Series - part 12 of 14

Here are the 11 GrowthMentors of June


A record 321 people applied to become growth mentors in June. Here are the 11 that made the cut!

This post is part of the Mentor Batches series

1. Alain Buffing

Describe yourself

My name is Alain Buffing. I’m currently serving as Chief Commercial Officer at Unless.com, an Amsterdam based start-up that enables Account Based Marketing and Lead Conversion for SaaS companies. Previous to this role I have been working at Salesforce, HubSpot, Fuze and numerous start-ups, building international growth teams. Next to technology growth processes, I am highly interested in travelling, sport events, super-foods, biohacking, volunteering and the finer things in life, like wine, food, riding a motorcycle during sunset hours.

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

I am a firm believer in the protégé effect, learning by teaching, and after 10+ years in the Tech Sales Industry at Salesforce, Fuze, HubSpot and several start ups I know I can be of help.

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

Already from an early age, I have tried to get myself out of the comfort zone, since there is no progress with a fixed mindset. Whoever believes that his/her abilities are fixed are less likely to pick the true fruits of live and flourish. The opposite is true for those with a growth mindset. I can speak from experience that if you believe in marginal gains and continuous improvement, it will lead to things that are bigger than yourself in life. For me a growth mindset means stepping out of the comfort zone, connecting with people that possess skills previously unfamiliar to you, which will help the ecosystem to develop and thrive. This can be on a personal level with a set of abilities or in an organisation level with processes that can be improved.

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

B2B Sales Consulting, Account Based Marketing and Personalization (Conversion Optimization). For the last 15 years I have been honing my Sales Skills, it is at this point where I started for myself as an independent B2B Sales Consultant that I can say I master the B2B Sales skill that is needed to bring in Target Accounts and I would love to share this gift with the world.

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

Unless.com, was not receiving any leads from their website. Not were they using the tool for themselves. Since I am a big fan of drinking my own champagne, I have created a personalized website experience, including a B2B Sales automation, which they are using to convert more visitors into leads and leads into customers.

View Growthmentor Profile

2. Anand Chowdhary

Describe yourself

Anand Chowdhary is a creative technologist and entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and CEO of Oswald Labs, the award-winning accessibility technology company that builds products for people with disabilities. He has been featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 and Het Financieele Dagblad (Dutch Financial Times)’s list of 50 most-innovating entrepreneurs and professionals in the Netherlands. With a background in engineering and design, he is also a consultant to several startups around the world, and serves as an advisor to Oefenen.nl, an adult education nonprofit based in The Hague.

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

I’ve been working hard on giving back to the startup ecosystem, including launching an equity-free accelerator, mentoring several startups, and serving as a nonprofit advisory and after several years building my own startup, I think I can help others build and grow.

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

Never stop learning!

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

Technology strategy.

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

We wanted to make sure that people with hearing disabilities (like deafness) are able to understand my talks at a conference in San Francisco. Since we couldn’t get a sign language interpreter, I built a speech recognition app that shows the text in real-time in a few hours, called Live Subtitles, and launched it as an open source project.

View Growthmentor Profile

3. Anita Toth

Describe yourself

Hey! I’m Anita and it’s my mission to help more businesses make the customer their central focus.

In my day job, I’m a churn consultant to growing B2B SaaS. In my night job, I’m constantly learning more about marketing and sales and how these contribute to churn.

I’ve owned 5 businesses. One was a colossal failure. 2 were exits. 1 business I closed and the last one is the one I have now.

I also have 14 years of experience as a Research Coordinator in a university research institute.

I have over 20 years experience with qualitative research methods. I teach these methods to my clients so they can retain more of their customers they worked so hard to acquire.

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

Always looking to help those starting out get the extra edge they need to build their business a little faster and by avoiding pitfalls.

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

It means a perspective that allows you to challenge your current beliefs, listen to new ideas which may push against what you know and to take the power you have to make your dreams a reality.

A growth mindset means being willing to push yourself in new ways, despite the discomfort.

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

Customer retention/Churn reduction.

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

I love this story.

One of my early clients was a scaling B2B SaaS that was struggling to become profitable.

Customers churn for many reasons. It’s like going to the doctor with a headache — you have to look at all the possible causes of the headache and eliminate them one by one.

One of the first places I look when I work with a company is at delinquent or involuntary churn. There’s usually a lot of churn recovery available to be found.

This client and I looked at his involuntary churn. Through this process, he was shocked–and nearly sickened–to discover that there were 30 accounts that were tagged inactive but were actually active and not being charged.

He lost his mind with frustration and anger!

Turns out there was a loophole that allowed certain users to reactive their accounts and not be charged. He figured some accounts hadn’t been paying for over 6 months!

Needless to say, he fixed that loophole as quickly as his fingers could type and he was instantly rewarded with a $5,000 increase in MRR.

View Growthmentor Profile

4. Barbara Stewart

Describe yourself

I am a creative and strategically focused business leader with a proven track record in transforming businesses of all shapes and sizes with creative thinking.

Most importantly, I love supporting people with big ambitions. I aim to bring the energy to help solve problems, no matter how big or small.

Over the last seventeen years I’ve had the good fortune to work in some of the industry’s best agencies, and with some of the very best people. Working across numerous sectors has given me a broad understanding and practical perspective which I apply to all aspects of client business, agency management and creative problem-solving.

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

Supporting people as they figure out the best path forward for their business and customers.

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

For me a growth mindset is one that if they want something enough they will make it happen. Getting what you want means making the decisions you need to make to get what you want. Not the decision those around you think you should make.

Making safe decisions is dull, predictable and leads nowhere new. The unsafe decisions cause you to think and respond in a new way you hadn’t thought of. And that thought will lead to other thoughts which will help you achieve what you want.

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

Customer Experience planning & marketing.

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

My B2B teleco client wanted to reposition to a B2C market to widen market penetration. After spending two months understanding their product and customer needs I provided them with a stronger more compelling proposition in the market. One of IOT.

View Growthmentor Profile

5. Johannes Radig

Describe yourself

Hi, I’m Johannes! I’ve been working in Growth for over 10 years, from leading SEO globally at PayPal, heading growth at VC-backed Truly Experiences in London, to mentoring startups at different accelerators across the globe.

I believe in driving growth through loads of experimentation, talking to your customers and a healthy amount of geeky spreadsheets 😉

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

I’d like to help others with their growth challenges that I’ve had to overcome, while also getting to know other talented people working in growth and learning from them.

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

Be humble, follow a process, learn from insights, and keep experimenting.

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

How to think strategically about growth, especially for marketplaces – this is what I spent a lot of time on in my last company, and I’ve learned some great frameworks along the way.

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

At Truly, we sold a lot of experiences as gifts. Because the gift-receiver would often not give feedback about their experience to the gift-giver right-away, we created a mechanism to forward the feedback we captured post-experience to the initial gift giver. Because the feedback was almost always positive, this served as a great ‘reward’ and led boost purchase retention by over 30%.

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6. Neha Divanji

Describe yourself

I love working with startups – the energy is contagious! I help series A funded companies to acquire and retain customers.

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

I love startups. I work with startups. I have ran startups.

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

Test. Iterate. Test. Iterate. I cannot help but emphasise the importance of testing assumptions and analysing numbers. No one size fits all!

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

Paid social!

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

I reduced the Customer Acquisition cost by 30% for a client which resulted in the Google team recommending me on LinkedIn!

View Growthmentor Profile

7. Robert Lai

Describe yourself

Founder of Kaliber Performance Marketing and a former Award-Winning Consultant at Google NYC in 2019. Highly passionate about performance marketing and on a mission to drive 1:1 conversations with millions of people through my agency’s unique framework developed from spending $400M on digital ads.

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

Build my reputation by paying it forward to rising entrepreneurs.

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

To be open-minded and to naturally make decisions that propel your world forward (not just you)

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

Paid social!

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

Single Purpose Campaigns – this is philosophy, framework that I’ve come up with when working with Enterprise customers like Samsung, Air New Zealand and Woolworths in which I’ve invested over $200M into paid ads!

View Growthmentor Profile

9. Tony Yang

Describe yourself

Hi there! My name is Tony Yang and I’ve been a B2B marketer for over 15 years. In terms of growth, I’ve covered the gamut from enterprise and account-based marketing (ABM) go-to-market strategies to high volume/high velocity freemium acquisition strategies for SMB. I guess you can call me a “full stack” marketer, though my strengths are in demand gen and marketing operations.

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

I’m a growth marketer at heart and I like to keep my skills sharp by applying what I know across various scenarios as well as learning from others.

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

Having a growth mindset requires an affinity for data-driven insights to continually make improvements. It also requires a fearlessness to failure in order to gain learnings. Oftentimes the results are realized in small but many optimizations (aka the “long tail”) rather than a single major change.

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

The importance of your internal marketing & sales infrastructure (customer data, process, and technology) for B2B growth.

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

At an early stage, bootstrapped SaaS company, I helped grow revenue from around $800K ARR to about $4M ARR in 2 years with an extremely small marketing budget. I had to be very creative with our growth programs rather than just spend on media buys.

View Growthmentor Profile

10. Walter Budzian

Describe yourself

Hi there, I’m Walter Budzian.

I’ve been privileged to work with growth and product teams at large orgs like Uber, Atlassian, Tory Burch and Imperva and many startups in their early days, especially in the developer tools space.

I’m especially lucky to have been mentored by the biggest brains in the room regarding human motivation and psychological need satisfaction and would love to pass all this experience on.

I’m here for you on the ins and outs of experimentation, growth strategy & execution, creating conditions for sustained product engagement.

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

The best part of my engagements is when I get to make previously complicated things obvious to my clients and they can go forth and do it themselves.

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

You’re driven equally by curiosity and a desire to effect change. The desire to effect change makes you biased towards action, and the curiosity makes you willing to dig in, keep skeptical, and look for improvements in whatever you’re working on.

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

Understanding consumer behavior.

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

Doing the exploratory analysis that identified signals that informed an experiment, which ended up resulting in a 29% increase in demand-side signups for a multi-sided marketplace app.

View Growthmentor Profile

11. Zsuzsanna Ferenczi

Describe yourself

Hi, I am Zsuzsanna. I am passionate about bringing out your true individual or organisational growth potential. With 26 years of corporate business development and 3 years of active mentoring experience behind me I will work with you to uncover your true potential and help you to create customer targeting and development strategies to find your way to potential corporate clients..

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

I do mentor young female professionals already through Everwise and in my network. I would like to extend my mentorship to others as I truly enjoy spotting, nurturing and challenging talent so that individuals and organisations can fulfil their potential.

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

You’ll grow when your curiosity is infinite, when you leave you ego outside the door, when you constantly listen, observe and collaborate to discover things together with others you would have never imagined was possible.

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

Identifying your growth possibility, because once that’s clear everything else will fall in place.

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

Sales stated – we’re losing business. With a unique approach to problem discovery it turned out we had a customer engagement issue – 50% of our customers were not engaged with us in the last 5 years. Further analysis revealed we actually had a customer definition issue (36% of the accounts in our databases were no longer valid buyers). We created a machine learning model to identify prospects with true buying potential and created a hyper-targeted sales and marketing engine for prospecting.

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.”
Growth Mentors

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