Milwaukee-based SpeakPulse, an app that offers AI-enabled interview preparation technology so job seekers can hone their interview skills, has been acquired by Las Vegas-based ENTITY Academy.
ENTITY Academy is an organization that offers in-person and virtual training to women looking to gain skills for careers in the future workforce. Programs in digital marketing, tech sales, fintech, data science, software development and more are available.
"The acquisition of SpeakPulse will help us further our goal of closing the skills, confidence and wage gaps that disproportionately impact women,” said Jennifer Schwab, founder and chief executive officer of ENTITY. “The AI-driven mock interview is another exclusive ENTITY tool that gives our students a competitive edge.”
Although the acquisition was completed last August, it took until March 2022 for ENTITY to fully integrate SpeakPulse with their career services programming.
SpeakPulse was founded in 2016. Founder Clayton Terris came up with the idea for the platform through his own interview practice. He would record himself answering mock interview questions and then manually score using an algorithm in a spreadsheet. Terris eventually converted that spreadsheet into the software that would become SpeakPulse.
From 2016 to 2018, the SpeakPulse team worked on perfecting the algorithm and building out the platform for two customer segments: individual users, and career coaches who could use the software with their clients.
Through his past consulting work in San Francisco, Terris became acquainted with ENTITY Academy leadership. ENTITY eventually ended up becoming a customer of SpeakPulse in 2020. From there, discussions about a larger partnership began and culminated with the acquisition of SpeakPulse in August 2021.
At acquisition, roughly 60% of SpeakPulse users identify as female, and 54% as ESL (English as a Second Language) learners. Given ENTITY’s focus on helping women, its user base will move further in the direction of female usership.
“One of ENTITY’s core competencies are the wraparound services that they provide to their learners. This includes mentorship, soft skills coaching, career coach and interview prep. SpeakPulse is a natural complement to the interview prep and career success components,” Terris said.
Terris said the SpeakPulse platform has garnered tens of thousands of users, and that that number is projected to substantially increase as it is fully rolled out to ENTITY’s ecosystem.
SpeakPulse is the sixth tool added to ENTITY's core wraparound services. The application uses pattern-matching techniques to identify patterns of speech that reflect speaker confidence and fluency. By simulating an interview setting, users prepare to answer real-world questions and 85% have shown increased confidence levels.
"We found a great partner in ENTITY and we feel good about passing the keys to them," said Terris. "SpeakPulse will enhance the user experience and add a layer of analytics to the interview prep component of the student lifecycle."