From IMSA to Assembled

December 7, 2021

Assembled is a 28-person, San Francisco-based company building the operational backbone of the modern support team. Its workforce management platform helps companies like Casper, GoFundMe, and Notion handle the planning and people logistics needed to deliver responsive, empathetic support. It has raised $19.7m from leading investors like Emergence Capital, Stripe, Basis Set Ventures, and more.

Assembled has its roots in IMSA’s values of independent inquiry and creativity. IMSA alumni have played an outsized role in building the company, representing two of three co founders—brothers John ’10 & Ryan Wang ’08—as well as early members of the team—Albert Ni ’07 (angel investor), Varun Munjeti ’13, Tara Parkman ’17, and Michael Zeng ’14.

Here are some specific stories of how Assemblers got here by way of IMSA:

  • Ryan Wang ’08 (Cofounder): My career path builds directly off my IMSA experience. Although I studied Economics and Statistics at the University of Chicago, my work experiences have landed me in a variety of roles, including Consultant, Data Scientist, Software Engineer, and now Entrepreneur. In all these stops, I’ve had to apply IMSA’s value of “learning never ends.” In particular, the most important skill I’ve learned and honed has been how to learn.
  • John Wang ’10 (Cofounder): My time at IMSA was definitely a springboard for me, with the Student Inquiry and Research program being particularly impactful. I did a project my Senior year with Professor Kerwin Charles on the black-white achievement gap. The exacting nature of research combined with the importance of sound methodologies would stay with me for years, especially as I started Assembled. I was prepared for the wrong turns, sleepless nights, and the trial-and-error nature of a startup by being thrust into it first in academic research.
  • Michael Zeng ’14 (Software Engineer): IMSA was an incredibly influential period in my life, being surrounded by unbelievably smart people and building bonds that would last forever. I distinctly remember taking a right into the music rooms after a hard exam to decompress or the time I went to an exchange program in France and lived with a french family. It’s also where I met my partner of over 6 years.Naturally, when I was looking to leave Google and join a smaller startup where I could have more impact, the IMSA network again made the difference. I reached out to the smartest person I know, my sister (Sharon Zeng ’08), and she reached out to one of her quad mates from IMSA, Emily Zhao . She had advised Assembled and spoke only praises about it, and from that point on, I was sold on Assembled.
  • Tara Parkman ’17 (Technical Support): During my time at IMSA I was always very passionate about math and science. My junior year I did research on artificial intelligence with Mike Ososky. This research carried me on throughout my time at college, where my interests turned more towards examining how people interact with technology. When Ryan reached out to fellow alumni about a company that took IMSA ideals to the next level, I knew Assembled would be a project I would enjoy.
  • Varun Munjeti ‘13 (Software Engineer): My IMSA experience was incredibly formative and has greatly impacted the course of my career and life. The academic rigor prepared me well for the technical landscape of studying computer science and pursuing a career in software engineering, but I believe my core takeaways have been off the whiteboard – learning how to learn, managing ambitious workloads and being intentional with my time, leading with curiosity, and valuing thoughtful questions and the people around me.