FourthRev is reimagining education to keep up with an evolving workforce Case Studies After a chance meeting at a Melbourne business school and seeing so many students struggling to secure their dream job or breaking into a high-demand career path, Omar de Silva and Jack Hylands decided to join forces to reimagine the world of education to prepare students into the future. With a 2022 McKinsey survey revealing that the pandemic had accelerated the digital transformation efforts of many organisations by three to four years, FourthRev has spent the past four years upskilling thousands of students with industry-relevant skills to keep up with the evolving economy. The Hawthorn-based EdTech has gone from offering digital skills courses to launching Career Accelerator programs after Omar and Jack founded the startup in May 2019. FourthRev works with leading universities and industry leaders across the world to develop and co-design cost-effective online learning programs for students focused on digital job and career outcomes. Currently, the 100% remote-first start-up is working with universities across Australia, the UK and the US, with major hubs in Melbourne, Cape Town and London. Last year, LaunchVic’s 30X30 Program posed a compelling offer to FourthRev – the chance for its leadership team to learn and grow, with Omar crediting the program with helping the company have a shift in thinking. “Building a business from zero to seven or $8 million is a different kettle of fish to building one from eight to $20 million dollars,” he said. “We needed the expertise and experience that the 30X30 Program provided to help us make decisions in the best way possible for that phase of growth. “The businesses that are going to be successful in the future need to operate in a different way to what those businesses that have come before us did. “The 30X30 Program creates that space to learn and grow. It inspires you to keep questioning whether there is a better way to do things and effectively check blind spots.” A key lesson that Omar learned from the program was recognising things you take for granted as a founder. “Being a founder, you can feel quite misunderstood a lot of the time, you carry lots of pressures, obligations and responsibilities and you often feel like people don’t fully understand that,” he said. “The 30X30 Program provides the chance to be in the room with other people that are in the same situation as you.” As the FourthRev team grows, Omar said he has found that an expanding team comes with even bigger expectations. “You need to put in the effort to try and understand the different ambitions people might have and this is why the company’s communication processes, team and decision making and management are increasingly important,” he said. “When you’re in the thick of it and you’re trying to work through it, you can forget about those things. So 30X30 helps you to remember the fundamentals.” FourthRev now works with more than a dozen university partners worldwide, including The London School of Economics and Political Science, King’s College London, Cambridge University and the Melbourne Business School. The 30X30 Programs’s finance stream saw FourthRev’s Finance Director, Brandon de Silva eager to learn from senior finance managers and CFOs within the startup space. “It was valuable to be able to listen to people share their stories under this kind of ‘umbrella of trust’ where people weren’t afraid or nervous to share the challenges they were facing or their own experiences from their places of work,” he said. “By the third class of the session we had the opportunity to listen to and chat to industry experts, which gave us real experience from people who have been there and done that.” “Being in the phase of scaleup that we are in now, learning about how you should be building your teams or utilising data really helps to validate your thinking. “We want to make sure we are doing the right things that will enable us to obtain the growth that we want to achieve and little pieces like that are setting us up for that growth.” Omar said it was vital to continue to upskill learners and students through FourthRev’s career accelerators to keep up with the growing demands of the world’s workforce. “The world has changed so much in the last 12 months in terms of the macro environment and FourthRev wants to be even smarter, more efficient and effective,” he said. “The next six to 12 months for the company is about consolidating everything that we’ve got, and making sure that we do indeed have the solid foundations in place to help us get to that next level of growth”. ABOUT 30X30 As many founders know, some of the biggest pain points to growth are in the day-to-day running of the business, often in the HR, Operations and Finance functions. 30X30 aims to free up founders to focus on key strategic priorities fundamental to your growth, while giving HR, Operations and Finance leaders the skills and exposure to common scaleup challenges and bottlenecks. For more information, visit https://launchvic.org/programs/30×30/.