Companies of all sizes need to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion, but early stage companies, like startups, have a rare advantage—they can prioritize these policies and practices before their culture has taken root. Read more about why our partners at Atlanta–based startup Speedscale are focusing on DEI right now.
Founded: January 2020
Funding round: Seed investment completed October 2020
Industry: Computer software, B2B SaaS
What Speedscale does
Speedscale helps software development teams test new API code under production-like workload conditions. Teams use Speedscale to measure the golden signals of latency, throughput, and errors before the code is released to customers. Traffic replay is an alternative to legacy testing approaches, which take days or weeks to run and do not scale well for cloud native architectures.
What does diversity mean to you?
Ken Ahrens, cofounder and CEO: I grew up in the Bay Area and was fortunate enough to be exposed to a melting pot of different cultures, with a lot of Asian-American and Latin-American influence. When I moved to Atlanta in the ‘90s, I learned firsthand what it meant to live in the South and met folks who had a very different upbringing than me. Later when I entered the workforce, I had the chance to see firsthand many different kinds of management styles. I've worked for companies with headquarters from San Francisco to Dallas to New York and of course Atlanta. Along the way, I've gained an appreciation for contrarian thinking and looking at problems from different perspectives. Having a company with diverse backgrounds is a huge advantage, and I hope that we can bring on a diverse workforce and diverse customer base as we grow.
How do you think diversity will impact your company in the short- and long-term?
In a sense, the long-term goal is the easiest to see. We want to grow to a large and successful business. To attract the best talent and the most customers we need a diverse executive team. We are breaking our journey down into smaller milestones of iterative business results and building the team needed for those results. Teams with diverse backgrounds are more creative and are more likely to explore a larger set of alternatives. In addition, our customers are also diverse so we need to consider many ways they will look at our company and product.
What are some of your diversity goals over the next 24 months?
Within the next two years, we expect to raise a Series A. With additional funding comes the potential opportunity to expand the board of directors and hire VPs. We believe this is an opportunity to add diversity at varying levels of leadership throughout the firm.
Beyond partnering with InHerSight, what are some ways you're already incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion into your company's growing culture?
We are focused on having an open company. In addition to the founders, the first new employees help set the tone and culture for everyone who comes afterward. On an employee's first day, we discuss Speedscale's core values of Integrity, Attitude of Service, Respect, and Frugality. We want all employees to have a stake in the success of the company, therefore compensation packages include standard pay and benefits, plus equity.