14. Pymetrics

Founders: Frida Polli (CEO), Julie Yoo (chief data scientist)
Launched: 2013
Headquarters: New York City
Funding: $8.85 million

(Left) Pymetrics co-founders Frida Polli, CEO, and Julie Yoo, chief data scientist
Source: Pymetrics
(Left) Pymetrics co-founders Frida Polli, CEO, and Julie Yoo, chief data scientist

This New York City-based company is combining neuroscience games and big data to help companies get better at hiring. Pymetrics was started in 2013 by two MIT-trained researchers who realized that businesses were still using decades-old methods to screen and place workers. Co-founder and CEO Frida Polli — who has an MBA from Harvard and a PhD in neuroscience from Suffolk University in Boston — was amazed that she couldn't find any computer-based career-matching tools when she was trying to figure out her next professional move. She teamed up with MIT classmate Julie Yoo, and together they created Pymetrics.

Employers use the games to determine the best candidates to hire for the positions they're looking to fill. Job seekers play the games to see which companies and job types they're best suited for. Pymetrics says its neuroscience games — which can be played online or on a smartphone — assess 50 different cognitive, emotional and social traits of the person playing. The company's proprietary data-science algorithms then match that person to their ideal job.

Pymetrics claims that its technology is five to 10 times more predictive than résumé reviews or questionnaires and that its algorithms are gender and ethnic bias-free, making it easier for companies to avoid unconscious bias when interviewing and hiring. There are more than 25 companies using Pymetrics' neuroscience games, including consumer packaged-goods giant Unilever. Khosla Ventures, BBG Ventures and Mercer are among the investors that have funded the company so far.

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