CORDIS - Forschungsergebnisse der EU

The commercial exploitation of mentorship programme outcome intelligence in the global corporate and university market.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MentorPitch (The commercial exploitation of mentorship programme outcome intelligence in the global corporate and university market.)

Berichtszeitraum: 2015-05-01 bis 2015-09-30

The MentorPitch platform is highly disruptive in a global mentoring context. It is the first platform to automate the management and measurement of large scale mentoring programmes. MentorPitch measures the outcomes of mentoring programmes in a corporate and education environment. MentorPitch is a Software as a Service (SAAS) cloud-based business. The platform automates the management and measurement of mentorship programmes, thereby reducing the administration time of managing a programme. It is impossible for humans to manually manage and measure the outcomes of large scale mentorships that occur in a mentoring programme. The MentorPitch platform offers a mentorship group suite for a monthly/annual fee suitable for all types of mentoring programmes from a broad university student-alumni programme to a specialist scheme such as an MBA mentoring programme or entrepreneur development programme. The platform is free to use for mentors and mentees.

Corporate, university and accelerator mentoring programme managers face one common problem – how to manually manage a mentoring programme and capture the outcomes of all the mentorships in a specific programme. We carried out international research into existing mentoring programmes in 85 institutions (including higher education providers, universities, workplace mentoring programmes in large corporates and associations) and we found that in-house staff currently manually manage mentoring programmes, use an external consultant or use basic technology such as an online mentor directory database offering by competing solutions.

MentorPitch has the potential to become a global market leader in the mentoring/leadership development sector. In this action MentorPitch will engage with its customers and other key European and international stakeholders to carry out scalable mentoring outcome intelligence. This will give the mentoring programme an economic and social measurement.

Our objectives for this project are:
To commercially validate the outcome intelligence for university student-alumni mentoring programmes and workplace (corporate) mentoring programmes. We will do so by engaging closely with our current and pipeline customers to develop and capture outcomes using our in-house developed technology for large scale mentorship programmes.

Prepare a complete Phase 2 business and commercialisation plan, suitable for an SME-Instrument Phase 2 application, including commercialisation and localisation plans. In phase 2 we plan to localise the content and mobile applications for all key European and international markets, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, US, Japan and China.

The mentor-mentee matching algorithm will be developed further and tested to take into account the outcomes of previous mentorships.

The team will refine the design of MentorPitch to seamlessly capture outcomes across the areas of skills development, project and report feedback, mentor-mentee interactions and recorded experiences.

The MentorPitch solution solves the problem of manually managing mentorship outcomes by capturing crucial outcomes such as skills development, project and report writing with mentor feedback, mentor-mentee interactions and recorded experiences. The mentoring is conducted online using the platform’s private mentorship area which can be used on all mobile devices making it using friendly for all users particularly busy mentors. The MentorPitch platform is built to cater for mentoring programme managers (normally HR managers, Alumni managers, Career Development managers) who can develop private mentorship groups with a database of mentors/mentees, mentor-mentee messaging, content, events, topics, mentoring resources, including video on the platform. The mentors and mentees can sign up to the private group and the mentorship process, including one-to-one mentorship and communications is all automated on MentorPitch.
MentorPitch validated its core mentoring outcomes in a European university mentoring programme, US university mentoring programme and a corporate mentoring programme. Full commercial validation of mentoring outcome intelligence for mentoring programmes was achieved in the key mentoring market segments: higher education, large corporate, accelerator and incubation centres.

MentorPitch set out and achieved commercial validation of mentoring outcome intelligence for university student-alumni mentoring programmes and workplace mentoring programmes. The leadership team engaged with some of Europe’s leading higher education institutions career services by partnering with Career Service representative bodies and professionals. The team engaged with some of Europe’s largest companies with metnoring programmes, accelerators and incubation centres. MentorPitch developed its existing technology and methods for capturing mentoring outcomes with existing clients domestically and internationally.

The two major technological advances achieved in Phase 1 included the mentoring outcome intelligence and the mentor-mentee matching algorithm. The outcomes of all the mentorships were aggregated by the system in real-time and a group outcome final report was developed to show advances in skills, project collaboration and shared experiences. Mentoring programme managers are now able to view a dashboard of how the skills of the mentees have been developed over the course of a mentoring cycle (e.g. six month mentorship). Mentoring empowers people to lead organisations and become future entrepreneurs (Harvard Business Review, 2014).

MentorPitch expanded its core mentoring outcomes for key market segments: Higher Education (University, Institutes), Corporate (multinational business, medium-large corporate mentoring programmes), Accelerators & Incubators and Pro Mentors (premium user accounts). The mentoring programme manager can filter the outcome data based on year of programme, area of expertise, course title, name, location and industry.

The team developed the one-to-one collaboration area to seamlessly capture outcomes across the areas of skills development, projects and report feedback, mentor-mentee meetings and recorded activities/experiences. The one-to-one collaboration area on MentorPitch structures the mentoring around a set of key skills, activities, projects and meetings. A learning and development manager can view and filter the outcomes collected from all the one-to-one mentorships in the group outcomes report which is available in the manager’s admin area.

The Project's Chief Technology Officer developed the technical specification for MentorPitch’s web application to deliver mentoring outcome intelligence. The newly designed
web app with an improved user interface and user experience was officially launched on 2nd September at a European Higher Education Employability Conference. Some of Europe’s leading institutions were able to use the MentorPitch application for the first time at the conference and see for themselves how the platform can transform their mentoring.

The MentorPitch web app was developed for mobile and desktop. The application can be used on all mobile devices and is compatible with all modern web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera and Microsoft Edge.

MentorPitch prepared a complete Phase 2 Business and Commercialisation plan, suitable for an SME-instrument Phase 2 application, including a localisation plan.

The team developed a mentor-mentee matching algorithm incorporating the outcomes of previous mentorships and other important elements of mentoring. The weighting of this algorithm can be adjusted for corporate and higher education clients who have different demands on how the matching solution operates. The Matching Solutions area for mentorship managers was developed to allow a manager to match hundreds and even thousands of mentors-mentees using a matching algorithm which suggests the best possible mentoring connection.

From engaging with lead clients and end users it was apparent that integrations with technology that employees use already in the workplace or students in a university context was an important element. The platform now integrates with LinkedIn, Google and Dropbox so it is easy for the mentor and mentee to sign up and start mentoring.

A series of “welcome screens” were developed to capture essential mentoring information when the user first joins the platform. The “screens” can be adapted for separate market segments (e.g. corporates, student-alumni, accelerators).

The user interface was dramatically improved to show a progress bar at the top of the dashboard to show where the user was in their mentoring journey. The matching algorithm is now suggesting the best possible mentor-mentee match for the individual user and the manager who wishes to create a mentorship between a mentor and mentee.
MentorPitch was the first platform to create “Mentoring Outcome Intelligence”. This is a new area for mentoring managers who have up to recently have used haphazard tools such as Skype, Excel, online directories and survey tools to conduct mentoring. It is impossible to capture key outcomes without using a platform like MentorPitch as all the mentoring activity is recorded on the platform.

The mentor and mentee communicate and collaborate on the one platform so the mentoring manager is aware of the activity levels, progress made and meeting conducted. In some mentoring programmes there are minimum levels of activity expected from mentors and mentees such as number of online meetings, meetings in-person, project collaboration and presentation feedback. The MentorPitch platform can be used to create online meetings, record meeting progress, add projects and presentations. Mentors can send feedback to mentees on progress and mentees can rate how effective the mentor is for them.

According to the Student mentoring programme manager for one of Europe's largest universities:

“The system has the potential to save up to 3 months of staff time in each academic year and enable monitoring of mentoring activity to ensure quality service provision and increase retention.”

The work carried out in the field in Phase 1 has led to the exploitation of mentorship outcome intelligence and a more comprehensive matching algorithm based on the outcomes of previous mentorships.

MentorPitch is now a global market leading technology for mentoring with the world’s most recognised mentoring programmes adopting the technology. MentorPitch has acquired pipeline customers in the global higher education and corporate market segments as we set out to do in Phase 1. This has a major societal impact as students and alumni from higher education institutions can benefit from one-to-one mentoring on a large scale with outcomes for mentoring managers.