Founder Spotlight: Emmanuel Djengue

Transform Founder Spotlight Series: Tigran Sloyan

Welcome to Transform’s Founder Spotlight Series, an exciting journey into the minds of innovative leaders who are disrupting the now and next of work.

In each Q&A-style article, we’ll introduce you to founders like Emmanuel Djengue, who are redefining the boundaries of their industries with forward-thinking ideas and transformative approaches.

About Emmanuel

As the CEO & Co-Founder of an impact-driven HR Tech startup from Spain, Kaatch, Emmanuel spearheads groundbreaking solutions to narrow job opportunity disparities in emerging markets. Seamlessly transitioning from a successful reinsurance career, he passionately drives this venture with unwavering dedication. Acknowledged globally among the top 40 DE&I Champions in insurance, Emmanuel passionately champions the causes of new generations, digitalization, and sustainability. His profound expertise is evident in published works on industry digital transformation and a robust portfolio of over 100 compelling presentations across EMEA.

About Kaatch

Kaatch is the award-winning platform that lets companies solve their global sourcing. Founded in 2024, with Kaatch you can connect with global talent networks and hire vetted talent in less than a week. It’s the first way reskilled workforce find jobs in tech.

Let’s dive into Emmanuel’s founder story, and learn firsthand about his inspirations, challenges, and breakthroughs that marked his path to success.

The Startup Journey

Q: What gave you the idea to start Kaatch?

A: The inspiration behind Kaatch springs from a commitment to address the challenges and inequities presented in the global employment landscape. As the founder, my experiences as the Innovation Director of a Fortune 250 company provided firsthand insight into the complexities of talent acquisition and the disparities faced by individuals in emerging markets.

Observing the vast pool of untapped talent in these regions, coupled with the limitations imposed by traditional hiring practices, ignited the idea for Kaatch. The vision emerged from a belief that everyone, regardless of geographical location, deserves equal access to job opportunities. Leveraging my background in innovation and a passion for behavioral science, the idea crystallized into a platform that seamlessly links tech and digital talents from emerging markets with global companies.

The overarching goal is to break down borders, redefine the hiring experience, and create a world where talent is the universal currency, unrestricted by geographic constraints. Kaatch envisions a future where inclusivity and fairness shape the landscape of work, and where individuals from all corners of the world have the chance to showcase their skills and contribute to global progress.

Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced in the early stages?

A: Navigating the early stages, we grappled with the challenge of articulating the essence of our groundbreaking idea. The problem was crystal clear – a scarcity of talent in Europe, with over 500,000 tech profiles missing, and a need to support reskilled talent to find a job in tech, no matter where they are based. Translating this complex issue into simple words that captivated audiences required finesse. Presently, we’re immersed in the exciting phase of launching pilots with organizations in our targeted areas, fueled by the belief that our solution is not just innovative but essential for addressing the talent gap in Europe.

Scaling & Growth

Q: How do you build a strong company culture while scaling the business?

A: In our early-stage journey with a team of fewer than 10, we’ve prioritized building a strong company culture centered on trust, ownership, and a shared mission. Rather than dictating tasks, we emphasize our overarching goal of closing the opportunity gap by addressing the scarcity of talent. This modern leadership approach fosters a culture of empowerment, encouraging team members to take ownership and contribute meaningfully. Open communication channels ensure everyone is aligned with the company’s progress, challenges, and successes. We cultivate a growth mindset, acknowledging that challenges present opportunities for learning and development. Recognizing and appreciating individual and collective contributions, we celebrate milestones to create a positive and supportive work environment. Our commitment to flexibility, professional development, and social connections further reinforces our dedication to nurturing a vibrant company culture that aligns with our mission as we scale our business.


Q: How do you maintain strong relationships with your investors and optimize their contributions?

A: We’re at the exciting outset of our fundraising journey, having bootstrapped our way thus far. The current phase involves engaging in conversations with early-stage business angels and venture capitalists who share our enthusiasm for the mission we’re embarking on. One notable aspect that fuels our optimism is the overwhelming belief in our project expressed by the majority of individuals we’ve connected with.

This widespread support not only validates the authenticity of our mission, but also sparks genuine and meaningful conversations with potential investors. As we convene at the negotiation table, there’s a palpable sense that both parties are not solely focused on financial returns. Instead, we’re united by a shared vision to build something profound – an initiative poised to go beyond the conventional benchmarks of success and bring about tangible, positive changes in people’s lives. The synergy in our collective commitment is a promising foundation for a partnership that extends far beyond the realms of traditional investment negotiations.

Q: What advice do you have to similarly situated founders as they begin fundraising? 

A: One piece of advice that really stuck with me is the idea that successful startups often get introduced to investors through personal connections. It’s not just about creating solutions people want to use; it’s also about ensuring that people genuinely want these solutions to succeed. Enter Kaatch – embodying both of these crucial elements. What’s particularly heartening is that many investors who’ve expressed interest in our mission have come our way through shared connections. It’s like a vote of confidence in our approach and makes it easier to connect with the right people on the other side of a Google Meet call. It’s a testament to the strength of authentic networks and shared enthusiasm propelling us forward in our entrepreneurial journey.

Team Building & Leadership

Q: What are your strategies for attracting and retaining talent?

A: Competing against larger entities as an early-stage startup, especially in the pre-seed, pre-traction phase, can feel like a David-and-Goliath talent war. To stand a chance, David needs to leverage strategies that are challenging for Goliath to implement. Our primary tactic is venturing beyond the red ocean, sourcing talent where others aren’t looking. For instance, our technical team is based in Ghana, aligning with our platform’s ethos of promoting opportunities beyond conventional horizons. The second pivotal element is authenticity; we believe in the power of stories. Individuals at Kaatch are driven by a vision of revolutionizing recruitment and creating a borderless space for talent globally. Authentically communicating this mission is a powerful motivator for those who choose to join us. Lastly, empowerment is key. As mentioned earlier, we don’t dictate tasks; instead, we consistently echo our mission and empower our team to chart the path to achieving it. It’s about fostering a culture where everyone feels a sense of ownership and contribution.

Marketing & Branding

Q: How do you differentiate your brand from competitors?

A: We believe in simplicity when conveying our message – keeping it authentic and sharing our values and mission with everyone. Our company is a mirror of the society we aspire to be a part of, shaping the foundation of our brand. While competition exists, we don’t obsess over what others on our left or right are doing; instead, our focus is on what we aim to achieve and resolve. This clarity is what we communicate to people – a genuine representation of our purpose and the positive impact we seek to make.

Challenges & Lessons Learned

Q: Can you share any specific lessons or mistakes you made during the startup journey and how you overcame them?

A: At the beginning, we needed to do market research, particularly in our space, which is recruitment. There are perhaps a million options out there on the internet. We spent so much time trying to understand or even copy what people were doing. It was a huge mistake, but we eventually grasped it over time. The only correct way to create something that solves a problem you discover is to address it with the solution you discover. Problems have various angles and perspectives. If you try to copy what you have seen somewhere, believing that it is the answer your problem needs, you are headed down the wrong path.

Industry and Market Insights

Q: What is one significant trend or prediction that you believe will drive the transformation of work?

A: By 2030, a whopping 260+ million grads from places other than North America, Europe, China, and Japan are about to hit the job scene. Brace yourselves for a global talent party! This surge is more than just numbers – it’s a game-changer. Picture a melting pot of skills and ideas flooding the market. We’re talking about a shift that goes beyond borders, turning the job market into a buzzing hive of cultures and fresh perspectives. Employers better get their groove on for some serious cross-cultural collaboration because the workplace is gearing up for a global makeover. It’s not just about the job hunt; it’s about embracing a diverse, dynamic, and downright exciting job world.

Company Vision

Q: What’s next for you and Kaatch?

A: We find ourselves in the nascent stages of our journey, wherein every facet is yet to be thoroughly substantiated. Our current focal point revolves around the pivotal milestone of engaging companies to join forces with us. Our intention is to illustrate the transformative potential inherent in a robust mission statement, showcasing how it can serve as a catalyst for profound positive changes in both individual lives and corporate performance. As we traverse this early phase, our primary goal is to cultivate partnerships that will allow us to conduct impactful demonstrations.

Q: What would you like to say to People leaders who are thinking of using Kaatch 

A: They could be proud of building companies that are embracing tomorrow’s workforce with strong values and skills.

On a Personal Note

Q: Describe your perfect day when you aren’t working.

A: Go to a coffee place with my other half then get active with a boxing session. Head to a football game at the stadium for some excitement, and cap off the day with a nice dinner in the city center of Madrid, Spain.

Q: What is your personal mantra?

A: “People will never forget how you made them feel.” Very much inspired by Maya Angelou

Check out other inspiring Founder Spotlights on the Transform blog.

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