8 Purpose-Driven LA Tech Companies Hiring Now
The Clippers or the Lakers? Venice Beach or Santa Monica? The best taco shop in the city?
Los Angeles is filled with passionate people, and heated debates will likely continue among rivaling fans, beachgoers and foodies. Passion is often the driver of motivation and fulfillment. It’s behind the motivation to pick up your surfboard and head to the beach, and results in the fulfillment felt when catching a wave. And for many professionals, when they regularly experience passion for their work, it’s paired with a sense of purpose.
A study by McKinsey found that while “employees who get the purpose they want from work report better outcomes at work — and in life — than their less-satisfied peers,” only 15 percent of non-executive professionals agreed that they were living their purpose at work.
Fortunately, a lack of purpose is not a problem for Olivia Ruiz, senior technical recruiter at Aspiration. She works for a credit card provider that’s driven by a mission to slow climate change and said she was attracted to the role because, “the mission and values around sustainability resonated.” The same is true for Kaidyn Radford, assistant manager of campus marketing at Blueprint Test Preparation, who said he feels fulfilled by working in the field of education, specifically for a company that cares about learners’ success.
Built In LA sat down with Ruiz, Radford and employees from six other LA-based tech companies to find out how their passions align with their companies’ missions. Each purpose-driven tech company is looking to bring on more talented professionals who feel inspired by their work.
What they do: GoodRx is committed to lowering the cost of pharmaceuticals, telehealth and lab tests for customers by developing partnerships with companies and providing prescription discounts. Working as the GM of core prescriptions for more than four years, Roger Smith said he has seen the company grow from around 100 employees to nearly 1,000.
Data driven: During his tenure at GoodRx, Smith said he has enjoyed seeing the value the business intelligence and analytics teams bring to guiding the company’s strategies. “Whether we’re growing our brand awareness by investing in the right marketing campaigns or working with the product team to plan and prioritize the next product feature we want to build, data and insights are highly valued.”
Working together: The company is developing new partnerships with pharmacy chains to help customers save money on their prescriptions, which Smith said has led to cross-functional collaboration between the product, marketing and partnership teams. “One of our recent endeavors was to encourage consumers to ‘check GoodRx,’” he said, which aimed to highlight how much money customers could save with the company’s products and services. “Being able to coordinate an effort like this across so many teams, with the goal of putting more money back in our users’ pockets, has been rewarding.”
Being able to coordinate an effort like this across so many teams, with the goal of putting more money back in our users’ pockets, has been rewarding.”
What they do: Aspiration is a zero-footprint credit card company committed to fighting climate change through every purchase. In addition to personal savings accounts and credit cards that reward every swipe with more trees planted, the company helps enterprises understand their carbon footprint and implement bespoke sustainability programs. For Ruiz, this mission attracted her to her role: “We are at a critical juncture in regard to climate change, and I wanted to make a meaningful impact in my work.”
We are at a critical juncture in regard to climate change, and I wanted to make a meaningful impact in my work.”
The right fit: Ruiz recently joined the talent acquisition team to recruit mission-driven senior engineering and product talent. She said that while the company’s mission and values around sustainability resonated with her, “I also really connected with my hiring manager who brings amazing energy and creativity to the team.”
Time to recharge: “Our PTO policy is the best,” Ruiz said. “We get unlimited paid time off.” She explained that she and her colleagues are working extra hours right now to grow and scale the startup, and she appreciates knowing that she can take time off when she needs it. “As a company, we believe we are better if we recharge, not burn out.”
What they do: mPulse Mobile develops conversational AI solutions for the healthcare industry rooted in behavior science. Using text messaging, rich communication services and streaming health education, Engagement Strategist Eden Brownell said the company’s “commitment to innovation allows us to partner with top healthcare organizations to create best-in-class solutions that make a meaningful impact on the health of our population.”
Driving innovation: Brownell said the company provides employees with a safe space for innovation: “We established a weekly design-thinking series featuring a knowledge-share on a selected behavior science principle, as well as an engaging discussion or activity, to strengthen our ideas and foster magical lightbulb moments.” She said the series has resulted in one-of-a-kind ideas that drive the company forward, positively impacting health outcomes.
We want to get out there and share, rather than being gatekeepers of knowledge.”
Building leadership: “We want to get out there and share, rather than being gatekeepers of knowledge,” Brownell explained. She and her team work on the company’s thought leadership initiatives including webinars, podcasts and blogs that “demonstrate the importance of behavioral science in the healthcare setting.” These thought leadership assets highlight how healthcare organizations can incorporate techniques to drive health outcomes, and why it’s important for them to provide members with value first. “Our thought leadership focus lets my team explore topics that make a huge impact on our technology and serve as our key differentiator,” she said. “I get to speak about what I love, extending knowledge to others, in hopes of creating innovative momentum that drives meaningful health outcomes.”
What they do: Honeybee Robotics develops advanced robotics systems for tough environments on Earth and in space. The technological innovations help clients achieve specific objectives in exploration and infrastructure. For Mechanical Engineer Joseph Plunkett, a connection to the company’s work attracted him to his role. “The company aligned with my interests in aerospace,” he said, which continues to motivate him when diving into a new project.
Extraterrestrial projects: “I knew about the rock abrasion tool on the Mars rover before I knew about Honeybee — I was so excited to find out Honeybee was involved,” Plunkett said. He was introduced to the company by his manager, and explained that the projects, people and managerial support is what keeps him there.
I knew about the rock abrasion tool on the Mars rover before I knew about Honeybee — I was so excited to find out Honeybee was involved.”
Exploring new spaces: Plunkett is working on the motor and gearbox of a thrust vector control actuator that gimbals a rocket engine on a lunar lander. He explained that his team has not done anything like it before, which presents interesting engineering challenges. “As a new graduate, this is a super-engaging way to learn,” he said. “This program has taught me how we can stretch our heritage designs and knowledge to tackle new problems.”
What they do: Blueprint Test Preparation is an edtech platform that provides users with engaging digital test prep experiences as they study for their LSAT, MCAT and medical school exams. As a first-generation college graduate, Radford said his passion for education aligns with the mission at Blueprint. “Every morning I am excited to start the day and find new ways to reach our learners.”
A shared passion: “It’s important that the work I do is making a difference,” Radford said. “Since day one, I have felt that passion from so many of my coworkers and the leadership team.” He enjoys coordinating opportunities with partnering organizations that cater to underrepresented learners: “It reminds me of where I came from and the impact I am having on those trying to make the world a better place.”
It’s important that the work I do is making a difference.”
Aligning the remote experience: Radford is part of the company’s remote work taskforce, focused on creating a positive working environment for all teams and ensuring employees are leveraging the benefits of remote work. “It’s been great to be able to connect with people who I don’t normally interact with and hear their ideas for how we can make our remote work experience even better,” he explained. He said it’s eye-opening to learn different perspectives from those who have not always worked remotely. “As someone who graduated college during the pandemic, remote work has been at the center of most of my work experience.”
What they do: GrayMatter Robotics develops AI-driven robotic solutions to accomplish tedious and ergonomically difficult tasks for customers in the manufacturing industry. “It is really exciting to be part of a robotics company that is a pioneer in our field,” said Robotic Systems Engineer Ceasar Navarro. He’s had the opportunity to be involved in projects for enterprise clients, allowing him to gain valuable knowledge and experience.
Safer manufacturing: While there’s excitement for the ways the company is working on technologically unique and advanced robotics, Navarro said, what’s more is that “the company is using its technology to solve real problems in manufacturing that will help people work faster and safer.” Not only do team members feel that energy, but so do customers, and he said he enjoys “working creatively with them to perfect a solution they can use.”
The company is using its technology to solve real problems in manufacturing that will help people work faster and safer.”
Science fiction to reality: One project that stands out for Navarro is developing a leading-edge technology with a Fortune 100 company for which the market has a huge demand. What made this project notable was “participating in the development of a revolutionary technology and pushing it from science fiction to reality,” he said. “This project helped me grow professionally by being the point person for a large customer,” and he explained that the opportunity to work with large enterprise customers shows what GrayMatter Robotics — still a young company — is capable of.
What they do: EduMe powers a mobile-based training platform for onboarding and upskilling deskless employees. Serving clients in hospitality, retail, transportation and logistics, as well as employers with gig workers, the platform features seamless workflows, engagement opportunities and valuable workforce insights. Rachel Weisbruch, employee experience manager, said that her job “is to make sure that every employee feels taken care of and rewarded for their work,” which is made easier with a purposeful mission and great benefits.
Culture and benefits: During the interview process, eduMe’s values and culture were showcased, Weisbruch said. “It made me interested in working for a company that emphasizes the importance of transparency and respect while also having meaning behind the actual work.” She said the benefits also caught her eye, which include annual off-site trips such as this year’s trip to Tuscany, top-tier employer-paid healthcare for team members in the United States, flexible working schedules, 25 days off annually and the option to work anywhere in the world for four weeks each year. “Having a job that allows me to help people feel valued at work has been a dream,” she said.
Having a job that allows me to help people feel valued at work has been a dream.”
With growth comes expansion: Earlier this year, Weisbruch helped move the Los Angeles team into a larger office to meet the needs of the team’s rapid growth — an opportunity that provided her both professional and personal growth. “Learning how to orchestrate an office move for the first time helped me gain experience and knowledge that I will continue to use in my career,” she said. “I was also able to enjoy the project on a personal level, using the skills I have acquired over the years through my passion for interior design.”
What they do: Demand.io develops solutions to improve the e-commerce experience. Its network of shopping platforms connects brands, creators and consumers. Phillip Dean, staff front end engineer, found alignment with the company’s passion and direction. “The company’s drive for community obsession has led to creating amazing products that empower and connect shoppers and brands in lasting ways.”
The company’s drive for community obsession has led to creating amazing products that empower and connect shoppers and brands in lasting ways.”
A growth opportunity: “The team’s passion was easy to tap into, and I became more and more excited about all the opportunities throughout the interview process,” Dean said. “I was given a platform to showcase my skills and creativity while also learning about the company and its mission.” The process ensured him that he could be successful and grow as an engineer and a leader.
Working together: The latest technology in cloud computing enables the company to provide the best developer and customer experience, Dean explained. To make this a reality, the entire company’s ecosystem was moved from AWS to Google Cloud, requiring cross-team collaboration and coordination. “The intense focus bonded us, developed trust and spread knowledge,” he said. “We’re now harnessing the power of this platform to develop a next-generation feature that leverages cryptocurrencies to reward community members in our coupon code product.”