Cincinnati, OH (November 19, 2018) Besomebody, Inc., one of the nation’s leaders in last-mile training, job placement, and employer-related services, announced today the acquisition of Opening Minds LLC, a Cincinnati-based multimedia and event firm. The acquisition unites two local companies with strong nationwide networks and international event management and community-building experience.
Opening Minds, founded in 2012 by Vikas Sondhi, has been a leader in the regional event and creative space, growing from weddings and special occasion work, to ongoing campaigns within the hospitality, travel, and retail industries. The majority of Opening Minds’ full-time staff will transition to Besomebody, Inc., and event-based contractors will all be eligible for continued work with the larger company. Sondhi will remain onboard as Senior Director of Brand Experience, reporting directly to Shaikh.
“This is a special day,” said Kash Shaikh, Besomebody, Inc. Founder and CEO. “I’ve known Vikas for 15 years, and I’ve witnessed his passion, hustle, and resilience firsthand. I’m inspired by what he built, and even more inspired by what our collective teams can build together. Opening Minds brings deep expertise within the event, digital, and content space, which are key areas that our employer partners are eager to expand. We’re excited to bring on this additional capability in-house, and eager to do even more to help build some of the world’s best companies.”
Beginning as a social media-driven community borne out of Shaikh’s personal blog when he worked for Procter & Gamble, Besomebody has grown and endured through an inspiring, tumultuous, and well-documented evolution. The company introduced a learning marketplace in 2014, which enabled users to discover and learn their passions – including pottery, martial arts, skydiving and over 400 other activities – from local experts in their city. The mobile-based platform was named one of the nation’s best apps by Entrepreneur Magazine in 2015, was featured on Shark Tank in 2016, and then subsequently acquired by Denver-based activity firm, Utivity, in 2017. Besomebody retained its brand, trademark and licenses, selling only the software portion of its business.
Later that year, Shaikh pivoted the company to focus on skills training and job placement amidst what he called a “skills crisis in America.” Besomebody works with large companies in fast growing industries that require vibrant pipelines of skilled workers, from nutritionists and dental assistants, to mechanics, marketers, and sales people. The program, called Besomebody Paths, enables cost savings and cultural fit for partner employers, while offering targeted training and job placement for interested candidates.
Besomebody handles all recruitment, candidate assessment, training, and onboarding. Interested candidates apply online via Besomebody’s website and pay a reduced tuition for the training. All Besomebody Path candidates are guaranteed employment with the sponsor company immediately upon graduation. The company has introduced a new Learning Management System that candidates, instructors and employers can access online, however all training happens in person.
“We reverse-engineer traditional education by starting with great companies and beginning with their business needs,” said Shaikh. “We partner with company leaders to create the strategy and align on the success measures, and then we identify the specific-skills that are necessary for the job. Our team then works to recruit great people who have the soft skills, the technical skills, and the personal passion necessary to do great work. And the best part is that we are able to save our candidates tens of thousands of dollars on higher education costs, while placing them in a job with a world-class company in a matter of weeks.”
In addition to the job training and placement work, Besomebody offers a full suite of partner services to employers who dedicate jobs to their Paths program, including employer brand and marketing services, creative and content creation, web design and software development, and employee, stakeholder, and community-focused event management.
“It’s been amazing to watch the Besomebody journey unfold,” said Vikas Sondhi, Founder and CEO, Opening Minds Entertainment. “I always believed in the purpose – to help people live their passion – and I’ve been one of the loudest voices on the sideline cheering each evolution of the company. Kash and his team tasted success and felt failure. But they kept going, and kept working, and kept problem solving, and its landed them in an even bigger space – with even greater opportunities to help people – then where they started. My team and I are so grateful for the opportunity to join Besomebody on their mission to help build the world’s best companies.”
While Besomebody does not disclose details on their financials or employer partnerships, the company has publicly recruited, trained and marketed for several Fortune 100 companies within the Retail, CPG, Hospitality, Automotive, and Healthcare industries. Besomebody was recently featured in the critically acclaimed book by Ed Tech and Higher Education expert and investor, Ryan Craig, “A New U: Faster + Cheaper Alternatives to College.”