Series - part 7 of 7

Here are the 12 first GrowthMentors of 2020


Let’s give a big round of applause to these awesome people for agreeing to join GrowthMentor and help people on their growth journeys.

This post is part of the Mentor Batches series

1. Adriana Collini

Describe yourself

I’m Adriana, senior investment associate at Seedstars, where I help startups find product / market fit, implement experiments and grow. I love supporting entrepreneurs and offering them insights from our 40+ portfolio companies.

In your words, what does a growth mindset mean to you?

Constantly doubting your own assumptions.

If you could mentor a startup on one topic, what would it be?

Fundraising.

Describe an out of the box solution to a complex problem that made you proud of yourself?

I was working with an online therapy startup. They had high CTRs, but they didn’t convert. Through motivating them to change their CTA to something that would clearly indicate that one would have to pay for the therapy session, the CTR dropped, however, the conversion and hence revenue increased drastically.

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2. Ashley Porciuncula

Describe yourself

I’m a product owner, management consultant, and coach. I find that product and people are two peas in the same pod. They’re all about getting to the root of problems, creating effective processes, changing behaviours, asking unbiased questions and designing solutions that get people excited.

In your words, what does a growth mindset mean to you?

A growth mindset is about setting yourself up with quality opportunities to be wrong, in ways that result in deep learnings that you use to make better decisions and create better output in the future.

If you could mentor a startup on one topic, what would it be?

Developing a culture of belief in their product.

Describe an out of the box solution to a complex problem that made you proud of yourself?

While trying to prove out a potential business model with a client, I used WordPress, Typeform and Zapier to create an MVP solution that solved the majority of business needs without using any development resource. That started me down the path of falling in love with low- and no-code solutions for gathering reliable info about what a target demographic really DOES, not just what they say.

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3. Felix Wong

Describe yourself

I’m a Growth Marketer, UX Designer, and Community Builder. Currently leading a Growth team at a Series A startup and splitting my time growing a global venture builder & accelerator in Asia. Prior to that, I held Growth position in 3 fast growing tech startups. #givefirst mentalities led me to become an Entrepreneur 5 years ago. I’m always eager to help the next generation, exchange opinions and bring crazy ideas into reality!

In your words, what does a growth mindset mean to you?

Repeatable experiments and never stop learning.

If you could mentor a startup on one topic, what would it be?

Rapid prototyping, and UX design.

Describe an out of the box solution to a complex problem that made you proud of yourself?

Customer reactivation and email subscription onboarding experience.

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4. John Ostrowski

Describe yourself

Hey, I’m John – Head of Conversion Optimization at Ladder.io. As a proud engineer with a Data Science background, you’ll find me thrilled studying user flows, designing conversion strategies, and supporting decision-making with data from experiments. My mission is to make online experiences seamless and pleasurable to every user.

In your words, what does a growth mindset mean to you?

I always understood growth as continuous improvement, a clear system that is repeatable and focused on increasing value through gradual changing cycles. Someone with a growth mindset is already in a never-ending learning process and can trigger the Build-Measure-Learn process with little effort.

If you could mentor a startup on one topic, what would it be?

Designing a conversion strategy that is aligned and supports your current marketing efforts.

Describe an out of the box solution to a complex problem that made you proud of yourself?

Understanding the problem root-cause: Our paid search strategy is not working! Why? Quality scores are bad! Why? Bounce rate is 78%! Why? No dedicated team improving the landing page experience. The out-of-the-box solution: Check the pre/post click experience from ad snippet to page, understand how the user is being “primed” to expect next when they click, make sure there’s continuity between steps. Check with the sales team what are the most frequent questions they receive. Transform their answers into expectation management visual elements in the landing page. Check responsiveness with sizzy.co trial and check for major usability issues with a quick user testing, a.k.a pay a beer to a friend and give him the mobile website to test.

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5. Mark Jenkins

Describe yourself

UX Lead / UX Strategy & Business Director My passion for design lies in crafting experiences that solve real problems, in a simple way. I love to teach (to share) and learn (to re-teach) The driving force behind everything I do is the impact that design can have on people.

In your words, what does a growth mindset mean to you?

A growth mindset is one of constant learning, once which can enable businesses to think about things differently; where they can address business and consumer needs in different ways by looking at gaps and creating experiences/solutions to deliver against them. A growth mindset is one which is not afraid to try the new, the wild all the while understanding that basics and foundations enable this play.

If you could mentor a startup on one topic, what would it be?

The importance of design for businesses. Great design can lead to great experiences for consumers and when they have a great experience they come back. Design is much more than visuals, it’s a combination of how things look, read, work and make the consumer feel. Design is power.

Describe an out of the box solution to a complex problem that made you proud of yourself?

Automated a manual process of booking travel for 120 staff members by simply using a Google Docs plugin that used a lookup table in a spreadsheet. Removed around 15 manual steps and consolidated into 3. Saved HOURS of time for the travel coordinator who could then focus on money and the best price for travel, rather than the boring laborious and somewhat legacy steps left behind by a predecessor.

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6. Markus Hofmann

Describe yourself

As Head of UX, I’m dedicated to solving real human needs while delivering commercial success. A creative mind, leading by example, to enable my team to craft innovative digital products. I’m extremely curious, always striving to grow, therefore very much looking forward to insightful conversations & debate. I’m a design thinker, a doer, and a life-long learner.

In your words, what does a growth mindset mean to you?

Living outside the comfort zone. Defining success as learning: Prioritising paths which have a higher chance of growing experiences, instead of going the safe route with higher chances of more material success. In other words: Playing the long game.

If you could mentor a startup on one topic, what would it be?

User-centered product innovation through design thinking by harnessing the power of the entire team.

Describe an out of the box solution to a complex problem that made you proud of yourself?

I joined a team where lots of problems were actually self-created by over-engineering. The tricky part here was reframing the product-thinking in the team to design less in ‘feature thinking’ but more in ‘user needs’. This enabled us to get rid of some features all together which turned out to provide little value, instead of fixing what’s broken in them. This was only possible by opening perspectives, showing the root problems are not in the product/features, but more organizational in how we approach & prioritize product thinking the first place.

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7. Matteo Tittarelli

Describe yourself

Matteo here, but you can call me Titta. I’m a startup growth practitioner based in London, currently in the international growth team at fiverr.com. Beforehand, I’ve been in growth roles for the past 4 years, at marketplace & SaaS startups, both in the B2B and consumer space. I’ve also co-founded a performance marketing agency as a passion project.

In your words, what does a growth mindset mean to you?

The most important job of a growth person is to design a system that compounds value creation. To do this, you need to think by first principles: remove your ego, systematically challenge everything & everyone, ruthlessly prioritize and experiment, and progressively rebuild what you know about your system. Most importantly, learn how to learn wisely.

If you could mentor a startup on one topic, what would it be?

Growth strategy: how to build a system that compounds value over time across acquisition, retention, and monetization.

Describe an out of the box solution to a complex problem that made you proud of yourself?

We came up with a price filtering test for categories in the marketplace, which increased the avg. basket size and generated sustained revenue growth while keeping other trade-off metrics stable. Based on a price-sensitivity analysis, the team came up with specific price floors for each marketplace category – items below the floor were deprioritized. We learned that our users needed a higher perception of quality to purchase with confidence, and higher pricing was overall a good metric that embodied that higher quality and inspired for a more confident purchase.

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8. Monika Khanna

Describe yourself

I’m an empathetic problem solver with a passion of learning and hands-on expertise in user research, usability analysis, need analysis, project planning, resource management, information architecture, wireframing, prototypes and execution of short to long-term projects, managed and delivered interactive solutions for various industry domains with an eye of balancing user needs with the business goals.

In your words, what does a growth mindset mean to you?

A growth mindset is the one that has a hunger for learning and a desire to solve complex problems with a calm, composed and relaxed state of yourself.

If you could mentor a startup on one topic, what would it be?

The importance of research and data, designing products with empathy.

Describe an out of the box solution to a complex problem that made you proud of yourself?

There was one B2B feature for a real estate organization that was not giving good returns to them. I researched what’s working well and what not, further leading to the business flow and given identification to that feature so that customers can retain the same wherever they see it, recognize it’s benefits which were clearly indicated with an impeccable content. This led to a 50% growth in conversion rate.

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9. Pedro Goes

Describe yourself

I’m very passionate about helping others to grow. I’ve started my career in Brazil and as an entrepreneur, I got a lot of help from others when scaling our business. My professional goal is to help marketers around the world track their campaigns and events better.

In your words, what does a growth mindset mean to you?

Growth means understanding where you want to be the next year and triggering the actions needed to turn it into reality.

If you could mentor a startup on one topic, what would it be?

I would be pleased to mentor early-stage startups on how to start generating revenue.

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10. Tim Cakir

Describe yourself

Helping businesses grow is what I do. In my role as the COO of Carts Guru, this works in two ways… Firstly, we help our e-commerce clients grow. The service that we offer is all about recapturing lost customers, increasing sales, and naturally: growth. Secondly, I work behind the scenes to grow Carts Guru, a company that has in just two years secured 1400+ clients, employed 49 talented people, and spread offices between two continents.

And now, on top of my work at Carts Guru, I am also helping grow the future generation of digital marketers, having been made the lecturer of Digital Marketing Technologies and Strategies at ESEI. I am so excited to be the inspirational teacher I always wished I had, passing on all the digital marketing knowledge I’ve accumulated over the years. This ‘growth’ theme didn’t start with my current position. Before Carts Guru, I had a growth hacking agency where I shared my expertise in SEO, organic search, AdWords campaigns, business strategy, and of course growth marketing.

In your words, what does a growth mindset mean to you?

I wrote a whole blog post about it: https://trackingnhacking.com/growth-mindset-for-a-successful-life/

If you could mentor a startup on one topic, what would it be?

Growth Mindset, Strategy, and Execution with the right tools. I am a tool addict!

Describe an out of the box solution to a complex problem that made you proud of yourself?

At Carts Guru, we had significant issues with activation and getting freemium users to increase their volume of contact in their database to convert them into a paid plan. We used Appcues and Heap Analytics to build various product onboarding tours and mapped out key funnels to track. With the insights of Heap, We were able to optimize the onboarding and drastically increase the activation rate and the conversion rate from Freemium to a Paid plan. The Heap and Appcues integration also meant that we could segment different types of users (Evaluators, Beginners, Regulars and Champions) to walk them through different product tours. Knowing how to combine various tools to achieve growth is the key!

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11. Todd Chambers

Describe yourself

Hey! I’m Todd the founder of Upraw Media, a PPC & CRO agency for SaaS & Tech based in Amsterdam. We love working with meaningful companies that contribute to a better world. We bring together many different cultures and skills. Our mission is to set a new standard in performance marketing…. Oh and we like to have fun.

In your words, what does a growth mindset mean to you?

The ability to continuously improve through reflection, learning and iteration. To have a humble predisposition that one can always be wrong and improve.

If you could mentor a startup on one topic, what would it be?

Paid media strategy, execution & measurement. Landing Pages / CRO.

Describe an out of the box solution to a complex problem that made you proud of yourself?

A recent SaaS client came to us with a new niche product outside of their core platform. They had a limited budget and minimal content to support the campaigns. Using their Ideal customer profile we selected around 100 ideal companies and specifically targeted these in the ad platforms. We built a ton of creatives, hit cold audiences and triggered more direct response ads based on engagement. The client landed 3 huge deals.

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12. Tomek Duda

Describe yourself

I cofounded Growth Engine, a growth marketing agency later acquired by Ladder Digital. I am responsible for Ladder’s marketing, HR and recruitment. I am passionate about analyzing data and drawing insights that will uncover new things to test throughout the entire marketing funnel. I am motivated by seeing the hard work pay off and the KPIs going up – because data doesn’t lie.

In your words, what does a growth mindset mean to you?

Not being afraid of failure, but embracing it and learning to never make the same kind of mistake again. Brainstorming, testing, analyzing and drawing insights. Everything can be done better, the question is where does the biggest growth opportunity lie and what to double down on. Data doesn’t lie, it should be used as road signs on a long journey.

If you could mentor a startup on one topic, what would it be?

Team growth – recruitment, HR processes, professional development, career paths, making people comfortable within their organization.

Describe an out of the box solution to a complex problem that made you proud of yourself?

I was responsible for designing and building the entire recruitment funnel, so I started by thinking of a way to design it and did it all by hand in the first few months to test out what works. Then I automated/outsourced as much as possible of that funnel to free up my time and focus on what really matters most – talking to people. I automate the emails and marketing campaigns, while sourcing of candidates I outsourced, so I mostly review potential candidates and talk to them via Zoom.

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Apply for the February Batch!

What we’re looking for in the next batch:

  • Performance marketers with experience scaling 6-7 figure ad spends (monthly).
  • Product managers with experience managing multi-disciplinary teams
  • Wildcards: Applicants that may not fit the above criteria but possess an extraordinary ethos fit that “get it.”
Growth Mentors

Want to become a growth mentor?

Apply for the February batch
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