Ladder: Democratizing Access for Career Growth

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, college students were sent home, lost jobs, and suffered without community or an understanding of remote work. Andrew, the CEO of Ladder, was one of those students. Seeking to help his peers, the Ladder team started a mentorship program with 500 students that has now transformed into a professional platform that will serve the 47M Gen Z-ers on their career path. The Ladder team has continued to be dedicated to the same path: democratizing access to career resources to help young professionals find community and careers. 

We had first met the Ladder team individually through Pear Garage. During a Pear Garage alumni event, Andrew and Akshaya shared their entrepreneurial passion to build and create what we know as Ladder today. When the team reached out to apply to join the accelerator, we were thrilled to help support their vision. We were drawn to their passion to build a more personalized professional platform and wanted to support Ladder through the 2020 Pear Summer Accelerator. 

As a first MVP, Ladder launched a quick proof-of-concept newsletter called “Remote Students” to serve undergraduate students looking for remote internships during the pandemic. This newsletter reached 30,000 students within the first week! Blown away by the reception, they knew they were on to something. Through weekly office hours and workshops in the Accelerator, Ladder continued to define their product strategy, test new features, honed in on their core mission and within four weeks coded up Ladder. As a result of their grit and determination, they began to develop true customer love and traction. We were so proud to have witnessed the team blossom and grow.

Ladder is creating the next-gen professional platform focused on community, content, and connection.

Through community-oriented resources, the company helps people find support in the fields they’re interested in, form meaningful relationships with peers and mentors, and land their dream job. From college students in Pear’s Garage to the announcement of their seed round, we’re privileged to have seen Ladder’s journey since the very start. 

We’re honored to continue to support Ladder in their seed round alongside Forerunner, Seven Seven Six, and more incredible people with the same belief in a team building for their own generation. This funding will expand Ladder’s team and help them develop more innovative ways to help professionals and communities get more out of their career. Ladder is built for everyone: communities to curate job opportunities, community builders to launch their own professional communities, and companies to meaningfully engage early career talent. 

Congratulations – the future is bright!

If you’re looking to join a team of hackers, founders, builders, operators, and overall fun human beings who care deeply about democratizing access to career growth – Ladder is hiring

Welcome Anna Nitschke as Pear CFO!

Pear’s new CFO Anna Nitschke is laying down the foundations for our expansion in being the best partner for founders from idea to series A. 

Our journey to finding the perfect partner for Pear was deliberate and extensive, as we screened over 380 candidates. When we met Anna, we knew she was the right partner. Anna exudes the Pear DNA: smart, ambitious, humble, and a team player with a wealth of experience!

Anna will manage all financial functions and internal operations of the firm and its funds, spanning across fundraising, fund finance strategy, portfolio monitoring and more. She will also provide essential support to our companies and make valuable connections to our partners and resources. Pear’s portfolio over the past 8 years has grown to be worth over $90B and with Anna, we are excited about the future of Pear more than ever. 

Prior to Pear, Anna led finance & operations at Eniac Ventures. Before entering the venture capital world, Anna worked in business operations for over a decade at various startups, using her broad background in finance, human resources, and administration management to help companies scale.

In 2004, Anna moved from Europe to California for college and she graduated from University of California Santa Cruz with a BA in Business Management Economics. She is an active member of various Bay Area and NYC venture finance groups and a volunteer mentor with several organizations. In her free time, you can find Anna cycling or hiking with her husband, daughter, and crazy corgi (a Pear Corgi now!). In the evenings and on weekends, Anna turns to her passion for food and wine and is either trying out a new recipe, exploring restaurants and wineries, or throwing dinner parties for family and friends.