Tech talent awards

There’s no question the Valley’s tech scene is in on the upswing. One obstacle executives face, however, is finding the right people with the right skills to fill the right seats. In this episode of this special series on TechTalent, Rick Stoddard, Director of Venture Engagement at Coplex, discusses how he defines top tech talent, qualities he looks for in the startups he works with and the top advice he has for up-and-comers.

How would you define tech talent?

Top talent is those individuals who are constantly learning and absorbing information to further their marketability and what they have to offer to the community. It’s talent that’s energetic and committed to furthering a community, especially a technology community. There’s the resume and bio, but so many intangibles come into play. Are they willing to evolve? Are they willing to take on change? Are they willing to explore the unknown?

What qualities do you look for on filling roles at Coplex, or among the startups you mentor?

Coachability, especially in a mentoring situation. If there doesn’t seem to be an element of coachability, then why even have the relationship? Is the person open to looking in areas they’ve never looked before and exploring what could really make a difference –– not just subtle differences, but transformational differences. Also, I look for what integrity means to them. Not integrity from a good or bad perspective, but really that they understand that integrity in life can have a huge impact on performance. Being authentic and being open and willing to be vulnerable are other things I look for.

For Rick’s advice on how employees can really stand out and to find out which roles companies have the hardest time filling, keep reading at

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