Series - part 19 of 20

Here are the first 10 GrowthMentors of 2021


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. Alysha Lobo

Describe yourself

I hold a Masters degree in English literature and Mass Communication (Hons.). I come with over 12 years of experience in the field of marketing communications. I manage end to end marketing including content creation (thematic based newsletters/company blog/social media channels), video content creation, public relations, digital marketing, and events.

On the personal side, I am a third culture kid who has grown up between India, the Middle East, and to a family of Portuguese descent. I speak English, Portuguese, French, and I am learning Mandarin on my own. I have lived in Dubai, Denmark, India, and NYC.

I currently also sit on the Advisory board for a Y-Combinator backed robotics company in stealth mode.

In just one sentence, why do you want to become a growth mentor?

I am keen to share my marketing and communication experience with startups that need it. I also believe that in turn I will learn and become better at my own job. I have over 10 years of experience in the B2B marketing space and have built brand narratives across South Asia, Europe and the US.

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

To me growth mindset is a continuous process of knowing your customer, delivering a great product to suit those needs and scaling progressively. Most importantly, the skills required are to listen and learn all the way.

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

Go to market strategy and content creation.

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

Shamelessly plugged in 3 robotic arms in the biggest sporting event in India – IPL Cricket to gain visibility and mileage. All this for free!

View Growthmentor Profile

2. Andrew Smith

Describe yourself

I’m Andrew. I currently help SaaS companies scale through modern demand generation tactics and strategies. Previously held senior growth roles at Techstars, Upserve, and SendGrid. I have a lot of experience in product & growth marketing, brand building, and startup acumen.

In just one sentence, why do you want to become a growth mentor?

I’ve helped some great companies scale (Techstars, Upserve, and SendGrid). I want to give back and help other startups scale.

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

Providing value to your audience, solving problems at scale, and the ability to be agile.

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

Product Marketing.

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

Built and launched a behavior-driven email SaaS product, Threads, in 6 months.

View Growthmentor Profile

3. Caitlin Rogers

Describe yourself

I’m co-owner of a thriving seven-figure B2B explainer animation company (with ~20 employees), which we’ve grown from scratch.

One of my secret weapons is messaging consulting, to help find the most compelling and persuasive version of your story to increase conversion.

I also love all things related to scaling a small business, in terms of setting up sustainable, ever-improving systems. One of our biggest strengths has been building an amazing team culture.

In just one sentence, why do you want to become a growth mentor?

I’m enjoying mentoring and doing it now. I feel like the Growth Mentor platform will be a way for me to scale what I like doing 🙂

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

A growth mindset means approaching challenges and set-backs with a focus on learning and improvement. Our knowledge and skills aren’t fixed- we can change and grow in response to our circumstances.

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

Scaling into a team. I’ve loved growing a business from two people to twenty (and counting). I fully subscribe to the idea that “What got you this far won’t be what takes you to the next level.”

The skills to grow and manage a thriving team are really different than what’s required to start a business yourself.

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

Creating comprehensive Standardized Operating Procedures isn’t easy or necessarily fun, but has been really beneficial to have. It’s also a never-ending task, as processes change over time.

Rather than trying to tackle this as a giant project, I’ve instigated having new employees write out sections as they’re trained. It ensures that they know their stuff, because their new contributions are reviewed before being added. They’re also charged with reviewing existing content relevant to what they’re being trained on, to help the SOPs stay up-to-date.

We’re left with an invaluable document and training tool.

View Growthmentor Profile

4. Evan Hammer

Describe yourself

I love focus: devoting myself to a problem and deciding on the one thing to try next. I’m most experienced with early-stage product development: learning from potential customers, shipping small product tests, and transforming insights into a strategy.

In just one sentence, why do you want to become a growth mentor?

I love sharing my experience with startup strategy, getting first revenue, and learning from potential customers with folks earlier in their journey.

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

It’s a way of thinking that develops when you focus on your specific problem and goals, where you see pathways outside of the standard sales, marketing, or product development strategies.

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

Better defining your users’ problem. It’s the foundation that everything rests on. Most failures in execution are actually a failure to understand a problem.

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

Whenever this happens, my reaction is always, “How was that not obvious?” 🙂

I once tried to convince an industry leader to fly across the country and hype up my company at a Techstars demo day. He said, Evan, you sound like a nice guy, but this is a cold-call and I can’t vouch for you. I said, you don’t have to. It’s just a chance for you to speak to 1000 investors about the needs and size of your industry. You don’t even have to mention us. He was in.

View Growthmentor Profile

5. Hans Bunes

Describe yourself

I believe that the only constant is change. You either drive change or will be driven by change. The latter is more painful. Get ahead! I’ve lived and worked in native Norway, US, Germany, Switzerland and Sweden. Worked for start-up, Dow 30 company or myself with global clients. Every 3 to 5 years, I dive into something completely new.

In just one sentence, why do you want to become a growth mentor?

I want to pay back to everyone who have guided me in my career, implicitly and explicitly.

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

How to create the right serviceable market then using data, insights and analytics to prioritize the go-to-market.

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

You purposefully try to acquire new knowledge beyond your current frames of reference. You set new goals and objectives, unlike those of the past. You expand your vision.

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

Software Testing for a Quality Software Product, Project Management, Budgeting.

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

I created the functional architecture for an Excel based account dashboard for a Fortune 100 client that we later monetized for $250k over two years. Yes, we sold an Excel sheet for $125k ARR. This Fortune 100 client later built in-house dashboards but all of my thinking was included in the design.

View Growthmentor Profile

6. Mark Voermans

Describe yourself

I’m SpongeBob in business 😉 I’ve absorbed a lot of knowledge in over 20 years’ experience working with some of the world’s biggest companies and innovative startups. I bring varied and complementary skills and experience, including business development; sales; engineering and IT expertise; mentoring, and consulting.

Some familiar names in my global career history include Kaspersky, KPN, BMC Software, Insight Enterprises, and Microsoft. At the latter, one of my key responsibilities was to help nurture startups. I held roles at several Dutch-based growth companies, and run my own successful start-up business.

Over the years, I have provided support to entrepreneurs through some of the leading mentorship programs, including Astia, Rockstar, Startupbootcamp, and Seedcamp.

So when you ask me questions or advice (squeezing the sponge ;-)) I’m able to give you the relevant input and advice back in the relevant context of your business.

I am a passionate sportsman and family man, when not working I can be found cycling around The Netherlands, enjoying fine wines, and spending time with my kids.

In just one sentence, why do you want to become a growth mentor?

I want to give back to the world what I’ve learned in over 20 years of experience of which 12 yrs in the startup world.

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

People with a growth mindset believe they can become smarter, more productive, and more talented. They also understand that effort and perseverance makes them stronger, which helps them achieve more.

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

Growing your business to the next level

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

Coming up with a ‘smart mirror fitness platform’ instead of ‘just’ another fitness app in the app stores.

View Growthmentor Profile

7. Necca Sampson

Describe yourself

As a sales funnel copywriter, I love helping founders map out an optimal funnel strategy. I find that founders often need an outsider’s perspective to help pinpoint the real emotional benefits their product or service provides, and to create a step-by-step funnel that allows leads to experience those benefits from the get-go.

I’ve also coached 200+ copywriters and other freelancers to improve messaging for themselves or their clients, optimize high-friction offers, and create better processes within their businesses. I’d love to help you, too!

And yes, I know my name is hard to pronounce. Just call me Nikki; it’s easier 🙂

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

I strongly believe that a rising tide lifts all boats. I help others professionally for at least one hour every day. And I’ve found that everyone I’ve met, no matter how new at their craft, was able to share something valuable with me, be it feedback, a fresh perspective, or a tech tip. Growth is together.

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

Sales Funnel Strategy + Messaging So much hinges on that. You can have the best idea, the most amazing product, and people out there who need you, but you need it to pull those pieces together.

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

Everyone likes stories, right? Here’s one: I’m currently working with a great new brand that manufactures a hi-end architectural product. When interviewing their customers, I discovered that there were some concerns about long-term sustainability and how it would hold up to impact.

We added more trust-builders earlier in the sales funnel, and then released a video with a bodybuilder bashing the product over and over, without damaging it at all. That settled those concerns! We’re seeing great engagement and exceeded the KPI on that campaign.

I’m a funnel geek, so I can’t help getting excited about this kind of thing!

View Growthmentor Profile

8. Pawel Sokolowski

Describe yourself

I am passionate about data and numbers. My professional career started in banking, then I was a developer for several years.

I actively implement a work methodology based on data-driven models, running several startups.

Currently, my most active focus is on semantics and content marketing. The result of this passion is a Content Intelligence platform, which helps to effectively plan the content process.

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

Each entrepreneur develops his business in the best possible way. Those of them who base their activities on data gain advantages faster and at lower costs. The use of data in each enterprise may be different, but the most important is the process. Quickly collecting and testing data-driven ideas leading to a clear goal is key here.

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

If you want to enter a new market, improve the effectiveness of inbound marketing, optimize SEO / CM, I will be happy to share my knowledge. I will also explain to you how to use the data to achieve your goals and how to effectively formulate these goals.

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

During the marketing analysis of one of the new markets, we discovered opportunities that no one in the entire company knew about. It was like discovering a blue hole in a red ocean.

The activity was based on data collected from searches for a given topic, combined into clusters of intentions and visualized along with the purchasing activity of a given segment.

This research changed the marketing of the company I cooperated with and inspired us to create CONTAI.

View Growthmentor Profile

9. Rachel Jordan

Describe yourself

Hey, I’m Rachel. I’m the CMO-turned-CXO for BoardOnTrack. (We’re SaaS for charter school boards.) My superpowers include simplifying complex brands, getting marketing & sales to play nice together, freeing founders from their assumptions about good-fit customers, and generally helping to remove the barriers to growth in lean startups…along with keeping two small humans alive and well.

In just one sentence, please tell us why you want to become a growth mentor?

I want to help founders grow faster and do great things by sharing my marketing, brand, CX, and growth strategy experience with those who can benefit from it.

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

A growth mindset means challenging myself in new ways, and approaching just about every conversation with the assumption that I’m going to learn something new.

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

I can talk all day about all things brand & marketing strategy…what’s working, how do you measure it, how do you do marketing ethically and effectively, how’s it evolving (CMOs are all turning into CXOs and everything is kind of marketing now), how to do marketing well whether you’ve got one person or 100…

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

When I first joined BoardOnTrack, the brand was really built around the board members who use the software. It makes sense. And I mean, it’s in the name. But the people who put their blood, sweat, & tears into those charter schools are the founders & CEOs.

I rebuilt the brand & realigned the team around the CEOs first. And everything changed.  Sales went faster, churn went down, conversions went up…because we were talking differently to different people.

View Growthmentor Profile

10. Tamas Szuromi

Describe yourself

Hey, I’m Tamas a tech-savvy guy who started to work as a developer, then shifted to build analytics teams, worked as a product manager, and nowadays I strive to utilize all my experience to deliver delighting improvements to users that also move the bottom line.

I experienced almost all states of the product lifecycle from finding product-market fit, hyper-growth, and maturity. I have been part of building a great analytics function that brings telemetry, data pipelines, product analytics, experimentation, blended qualitative and quantitative data, insight factories, mature analytics workflows, and scalable analytics stacks.

On the other hand, as a growth PM advocate lot for analytics enablement for product teams, focus on growth loops, move users and values closer, or just fix user pain points based on hot spots in the data.

In just one sentence, please tell us why you want to become a growth mentor?

In the past, I learned from others, now it’s time for me to help other companies through mentoring.

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

The ability for constant learning. Embrace failure, learn, iterate, and repeat.

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

Product-led growth.

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

When I worked in the game industry a product(game) feature made it for the growth bets roadmap during our retention theme (a quarter to focus on similar product improvements). It has a terrible usage rate by users, even everyone in the product team considered it as a great feature.

So down the rabbit-hole, turned out many users started to use the feature but after a few times they tried it out they stopped using it completely. After running some SQL queries the problem has been revealed. In the game, the given feature is too hard for some users. Then we had to make it easy for them!

After some iterations, we ended up with a solution where the first 5 matches (users played against each other) have been replaced with simulated matches and a good chance to win. Finally, I moved the bottom line and improved d30 retention by 7%. Also, it was great to read on forums the feature became more appealing to our users.

View Growthmentor Profile

Interested in becoming a growth mentor?

What we’re looking for:

  • Growth marketers, product managers, and designers, with extraordinary track-records of success
  • Inspirational founders that have “been there and done that.”
  • Friendly people that take joy in helping other people.
  • At least 5 years of demonstrable experience working in growth.
  • GrowthMentor is a #givefirst platform. You should be cool with mentoring for free until you have three reviews.
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