Y Combinator Backs Turing College's Plan to Disrupt EU Data Science Hiring

Y Combinator Backs Turing College's Plan to Disrupt EU Data Science Hiring
  • Vilnius-based edtech Turing College joins Y Combinator's winter program, becoming the first-ever Lithuanian startup to do so.
  • It aims to solve data science recruitment issues, enabling companies to use rich performance data to hire talent in days, not months.
  • Demand for data scientists has grown 46% in the last two years, and Turing College's hiring partners already include Nord Security and Luminor.
  • Turing College aims to scale its operations and enter new European markets as a Y Combinator company.

Turing College has joined Y Combinator's W21 batch, providing it with new opportunities to rapidly scale its solution for hiring in-demand data science talent. The Vilnius-based edtech company provides an education in data science with an Income Share Agreements (ISAs) via its self-paced, peer-driven remote learning platform. It affords its growing community of hiring partners the ability to recruit high-performing data scientists in days rather than months, with recruitment decisions based on rich learning data.

Demand for data scientists has never been higher. According to research by LinkedIn, the hiring of data scientists has jumped by 46% since 2019. However, recruiters face significant challenges when it comes to building their data science teams.

Despite the fact that students are making significant financial investments, whether, at universities or coding bootcamps, they are not equipped with the necessary competencies. As a 2020 report by software firm Anaconda notes, "what students are learning and what universities are teaching isn't necessarily what enterprises need from new data scientists."

This gap creates a chain of problems for recruiters. They need to spend more time vetting potential employees. Even after this time investment, they are often unclear as to what exact skills a candidate possesses. As a result, data scientists' recruitment process typically takes months, and there is no guarantee new employees will be work-ready when they arrive.

Turing College solves this problem by co-creating its curricula together with tech-oriented companies who join as Hiring Partners. This ensures the skills learners acquire are the ones companies actually need. But Turing College takes its recruitment-oriented approach further, providing these Hiring Partners with exclusive access to rich data on each learner. Learners build portfolios of work as they progress through the self-paced, peer-to-peer learning platform, which replicates a real working environment. These portfolios, along with other data gathered from peers and senior team leads, enable hiring partners to make fast, data-driven hiring decisions.

Lukas Kaminskis, CEO of Turing College, said: "Our Hiring Partners can see exactly what each candidate's strengths and weaknesses are. This includes hard skills like manipulating data sets and writing code and soft skills such as communication and teamwork. This means companies can select data scientists that will fit with their team culture and have precisely the competencies they need."

As for the Turing College learners, instead of a diploma on graduation, they simply get a new job. Because Turing College offers ISAs, learners can defer their tuition fees until they are in work and earning a predefined amount.

Turing College's first course started 5 months ago. It currently has 53 learners and 11 leading Northern European companies onboard as Hiring Partners, including Nord Security, Biomapas, iSun, and Satalia. Its next batch of learners will begin their studies on April 19th.

"We see that the model we are developing is working. We already have our first program participant employed. And our data-based recruitment solution is attracting more and more interest from companies looking to partner with us," commented Lukas Kaminskas. "Joining Y Combinator means we have access to the world's largest investors, experts, and business advisors. For us, it is both a great honor and a responsibility. We are proud to be the first Lithuanian company in the ranks of Y Combinator."

So far, Turing College has received $1.2 million in funding, including a pre-seed round led by Startup Wiseguys. This funding has enabled them to build their learning platform and offer courses to learners in the EU. As a Y Combinator program member, the edtech startup hopes to scale its operation into new European markets.