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Startup markets to moms who need flexible job

Ally Myers, co-founder and CEO of Suma, speaks Tuesday during the launch of Suma, an Oklahoma tech startup that helps connect moms with employers, at the StarSpace 46 event space, 1141 W Sheridan. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]
Ally Myers, co-founder and CEO of Suma, speaks Tuesday during the launch of Suma, an Oklahoma tech startup that helps connect moms with employers, at the StarSpace 46 event space, 1141 W Sheridan. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]

Suma, a startup that matches moms with employers, officially launched Tuesday with 300 women already on its platform.

The Oklahoma City-based startup and Thunder Launchpad alum focuses on helping put mothers back in the workforce. That happens by connecting them with employers that have a work culture flexible enough to meet the demands of their home life.

Co-founder and CEO Ally Myers launched Suma after leading the MOMS nonprofit organization. Stay-at-home moms are an "untapped niche" in the potential workforce, she said.

"MOMS consistently served highly educated and skilled women who wanted to work, but they didn't fit in the traditional workforce model," Myers said. "It was through this lens that my eyes were opened to the barrier that exists across the board for stay-at-home moms."

With Suma, she wants to change the hiring process. Myers and her team have rejected the resume-model of recruiting and job placement. A resume gives a timeline of experience, Myers said, but it lacks nearly everything else.

"It fails to capture the hard-earned life skills that truly shape a person and contribute to the type of employee that they will be," she said.

The company works with both job-seekers and employers. Applicants fill out a custom skills test, share their story and record a short interview. Employers give details about their company culture, needs, desires and timelines.

Suma uses machine-learning artificial intelligence to help match the applicants' responses with specific skills needed for a job. And while the service is marketed to mothers, anyone can sign up.

Myers said she already has 300 women signed up on the platform and hopes it will grow as the team focuses on marketing to Oklahoma City, then eventually in Tulsa and Dallas. Suma didn't have the cash to develop its own software, but co-founder and chief financial officer Stephen Myers said they eventually would like to develop a custom platform after earning more market share in Oklahoma City.

Suma will charge employers 20% of the wage for successful placement of a new employee. But in a market that can be crowded with other job-placement agencies, Ally Myers believes her company adds value to an underutilized labor pool.

"It's the untapped niche," she said, adding that the people she's targeting don't often walk into a temp agency. "We're building that community that has never even tried to utilize any of those things. And on top of that, the fact that we're creating a community that supports and encourages, it's another thing that attracts those businesses and moms to us."

Ally Myers participated in the Thunder Launchpad last year in the third batch of startups selected by StitchCrew, a group that helps connect founders with mentors and fundraising opportunities. After the accelerator program, Suma helped find temporary staff for the Myriad Botanical Gardens' nighttime Illuminations exhibit over the holidays.

Employers and applicants can sign up at sumawork.com.

Related Photos
<strong>Ally Myers, co-founder and CEO of Suma, speaks Tuesday during the launch of Suma, an Oklahoma tech startup that helps connect moms with employers, at the StarSpace 46 event space, 1141 W Sheridan. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]</strong>

Ally Myers, co-founder and CEO of Suma, speaks Tuesday during the launch of Suma, an Oklahoma tech startup that helps connect moms with employers, at the StarSpace 46 event space, 1141 W Sheridan. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5e6019703f73f0552e99b11cec315373.jpg" alt="Photo - Ally Myers, co-founder and CEO of Suma, speaks Tuesday during the launch of Suma, an Oklahoma tech startup that helps connect moms with employers, at the StarSpace 46 event space, 1141 W Sheridan. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] " title=" Ally Myers, co-founder and CEO of Suma, speaks Tuesday during the launch of Suma, an Oklahoma tech startup that helps connect moms with employers, at the StarSpace 46 event space, 1141 W Sheridan. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Ally Myers, co-founder and CEO of Suma, speaks Tuesday during the launch of Suma, an Oklahoma tech startup that helps connect moms with employers, at the StarSpace 46 event space, 1141 W Sheridan. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7daee7926a0759796ac20e7daa579723.jpg" alt="Photo - Ally Myers, co-founder and CEO of Suma, speaks Tuesday during the launch of Suma, an Oklahoma tech startup that helps connect moms with employers, at the StarSpace 46 event space, 1141 W Sheridan. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] " title=" Ally Myers, co-founder and CEO of Suma, speaks Tuesday during the launch of Suma, an Oklahoma tech startup that helps connect moms with employers, at the StarSpace 46 event space, 1141 W Sheridan. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Ally Myers, co-founder and CEO of Suma, speaks Tuesday during the launch of Suma, an Oklahoma tech startup that helps connect moms with employers, at the StarSpace 46 event space, 1141 W Sheridan. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d83564e5b269087739ee71052454a99a.jpg" alt="Photo - Ally Myers, co-founder and CEO of Suma, speaks Tuesday during the launch of Suma, an Oklahoma tech startup that helps connect moms with employers, at the StarSpace 46 event space, 1141 W Sheridan. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] " title=" Ally Myers, co-founder and CEO of Suma, speaks Tuesday during the launch of Suma, an Oklahoma tech startup that helps connect moms with employers, at the StarSpace 46 event space, 1141 W Sheridan. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Ally Myers, co-founder and CEO of Suma, speaks Tuesday during the launch of Suma, an Oklahoma tech startup that helps connect moms with employers, at the StarSpace 46 event space, 1141 W Sheridan. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Dale Denwalt

Dale Denwalt has closely followed state policy and politics since his first internship as an Oklahoma Capitol reporter in 2006. He graduated from Northeastern State University in his hometown of Tahlequah. Denwalt worked as a news reporter in... Read more ›

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