Big Tech layoffs swept through the industry at an unprecedented rate last year, but recently-fired professionals are using this opportunity to find the good in the bad.
When Nic Szerman became part of Meta’s 13% job cut just two months after being hired, he wasted no time looking for his next career move. This came in the form of a block-chain payment firm called Nulik, which he almost immediately began seeking investment for.
“As counterintuitive as it may sound, this layoff left me in a really good position,” said Szerman. “Because I don’t have to pay back the sign-on bonus, I get four months of pay, and now I have time to focus on my own project.”
Szerman is just one of many recently-laid-off tech workers who are using this window of opportunity to start their own businesses, meaning Silicon Valley could be on the cusp of another startup wave.
While the move may be questionable due to low levels of venture capital financing last year, early-stage funding was found to be near record-levels.
Some venture capital firms are also making efforts to target these new startups. For instance, San Francisco-Based Day One Ventures created a new program for recently-fired tech professionals, with the slogan “Funded, not Fired.”
“We’re investing $2 million in 20 companies — if we just find one unicorn it almost returns the fund, which I think is a really unique opportunity for us as fund managers,” said Masha Bucher, co-founder of Day One Ventures.