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Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Wyatt Smith, CEO & Founder of UpSmith, a workforce productivity platform that has raised $3.3 Million in funding.

Here are the most interesting points from our conversation:

  • From Farm to Tech: Wyatt’s journey from a cattle ranch in Alabama to founding UpSmith, highlighting the value of hard work and entrepreneurship learned from his father.
  • Identifying the Problem: Understanding the skilled worker shortage and the need for a solution that addresses both supply and demand in various industries.
  • Early Insights and Pivot: How initial attempts to match gig workers with employers led to the realization that starting with the job was key to effective upskilling.
  • Innovative Business Model: UpSmith’s model of sourcing, screening, training, and deploying new technicians in less than 90 days, with a focus on aligning incentives through productivity-based pricing.
  • Scalable Solutions: The importance of focusing on scalable, repeatable solutions that can expand across multiple states and sectors.
  • Future Vision: Wyatt’s goal to expand UpSmith’s impact beyond the US and into other sectors like healthcare and logistics, creating meaningful work opportunities worldwide.



Start with the Job, Not the Training:

Focus on securing job opportunities first and then align upskilling efforts to meet the specific needs of those roles. This approach reduces uncertainty and increases motivation for candidates.

Align Incentives with Productivity:

Develop a business model where your success is tied to the productivity and performance of the employees you place. This ensures mutual benefits and long-term client satisfaction.

Focus on Aggregators for Scale:

Partner with aggregators who manage multiple service providers or sectors. This approach allows you to scale more quickly and efficiently by leveraging existing networks.

Use National Standards for Certifications:

In industries with varying state regulations, focus on certifications that have national recognition. This simplifies compliance and ensures that workers can be deployed across different states without additional hurdles.

Iterate Quickly Based on Customer Feedback:

Engage deeply with your customers to understand their pain points and iterate your product based on their feedback. Early-stage success relies heavily on adaptability and responsiveness to customer needs.

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