News / Calgary

Meticulon consultants with autism find work with ‘much broader’ range of Calgary employers

With the exploding popularity of wine worldwide, Calgary-based Mobility Quotient needed a new hire for its Just Wine mobile app, and it found an ideal candidate in Elizabeth, a local woman diagnosed on the autism spectrum.

The job called for someone who could scour the web, city by city, for wine-related events, pick out the most interesting ones and compile the data to populate the app’s front end with up-to-date information for users around the globe.

“Attention to detail is paramount,” company CEO Nikhil Sonpal said of the time-consuming task.

Elizabeth took over the role from executive assistant Amber Harlal on April 1, and quickly more than doubled the previous output.

“In her first week, it just blew me away,” Harlal said. “She finds events I could never have taken the time to find.”

Elizabeth is one of four people who have now found full-time work through Meticulon, a Calgary startup that focuses on assessing, training, and job-coaching people with autism.

Candidates who make it through the rigorous testing process are then hired out as consultants.

When Meticulon formed last summer, CEO Garth Johnson primarily had software test engineering jobs in mind but quickly found swift demand from employers in a “much broader” range of fields.

“We have people coming to us saying, ‘Can your people do this?’” Johnson said. “And if it fits that core description of precision and focus and attention to detail, we can make it work.”

Elizabeth, who preferred not to be photographed or have her last name used in this article, said she’s enjoying the job so far.

“I really like what I’m doing,” she said. “I always knew that wine was big, but I didn’t know how big.”

Fast growth:

  • Meticulon currently exists as a sub-project of Autism Calgary but has a goal of becoming a financially self-sustaining company.
  • CEO Garth Johnson said it’s well on its way with more than $200,000 in revenues expected in its first year, more than twice its initial goal.
  • Meticulon is also more than on pace to surpass in its original goal of hiring 44 people within five years, Johnson said.

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