Silicon Valley Bank helps launch marketplace for gig work

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Silicon Valley Bank is behind a new online marketplace that matches companies with experienced executives who are seeking short-term work.

Bolster, which launched Wednesday, seeks to meet a key need for the bank’s technology and life science clients and for venture capital firms filling positions in their portfolio companies. It serves as a matchmaker for firms looking to fill interim, advisory and project-based roles.

Silicon Valley Bank, of Santa Clara, Calif., says it works with approximately 50% of all venture capital-backed tech and life science companies in the United States.

The new marketplace was co-built and accelerated by SVB Financial Group, the parent of Silicon Valley Bank, as well as the venture studio High Alpha and Bolster’s founding team.

Matt Blumberg, chief executive of Bolster
"We have a unique perspective on how to help other companies think differently about accessing executive talent,” said Matt Blumberg, chief executive of Bolster.

The idea emerged from an innovation sprint conducted by SVB and High Alpha.

To qualify as a member of Bolster, an individual must have extensive leadership experience in a role that reports to a CEO, founder or board of directors, or have deep experience running a functional department at a larger organization, Melody Dippold, head of innovation at Silicon Valley Bank, said by email.

“We are excited to create a new business to focus on the unique needs that CEOs face in rapidly scaling up and diversifying their leadership teams and boards,” Bolster CEO Matt Blumberg said in a press release. “Our team worked on a number of these issues over the last 20 years and believe that we have a unique perspective on how to help other companies think differently about accessing executive talent.”

“The gig economy has created an unprecedented opportunity for millions of workers and this powerhouse trend has now reached the C-suite,” Scott Dorsey, managing partner at High Alpha, said in the release.

The next step is to build software that automates an existing Bolster service that helps CEOs improve their leadership teams. The company also plans to offer a range of services to individuals on its platform, including health insurance, business entity creation, invoicing and payment processing, to help them manage their own consulting practices.

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