The Global VC

Grow is Helping Teams Share Better and Faster Feedback

Working from home is here to stay, which means providing team members with valuable feedback becomes even more important in a remote environment.

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Clayton Bryan

Clayton Bryan

Partner at 500 Global





As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the workplace, many companies are developing new HR playbooks. Working from home is here to stay, which means providing team members with valuable feedback becomes even more important in a remote environment. Not only does it help managers better understand how they can support their teams, but it also helps keep everyone on the same page and aligned with company goals. 

The younger generations of workers are also changing the landscape of workplace communication, and seek regular feedback for professional growth. As these workplace behaviors evolve, so does the need for a solution that allows teams to communicate their feedback quickly and easily. Grow is part of a new generation of HR tools that is made for this moment. 

The Nuts & Bolts 

Problem: Millions of workers are now doing their jobs from home and in a recent Pew Research Center survey, more than half of workers polled said that they would prefer remote work in the long term. But if remote work is to remain an option, managers and employees must have the tools to provide each other with feedback quickly and transparently. Furthermore, younger workers are looking for more insights and information to evaluate and understand how they can advance to the next level in their careers.  

While LinkedIn is a good place to learn about people’s professional work experiences, it isn’t always the best way to understand what a person is actually skilled at doing. 

Solution: Grow provides an easy feedback solution that integrates seamlessly with existing communication systems and work spaces, such as Slack and soon Microsoft Teams. The platform not only helps teams feel supported while working remotely, but helps build company culture and allows employees to use that feedback to reach their individual goals. 

Grow is building a solution in the form of a real-time skills graph, targeting workers who strive for continuous improvement, productivity, and excellence. 

When 500 Met Grow

We were introduced to the Grow team by Pilota, a member of our Batch 26. Both founders of Grow have technical backgrounds and met while at Cornell Tech. Grow was actually developed as an internal project for Cornell Tech students and faculty, but it quickly started gaining external traction. 

Ryan Sydnor leads the business side for Grow. He has worked as a software engineer at Merrill Lynch and Bridgewater Associates. Richard Hill leads the technical side of Grow. He has spent nearly four years at electronic health record giant Epic Systems and has a strong understanding of the value of data and records, which has helped with the development of Grow.  

The team fits well with our ESG criteria, having established diversity and inclusion goals, and investing in its team, via training and other resources, to help mitigate bias in the employment life cycle. 

Why Now?

COVID-19 has accelerated remote work, and Grow is positioned to take advantage of these tailwinds. The company fits within this trend nicely as it operates within the communication channels many of us have now adopted, such as Slack.

Workplace communication is likely to continue transitioning to those tools, and shifts in behavior brought on by a younger workforce can contribute to these changes. 

Future of Grow

Grow plans to continue expanding its team and building better and faster feedback solutions. We look forward to seeing how this hard-working team takes Grow beyond Slack and into other popular digital communication channels, such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom.

If you would like to learn more about companies, sectors, and trends that we are excited about as well as receive invitations to exclusive previews, and expert roundtables, please sign up here.

You can learn more about Grow at:


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Clayton Bryan

Clayton Bryan

Partner at 500 Global

Clayton Bryan is an early stage venture investor and operator. Currently a Partner at 500 Global, Clayton has spent time at some of the most innovative companies in Silicon Valley. He has built expansive online communities, scaled marketplace businesses, and facilitated million dollar deals. At Yahoo he worked on award winning products. Later, at Payvment, he helped a team pioneer a new set of tools that started the social commerce movement. With Diversity as a guiding principle, Clayton has spent the entirety of his career within venture capital focused on supporting underrepresented founders. In 2016, Clayton and four others launched a non-profit organization, Transparent Collective, tasked with coaching and connecting underrepresented founders with investors. Companies to have gone through Transparent Collective's program have raised tens of millions of dollars in early stage financings. Clayton has invested in over 30 companies, including Printify, Public Goods, Silk+Sonder, Blue Wire, Fintor, Neon Financial, Hamama, EcoCart, JusticeText, Pariti, and Kiira. He Received a Bachelors of Arts in Political Economy from The University of California, Berkeley and his Masters of Business Administration from The Stern School of Business at New York University.