The Skillful.ly
Origin Story

We founded Skillful.ly to create a better way of hiring that opens the door to incredible opportunities for a broader range of driven job seekers.

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Meet our
Co-Founders

The combined lived experiences of the team forms the core of Skillful.ly

Brett Waikart
Co-Founder & CEO, Skillful.ly
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Kelly Cure
Co-Founder & Head of Growth, Skillful.ly
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Johnson Kanjirathinkal
Co-Founder & Head of Product, Skillful.ly
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Meet our
Advisors

Skillful.ly benefits from the guidance of many distinguished advisors.

SCIENCE ADVISOR
Dr. Lucas Miller
Cognitive Neuroscientist and faculty member UC Berkeley
SCIENCE ADVISOR
Dr. Sahar Yousef
Cognitive Neuroscientist and faculty member UC Berkeley
DEI ADVISOR
Dr. Élida Bautista
Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, Interim at Berkeley Haas
ENGINEERING ADVISOR
Jimmie Tyrrell
Co-founder and former CISO at Reflektive
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Brett Waikart
Co-Founder & CEO
Skillful.ly

Building a more diverse investment community has been a dominant theme in Brett’s professional life. Initially drawn to the finance industry to trade commodities, Brett soon thereafter co-founded and became Executive Director of non-profit organization Portfolios with Purpose, missioned to shape a diverse and inclusive next generation of investors by supporting women and members of underrepresented communities as they begin their careers.

Determined to create a more scalable solution for equitable access to career opportunities in the financial industry, Brett pursued an MBA at UC Berkeley’s Haas Business School. While still a student, he and his co-founders conceived of and launched Skillful.ly, a public benefit corporation that reframes and enhances corporate recruiting possibilities through targeted job skilling, neuroscientific insights and relevant mentoring to create precise matches between job candidates and roles.

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Kelly Cure
Co-Founder & Head
of Growth, Skillful.ly

Kelly’s early career included foundational expertise as a management consultant before pivoting to social impact consulting and entrepreneurship. Her work has been noteworthy for significant international and cross-sector experience, having spent years abroad working and living in Africa, Europe and the UK working for private companies, government and corporate philanthropies. She started her first venture in 2016, which grew quickly and led her to be her own “customer 0” for Skillful.ly as she began piloting new ways of moving away from resume based hiring.

She recently graduated from Berkeley Haas in Sprint ‘21 after launching Skillfull.ly with co-founders Brett and Johnson. Skillful.ly, the equitable employment alternative is a public benefit corporation that reframes and enhances corporate recruiting possibilities through targeted job skilling, neuroscientific insights and relevant mentoring to create precise matches between job candidates and roles.

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Johnson Kanjirathinkal
Co-Founder &
Head of Product, Skillful.ly

Johnson is a product and technology leader skilled in planning, design, research and building. He works across domains to innovate UX-first, data-driven solutions to realize business opportunities. In Johnson’s early career, he applied his passion for harnessing data and a focus on analytics solutions to various enterprises across South and Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa. In managing a series of complex projects to design intelligent systems that created seamless user experiences, he noticed that amongst his most skilled colleagues, few had graduated from elite universities.

While earning a Master of Engineering degree specialized in analytics and machine learning at UC Berkeley, Johnson realized that he could create a platform that identifies and documents cognitive strengths and learned skills, and also train for improvement. The insights from this system could be used to predict how well someone might perform in intellectually rigorous jobs, absent of social biases and regardless of the individual’s educational background.

In collaboration with two MBA students also interested in more equitable employment, Johnson co-founded Skillful.ly, a public benefit corporation that reframes and enhances corporate recruiting possibilities through targeted job skilling, neuroscientific insights and relevant mentoring to create precise matches between job candidates and roles.

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