — launched from stealth this week. The platform connects accounting and human resources professionals with businesses that need bookkeeping, monthly financials, finance, payroll and tax services.
Goldstein told CMSWire the company was born of her own frustrations at combining work and parenthood. “I really wanted to be able to juggle both," she explained, adding that no company was willing to give her the flexibility she desired.
While the argument can be made that just as many fathers would benefit from adjustable schedules, Goldstein said HireAthena will initially focus on women.
Most stay-at-home parents are still mothers, according to Pew Research. But Pew noted that fathers represent a growing share of all at-home parents – 16 percent in 2012, up from 10 percent in 1989.
And male or female, one thing is clear: If you stop working even a few years to care for children, "you can miss the entire wave of what people are using in terms of work productivity,” Goldstein said.
Born from BackOps and Scalus
HireAthena's roots lie in BackOps, "an integrated, web-enabled, paperless back office solution for SMBs" that Goldstein co-founded in 2010.
The company hit a wall in 2013 with problems of scaling, Goldstein said. It tried seven applications that all failed before creating its own technology 2014 — Scalus workflow automation — to grow the business.
HireAthena has now been spun off from BackOps and Scalus.
Like other online labor marketplaces, HireAthena connects businesses with freelance and telecommuters. But HireAthena believes its technology distinguishes the service from competitors.
Scalus handles on-boarding, standardized quality and audit compliance and the technology stack includes services like Expensify, Gusto and Bill.com.
HireAthena currently lists accounting, controller and bookkeeper positions in Sacramento, Indianapolis and Cincinnati. According to HireAthena, jobs offer competitive compensation based on local market rates.
Tibco, Goldman Sachs Connection
Before founding BackOps, Goldstein was co-founder and Chief Financial Officer at Loyalty Lab, a loyalty program vendor. Tibco acquired the company in 2010. Earlier, she was an analyst at several financial corporations, including Goldman Sachs.
Goldstein predicts HireAthena will operate profitably within a year.