Anna Spearman: A STEM Advocate Creating Opportunity for Tech Workers

Founder of Techie Staffing

As a fourth-generation entrepreneur, Anna Spearman was more prepared than most to make a career shift once the coronavirus pandemic hit last year.

A self portrait of Anna Spearman
Anna Spearman

After graduating from the University of Virginia in May 2020 with degrees in computer science and business innovation entrepreneurship, Spearman expected to start her career like any young professional. Unfortunately, the health crisis changed that, so she quickly launched Techie Staffing instead. 

"I decided to create my own business after my job offer was rescinded, and entry-level roles were placed on hold," she told Lifewire in an email interview. "Many companies were hiring senior-level engineers, but not many entry-level positions were available."

Techie Staffing is a technology staffing agency armed with a team of senior technical recruiters with proven success in building out teams. Aside from timing, Spearman was inspired to launch the agency after noticing the supply and demand challenges for adequate tech talent. 

Quick Facts

Name: Anna Spearman

Age: 22

From: Culver City, California 

Random delight: She studied Mandarin Chinese in high school and college for a total of eight years, and spent two months in China for a Mandarin language immersion program.

Key quote or motto he lives by: “Failure is when you don't try.”

Tech Entrepreneurship Just Made Sense 

Spearman didn't plan to launch her own company right out of college, but entrepreneurship always made sense for her. As a child, she watched her mother and grandparents start their own businesses. She also always envisioned herself working in technology, dating back to the days of leading her robotics team in high school. 

When Spearman launched Techie Staffing, she didn’t make that decision lightly, and had fears that her idea wouldn’t be viable. When she saw the clear need for her company, however, Spearman was able to quickly pull a team together and get to work.

"I understood launching as a 21-year-old woman of color was not going to be an easy task to convince prospective clients to trust me," she said. "But the biggest problem in the US is the lack of engineers. I am determined to solve this problem and be a contributor to increasing our pool of engineers, beginning with elementary school children."

Spearman defines herself as an engineer, entrepreneur, and advocate for STEM. As a Generation Z founder, she’s hoping to share her experience and provide a different perspective to people her age, as well as more-seasoned tech founders.

"Many companies were hiring senior level engineers but not many entry-level positions were available."

One of her main goals is to become a technical board member to better advocate for tech talent at growing companies nationwide. She said that work starts with Techie Staffing. 

Growth and Grit

Techie Staffing specializes in direct-hire placements. The company represents an array of engineers, including software, data, full-stack, and DevOps, as well as UX/UI and product designers. The company has a portfolio of technical recruiters experienced with sourcing, vetting, and interviewing top-tier talent who can tailor to companies’ specific requirements.

As an engineer, Spearman’s main goal is to solve problems, and she’s looking to do so through her entrepreneurial work. 

"From innovative startups to Fortune 500 companies, we deliver permanent placements for companies nationwide by leveraging our passive sourcing expertise, dynamic recruiting strategies, and a high-quality network of technology candidates," she said. 

One of the main challenges Spearman had with launching her company was her lack of a network. When she founded the company, she had no clients or contacts to get her venture off the ground. 

"I wake up each morning and read Morning Brew, LA TechWatch, Crunchbase, TechCrunch, and others," she said. "Some of my competitors shared they don't conduct any business development; they simply get referrals from their network. I don't have this type of network, but I will."

"I understood launching as a 21-year-old woman of color was not going to be an easy task to convince prospective clients to trust me."

As a former athlete, Spearman said she enjoys the competition. Each day, the young tech founder sets a goal for herself to do outreach to 50-100 prospective business partners, whether they be companies or clients.

Some of that hard work now is paying off, as she’s grown her LinkedIn network to 9,200 connections and recently secured a deal to place roughly 25 engineers at a growing company that recently raised a $50 million Series B round. She said she landed the deal by reaching out to the founder directly. 

"I mostly receive nos all day, but all of the nos get me closer to a yes," Spearman said. "In this industry, you don't need a huge roster of clients to do really well."

Right now, Spearman is using her college graduation savings, along with the income she brings in from her Postmates delivery gig, to fund Techie Staffing. The company also derives revenue by charging a fee for its engineering placements.

Spearman hasn’t yet explored the idea of seeking venture capital funding, but is considering that for the future. Since she’s dedicated herself exclusively to running Techie Staffing, Spearman is confident her grit and eagerness for success will take her company far.

"Growth, growth and more growth," Spearman said about her plans this year. "Our minimum goal is to exceed $1 million in sales, but I am optimistic we can exceed this number."

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