Toolkit: Mentoring for Business and Personal Success

Mentored startups grow 3.5x faster and raise 7x more money, that’s why mentorship is so essential to startup founders. That’s why, from day one, mentoring has been a cornerstone of Rev1’s culture. We ask each other for advice. We enjoy investing the time to share what we know. We are intentional about weaving mentoring into the day-to-day operations of our business. For us, mentoring is not just a snap-on tool. One of the reasons mentoring is so grounded in our organization comes from our “backyard” connections with MentorcliQ.

From business plan to a business partner, Rev1 and MentorcliQ create a mentoring legacy

It was serendipity that one of our earliest client companies was MentorcliQ, which provides mentoring software to help businesses engage, develop, and retain employees.

Rev1 began working with MentorcliQ founders and brothers Phil and Andy George (now President &CEO and Chief Strategy Officer, respectively) ten years ago, well before they had their first customer. They brought us their vision of a cloud-based software platform that would allow the organization to create mentoring programs that get results. The name MentorcliQ was derived from helping employees find a mentor at the click of a button.

While we helped MentorcliQ develop its business plan and go-to-market strategy, it helped us better understand and unlock the potential of mentoring for ourselves and for our client companies. Fast forward ten years—Rev1 has been both investor and a customer of MentorcliQ.

Mentoring Insights from the pros at MentorcliQ

  • The proof is in the data: 84 percent of the companies on the Fortune 500 list take mentoring to heart, and it shows in their results. Small and medium-sized companies can benefit, too.
  • Ten mentoring activities to try today: Structured or unstructured, make it fun. From coffee to job shadowing, to watching a Ted Talk, shared mentoring activities are at the heart of successful mentoring relationships.
  • Use mentoring to prevent quiet quitting: Mentoring re-awakens employee engagement. Safe conversations help discouraged employees change their perspective and approach. Download the 2022 Workforce Survival Guide.

MentorcliQ is delivering the quantifiable benefits of mentoring to more than 3 million employees in organizations in over 150 countries worldwide. Customers range from 300 to 300,000 employees and include firms like Bacardi, JP Morgan Chase, 21 Century Fox, and CardinalHealth.

Grow to Scale Mentor Program connects entrepreneurs of color and women to diverse executives

The Grow to Scale Mentor Program provides women and entrepreneurs of color access to a network of experienced diverse executives. These leaders offer one-on-one support, advice, and networking for founders building tech-enabled, high-growth companies.

Mentored startups grow nearly four times faster and raise seven times more money, according to The Startup Genome Report. The Grow to Scale Mentor Program pairs diverse startup clients with paid mentor executives who provide access to a wealth of knowledge, experience, and personal networks that give clients the support they need to reach their business milestones. Clients are matched for a six-month engagement. So far, eight startups have joined the first cohort of the program.

Kathy Peters, co-founder of iCarenetwork, a virtual care platform to help families and caregivers navigate a fragmented and siloed healthcare system, has been a Grow to Scale entrepreneur for about six months. Her engagement started with completing MentorcliQ’s mentor/mentee matching survey. (Grow to Scale uses the MentorcliQ platform).

MentorcliQ matched Peters to two mentors based on the areas where Peters said she needed the most support. Catherine Brown, inventor and chief trainer at EXTRABOLD sales, worked with iCarenetwork to develop a sales strategy and pipeline. Karen Posey, founder, and managing partner at KP Strategies, mentored on business vision and strategy. “One mentor is expert in sales, and the other is an expert in strategy

Peters says that the mentoring program works because it is so well thought out. “First of all, it is helpful to have the framework of mentor matching. You express what you need through the MentorcliQ platform, and then they match you with the level of functional expertise that you need. Catherine taught me to know to sell technology as a startup. This was a different type of sales for me.”

More insights from Grow to Scale entrepreneurs and mentors

  • Kenny Anunike, founder & CEO of Skelo Wear®: “Every entrepreneur faces challenges, so having people in your life that help direct, support, and shape your mindset is paramount. This is especially true as a black male entrepreneur innovating an industry that has not traditionally been diverse. “With the help of the Rev1 mentor program, my connection to Craig and his experience has been invaluable. He challenges my perspectives and lends his expertise to help me sidestep common pitfalls entrepreneurs make along this grueling yet gratifying path of the entrepreneurial journey.”
  • Craig M. Chavis, Jr., executive coach and founder of the Solo CEO Club: “Kenny shows up 100 percent to every meeting we have. His energy, drive, and willingness to learn are just a few reasons I enjoy working with him. I’m proud to support him in any way I can. As young black male entrepreneurs, we instantly bonded because we both saw ourselves within each other. There’s no doubt that our relationship will continue well beyond this program.”
  • Kathy Peters, co-founder, iCarenetwork: “This mentor program helped us shape our business differently. That greatly improves our odds. The wonderful part is that these are resources Rev1 is providing. I am grateful. This mentorship has been invaluable. It’s like having a team when you don’t have a team. It’s so helpful to have a sounding board.”

The ultimate goal of Grow to Scale is for more founders of color and women to access critical growth capital. This advisory model is one initiative to close the equity gap, a disproportionate challenge faced by women and founders of color.

Taking mentoring best practices to GenZ through Rev1’s Innovation Internships

Rev1’s Innovation Internship Program is a fast way for high-growth startups to hire exceptional talent and for students to gain first-hand experience with entrepreneurship as a career. We kicked off the program during the pandemic—not the start we expected. However, the program has been a resounding success, with more than 215 students and 52 startups. This year, Rev1 expanded the program with a mentoring component.

GenZ connects with mentors easily

  • Larissa Wess, Rev1 manager, intern, and fellowship programs: “Interns come with knowledge, and they are not afraid. Their fearless is amazing. One of our interns, at 20 years old, was the most experienced person in social media where she was interning. She was excited, but she also didn’t know where to go for answers. As her mentor, I connected her with Rev1 marketing and communications team members. They bolstered her knowledge and added tips.”
  • Kelsey Sniatynsky, DASI Simulations intern: “I get a lot of mentoring at DASI, working hands-on with the CEO and execs. They have so much experience that they share with me. They bring me along to conferences and medical technology symposiums. They are great at helping me see how everything works and helping out if I get overwhelmed. They do that for all the interns. This internship is helping me along with my career and what I want to do in my life and feel for myself.”
  • Mike Karnes, principal software developer at Ubihere: “At Ubihere, interns have mentors who are recent college graduates. I encourage interns on roads that are uncertain, focusing on their natural curiosity. For GenZ, the purpose of work is important. The best motivating factor is to make sure they understand how the work they are doing fits in the larger whole. Mentoring from near peers helps.”
  • Aniket Venkatesh, the biomedical engineering intern at DASI Simulations: “I connected with medical teams in a way that was not possible in the lab. I was told by my lab mentor to get closer to clinicians and listen to what they had to say with my own ears. Seeing the impact of our research with real people is something very special to me.”

At Rev1, we are deliberate about creating programming and connections that extend two-way mentoring opportunities to our startup studio clients, our portfolio companies, and the students in our Innovation Internship. We have benefited from our multi-faceted relationship with MentorcliQ. We share a special focus on creating mentoring opportunities, especially across Columbus’s underserved communities.