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MEMPHIS CROSSROADS: Memphis Start-Up Matches, Manages and Measures Mentorships



The following story is a preview of the summer edition of our Memphis Crossroads. Be on the lookout for the release later this month. To see past issues of Memphis Crossroads click here. To learn more about our Advice on Tap program click here

Any organization that wants to cultivate future talent would agree that mentoring is crucial. Yet it’s not always easy to maintain a solid mentoring program.

Enter Brit Fitzpatrick, who knows something about mentoring and decided a couple of years ago to make it better. 

The young entrepreneur and mentor observed that organizations needed easier ways to administer and manage the programs. Often, the process would be overly complicated, the matching wasn’t always thought through and it took too much time.

“But if they had a formula,” she says …

And that was the smart solution to this problem. She developed MentorMe, a platform that uses software to effectively match mentors and mentees while managing participation, activities and feedback. It also measures participant satisfaction.

In other words, it makes the mentoring experience more productive and economical.

“We all need mentors through our lives,” says Fitzpatrick, who is Founder and CEO of MentorMe, a Greater Memphis Chamber member.

Her ideas help make that connection.

MentorMe also makes it easier for organizations to manage and track connections. Mentored youth do better in school and it’s in the interest of businesses and the community to nurture young people. Getting the right mentor with the right mentee can make all the difference with longer relationships and better results.

Fitzpatrick stresses that it’s not a social network that just matches mentors and mentees. MentorMe works with an organization on specific objective goals and provides tools to measure the impact based on their objectives.

One example: The Greater Memphis Chamber recently established its Advice on Tap program using Fitzpatrick’s platform. 

“I met with Amanda Edmundson, who is the Chamber’s Project Manager in Member Services,” Fitzpatrick says. “She said that with so much economic support coming from small businesses, the Chamber wanted to develop more ways to provide value.”

Edmundson had the idea for a program where small business owners could get free 30-minute calls with mentors on a variety of things. “The program needed to be streamlined and that’s where we came in,” Fitzpatrick says. The Chamber has an advantage in that it’s set up to make those connections, prompting small business owners to sign up and connect with mentors. “Working professionals who are further along in their careers get to meet and ask anything” of the mentors, Fitzpatrick says.

What may have been the first meeting of Advice on Tap happened earlier this year. LeiAnn Gardner of Speed Marketing, a packaging firm, had a legal question. “We had run across an issue where we needed to get legal advice, a question to be answered,” she says. “And I wanted to save money.”

Gardner is a fan of the Chamber. “I’ve been a member in some capacity since the 1980s in the companies I was employed with in the past,” she says. “So it wasn’t hard for me to see our company needed to be a member of the Chamber. Use assets the Chamber offers — it can help you with your business.” 

The Advice on Tap program put her in touch with attorney Paula Daniel at Butler Snow. The exchange was, as Gardner put it, “Awesome! She was knowledgeable in business and we just had to spend two, maybe three phone calls and we had our answer.”

MentorMe was one of six startups participating in a Seed Hatchery cohort in 2013. The accelerator provided the resources and support — much of it through mentoring — that Fitzpatrick needed to launch her enterprise.

She says MentorMe is the gold standard for mentoring programs. “We have quality and efficiency and it’s making a difference,” Fitzpatrick says. “Our ultimate goal is to be a platform for kids, students or professionals in young developing organizations or corporations. The MentorMe platform can implement it.”


Jon W. Sparks
Contributor
Memphis Crossroads

Photography by Troy Glasgow




Posted: 8/13/2014 4:45:36 PM | with 0 comments



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THE M BLOG
The latest news from the Greater Memphis Chamber. For more information, contact Director of Communications Christina Meek at (901) 543-3504 (cmeek@memphischamber.com) or Communications Specialist Jenny C. Fish at (901) 543-3558 (jfish@memphischamber.com).

 

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