How this mother and daughter became co-founders and are making professional coaching personal

Listen in to the first-ever episode of Found Live. We were joined by the mother-daughter duo Jordan Taylor and Edith Cooper who co-founded Medley—a group coaching platform focusing on personal and professional growth. They talked with the found hosts about navigating a co-founder relationship with your mother or daughter. They discuss how important it is to be vulnerable in authentic communication and Jordan opens up about her own struggles with mental health and how she navigated staying healthy while getting Medley off the ground. Plus they answer an audience question about getting a community-based business off the ground even after everything shifted online.

If you missed this live episode, don’t worry, we’re going live on Hopin every other Thursday. On March 3, Toyin Ajayi from Cityblock will join the Found crew at 10am PT/ 1pm ET. RSVP to join us live.

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Medley, the coaching platform for personal and professional development, gets $3.7M led by A16Z

Medley, the group coaching platform that focuses on both personal and professional development, has today announced the close of a $3.7 million seed round led by A16Z.

Connie Chan and Anne Lee Skates of Andreesen Horowitz led the round, with participation from Aglaé Ventures, Foundation Capital, Ciara Wilson, Jen Rubio, Dara Treseder (Peloton). and Sanyin Siang (Duke University), among others.

Medley was cofounded by Edith Cooper and Jordan Taylor, a mother-daughter duo who believe that the personal and professional development of people are inextricably linked together. The platform launched back in July of 2020 with the goal of facilitating small group discussions led by a professional development coach. These groups were matched with the express intention of fostering diversity and inclusion, with different age groups, genders, ethnicities and backgrounds represented in each group.

With inclusivity top of mind, Medley welcomes everyone to join the membership, and even launched with an opportunity-based sliding scale for the annual membership fee.

Alongside the announcement of the funding, Medley is also introducing Medley Moments in the coming months. Moments are specifically designed courses that members can enroll in to focus on their particular goals. Taylor gave a few examples of the kinds of topics that Moments will cover, including becoming a new parent, learning about leadership, relocating, career pivots and more.

“There was an heightened focus on the significance of gaining perspective on other people’s reality that was in people’s consciousness when we first launched, but now is critical to their center of gravity, in terms of what people are seeking when participating in groups,” said Edith Cooper. “There’s also an increasing expectation from people that their employers actually care about them and provide offerings that are not tactically oriented but for the benefit of them as people.”

Given these insights, and a successful pilot program with LinkedIn, Medley is now looking at B2B options for the company, with the potential to sell the programs to larger organizations for the benefit of their employees.

Following the LinkedIn pilot, which saw a 99 percent NPS score, the professional social behemoth will be expanding that partnership in 2022.

The fresh funding means hiring is certainly on the table for Medley this year. Cooper, who sits on numerous boards including those of Amazon and PepsiCo, says that the biggest challenge for Medley, or any organization for that matter, is attracting and retaining world-class talent, where both the passion and the vision are aligned.

“The best part of being an entrepreneur is getting to work with people who challenge me, who I learn from and who I can enjoy spending time with,” said Jordan Taylor. “It’s a great challenge but also something that I feel grateful for, is being able to, with Edith, build out a team of people who are always looking to learn.”

Medley, a life and career coaching community for everyone, launches today

As we speak, there are professional networks for women executives, mothers, owners of small and medium-sized businesses, and many more.

Medley, a new membership-based community that launches today, is looking to do things a little bit different. Instead of bringing together a specific category of people, the goal of Medley is to connect users with people who aren’t just like them.

Founded by mom and daughter duo Edith Cooper and Jordan Taylor, Medley is backed by a variety of angel investors including Jen Rubio, Tim Armstrong, Damien Dwin, as well as Foundation Capital. The company declined to disclose the amount raised.

Cooper and Taylor told TechCrunch that one of the biggest challenges with the product is defining what it is. Unlike some other professional membership communities, Medley isn’t solely focused on career growth, but rather incorporates personal growth into the framework.

“Medley is really about the connection between your career, your personal growth and your philosophy in life,” said Edith Cooper. “What I experienced is that people no longer want there to be strict barriers between those aspects of their lives.”

Folks who join Medley spend about 15 minutes on the application process, answering a wide range of questions that take a look at personal and professional information, but also at their general psychology and personality type.

From there, Medley matches users into a group of eight with the precise goal of ensuring that there is diversity among that small group. Some may be older, while others are younger. They may come from different racial backgrounds or different industries. Men and women alike will meet together in their groups.

An expert executive coach is also in on these monthly group meetings (which are currently being held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic), and guides the group as they share about themselves and learn about their groupmates, all the while focusing on communication.

Prior to Medley, Cooper was a partner at Goldman Sachs for twenty years, and spent the last decade of her tenure as Global Head of Human Capital Management. Taylor was Chief of Staff at Mic, and was also a consultant at Boston Consulting Group and a Baker Scholar from Harvard Business School.

“There is one main theme for my investment thesis, which is the change to direct empowerment and direct ownership of relationships between people and everything else,” said Tim Armstrong . “Just like you may have a direct relationship with your gym or personal trainer — which a lot of people do and it’s an industry that’s growing tremendously — most people have not taken direct ownership of their careers. They end up outsourcing to the companies they work for that don’t have the resources to do development.”

He added that Medley is a gym for your mind and your career.

Medley’s target demographic is people in their late 20s, early 30s, who are starting to think more long-term about their choices both professionally and personally.

That said, part of what makes Medley special is that it’s open to anyone who’s curious to learn, grow and explore other people. As such, Medley is available on an opportunity-based sliding scale for the annual membership fee to ensure the community remains inclusive. Founding memberships are available now for $150/month or $1,500 annually.

Cooper explained that some of the biggest barriers for Medley are in the midst of being broken down.

“We don’t have to explain anymore that different perspectives are valuable,” said Cooper. “We don’t have to explain anymore why it’s so important to have intentional conversations and dialogue with people, or that we can do that virtually as well as in person. Some of the biggest things that we were focused on communicating about this business and this offering have been broken down as a result of the push and inertia of the other things that are going on in society.”

Symantec’s Sheila Jordan named to Slack’s board of directors

Workplace collaboration software business Slack (NYSE: WORK) has added Sheila Jordan, a senior vice president and chief information officer of Symantec, as an independent member of its board of directors. The hiring comes three months after the business completed a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

Jordan, responsible for driving information technology strategy and operations for Symantec, brings significant cybersecurity expertise to Slack’s board. Prior to joining Symantec in 2014, Jordan was a senior vice president of IT at Cisco and an executive at Disney Destination for nearly 15 years.

With the new appointment, Slack appears to be doubling down on security. In addition to the board announcement, Slack recently published a blog post outlining the company’s latest security strategy in what was likely part of a greater attempt to sway potential customers — particularly those in highly regulated industries — wary of the company’s security processes. The post introduced new features, including the ability to allow teams to work remotely while maintaining compliance to industry and company-specific requirements.

Jordan joins Slack co-founder and chief executive officer Stewart Butterfield, former Goldman Sachs executive Edith Cooper, Accel general partner Andrew Braccia, Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar, Andreessen Horowitz general partner John O’Farrell, Social Capital CEO Chamath Palihapitiya and former Salesforce chief financial officer Graham Smith on Slack’s board of directors.

“I believe there is nothing more critical than driving organizational alignment and agility within enterprises today,” Jordan said in a statement. “Slack has developed a new category of enterprise software to help unlock this potential and I’m thrilled to now be a part of their story.”

Slack closed up nearly 50% on its first day of trading in June but has since stumbled amid reports of increased competition from Microsoft, which operates a Slack-like product called Teams.

Slack co-founder and chief technology officer Cal Henderson will join us onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco next week to discuss the company’s founding, road to the public markets and path forward. Buy tickets here.