Today’s Business Insider piece did a good job of explaining what led us to establish Upgrade Capital three years ago. But as you may have read in one of our earlier posts, there is no shortage of companies trying to address the lack of meritocracy in entry-level buy-side recruiting – and yet none of them have been able to have much of an impact.

Street of Walls dumped the WSAT and rebranded itself as Vettery as it moves from finance to general recruiting. TransparenCV, UndiscoveredPM, and BattleFin are now basically all defunct. Marketocracy and MarkitAcademy have been stagnating. Despite attracting thousands of students, AlphaSeal has struggled to make itself relevant to financial firms.

The key thing we believe these firms are missing is a means of aligning the work they are doing in screening talent with the highly particular interests and needs of individual firms. Everyone is looking for the best people – but what ‘best’ is varies dramatically from firm to firm.

Once we have found someone who exhibits creativity and a genuine passion for investing, the crucial next step is to figure out whether their particular strengths are a fit for the firms we work with. This is what sets us apart – willingness to understand the value generation process for each of our partner firms and to figure out which of the extraordinary young people we find are best capable of strengthening it.

Given the secrecy hedge funds are known for, gaining the insight necessary for our system to work is often a challenge – but this work needs to be done sooner or later if talent scouts are to become relevant in our industry.