NEWS: Learn How to Be a Barista To Help You Get Hired. An Irvine Startup Gives Job Applicants a Leg Up…

Want to work as a barista but don’t know how to make a cappuccino? Or even how to spell it? An Irvine startup has the recipe to help you.

Bluprint has designed a training program – for baristas first – to enable applicants to get on-the-job training before they even apply for the job.

This enables applicants to get a head start, and provides employers with an easy way to see those who have the drive to learn specialized skills with perseverance, before they’re even hired. And, in the case of coffee, to see who has the panache to make those signature swirls that adorn cappuccinos.

Bluprint launched its coffee pilot program with local coffee shops in the OC area. Its training guide upends the traditional process of “on-the-job training,” letting anyone train themselves first.

The startup is incubating at UCI Beall Applied Innovation’s Wayfinder incubator.


Cofounders Hayden Todd, 23, and Kelvin Man, 25, graduated from UCI in Spring 2018.

Hayden started his first business at UCI, a consulting company for freshmen and sophomores, which taught them how to create resumes and chart a pathway to navigate opportunities on campus. He wondered why this system couldn’t be applied to jobs in the real world.

He met his cofounder during their last year at UCI. They worked on a project together and quickly became friends.

C0-founders Hayden Todd and Kelvin Man

While Todd first went the corporate route himself, getting his first job in finance, he knew it wouldn’t be long before he was doing his own thing again.

Once he teamed up with Man again on Bluprint – based on Man’s goal to educate the world and Todd’s drive to make a simpler hiring process based on applicants’ work ethics – they went full steam ahead and became finalists in the 2018 New Venture Competition at the Paul Merage School of Business.

The Wayfinder incubator was the natural next step. But it took three tries to get accepted.

With experienced coffee professionals as mentors and a growing industry suffering from high-turnover rates, they decided to launch their pilot in the coffee vertical.

Perks for Potential Employees and Employers

Bluprint offers employers a slew of perks – they can select from a pool of qualified applicants who are already training themselves and they can see each potential employee’s performance over time.

Both enable employers to see the initiative of applicants.

The service is free for job applicants and companies right now. A future iteration will likely incorporate AI, Todd said.

Benefits of Wayfinder

“Being part of the Wayfinder incubator has been a game-changer for the Bluprint team,” Todd told OC Startups Now. “We’ve learned so much by being part of this environment of knowledgeable mentors and startup founders. We are where we are due to our mentors and peers, so I’d like to thank everybody who has shared their wisdom & provided opportunities for us along the way.”

Bluprint is looking to open a raise within the next six months to grow its engineering team once its initial pilots are completed and the company starts making a profit.

Its been self-funded so far.

About The Author

Deirdre Newman is a long-time journalist, who's covered OC startups for a few years.

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