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How Catalyte plans to use its new platform to accelerate growth

Todd Horst, Catalyte's chief revenue officer. (Submitted photo.)

Todd Horst, Catalyte’s chief revenue officer. (Submitted photo.)

Baltimore-based employment data science firm Catalyte’s new Odyssey workforce development platform could position the company to rapidly achieve scale while also changing some of the firm’s core, executives say.

Catalyte has been using its data platform to identify people with an aptitude for software development, training them and then hiring out that workforce to companies outsourcing their software needs.

With Odyssey, Catalyte will give companies access to the analytics and training platform so they can hire their own workforce as well as identify and reskill current employees.

“Catalyte is going to put more of that in the hands of our clients because we have the technology platform to make that more scalable,” said Todd Horst, Catalyte’s chief revenue officer. 

Catalyte’s model has been centered around local development centers. In addition to the firm’s Baltimore headquarters, it has development centers in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Oregon and Portland.

The company uses data science to find people who might be good software developers and brings them to the development center for training and on-the-job experience. They work for companies who have hired Catalyte for their own software development.

Jacob Hsu, Catalyte’s CEO, has been clear in his desire to expand to 20 development centers by the end of next year, including comments he made in a 60 Minutes interview in March.

But Odyssey gives Catalyte an opportunity to grow on an entirely different scale.

There will be an estimated 1 million programming job openings next year and traditional options to fill those roles, like college graduates, can be too slow to develop. That could open the door for a faster option like Catalyte, Horst said.

“The challenge is finding the right people, and there’s a lot of treading water (by companies) as they try to do this,” he said.

The plan is for Catalyte to make it easier for companies to find the people who fit their needs, whether it is training new employees or retraining existing employees.

Finding the right employees to fit with reskilling initiatives could be just as important as finding and training new employees.

Amazon announced over the summer that it planned to retrain 100,000 employees. JP Morgan has committed $350 million to its own skills initiative.

And it will not just be in software development that Horst believes Catalyte can be useful. He said the company is working on other platforms that could include data science and cybersecurity, two other employment areas that are seeing a substantial increase in demand for talent.

Catalyte has already started piloting the Odyssey with some firms, Horst said.

Horst still believes that the mission of expanding Catalyte’s physical locations will be important, especially as it moves from focusing on providing the services of employees to selling a platform.

“What that does is it gives us a footprint. It gives us a springboard,” he said. “It allows us to interface with clients.”

But he also acknowledged that if it takes off, having physical locations may not be as important.

“If it does turn out to be that some of these massive reskilling initiatives catch fire and really start to materialize, then the clients are going to do this in their own backyards and it might be less important for Catalyte to be in a specific location.”


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