Series - part 15 of 26

Here are the 10 GrowthMentors of September


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. Denis Oakley

Describe yourself

I explore. Jungles. Deserts. Ideas. I help companies design and develop new business models that disrupt markets and create new categories.

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

I love helping entrepreneurs create companies that stick it to the man.

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

I have more to learn. It means trying to be the best possible Denis of all possible Denis’ in a many-worlds hypothesis of reality.

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

Jungle Running. The jungle is neutral. It throws many traps and snares at you. How you respond determines how well you succeed. How hard the path is doesn’t matter. If you understand this, then much about business becomes far simpler.

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

I was growing sales for a client 30% week on week. Then COVID took our sales to Zero. We were f***ed. then I said, “Why don’t we give our product away for free?”. The Founder called me an idiot and did what I suggested. The next month we increased our sales 30X

View Growthmentor Profile

2. Elijah Toh

Describe yourself

I’ve built my experiences across multiple disciplines in growth, marketing, and product. My background has allowed me to construct differentiated approaches to growth, marketing, and product development that excel in different environments.  Recently taken a keen interest in business/product positioning and dynamics of decision-making. Let’s exchange thoughts, learn, and grow together!

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

It’s an opportunity for me to share experiences, learning gathered across my career and different industries whilst contributing to my personal development so I can learn from different people, perspectives.

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

The willingness to be teachable by being passionate about learning – to be intentious of learning daily, and consistent reflection on what we’re learning to know how to apply it. Together with a customer-centric approach sets a great foundation for growth mindset.

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

It could be anything across growth & marketing (including CRM & funnel optimisation) within gaming, 2/3-sided marketplace, subscription or consumer goods.

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

The many times where I’ve managed to reapply concepts from alternative fields – bringing it to life in different environment and businesses. From proof of concept to execution, delivering valuable learning and results.

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3. Jack Sadler

Describe yourself

Hello, I’m Jack and I’m a product manager. As Director of Product at CrowdRiff, and previously at Rangle.io, I’ve been lucky enough to bring a number of products to life from just an idea. For the last 5 years, I’ve specialized in product management and strategy. I love what I do so much I do it in my free time, and always have a side-hustle on the go (check out part3.ca).

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

To simultaneously educate and learn as I transition deeper into consulting and mentorship.

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

Learning. Growth is continually asking questions, probing, and learning to satisfy an insatiable curiosity!

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

Product positioning. I enjoy analyzing products, markets, and brand to find that sweet spot that perfectly positions, and differentiates products.

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

When launching a startup I saw little inbound interest and hypothesized this was due to the simplicity of our MVP. I modified our brand messaging and positioning to instead focus on the vision of where we intended to go with the product. Prospects better understood, and we stood out as a result. Inbound leads went up significantly and sales conversion rate doubled.

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4. Joey Kotkins

Describe yourself

Hi I’m Joey, the CEO and co-founder of Safara. I got into growth via my last startup, Inside Social which created attribution analytics in the early days of facebook ads. I’ve since also worked as a growth mentor and consultant.

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

Currently wrapping up my travel startup due to COVID and want to get back into mentoring and advising.

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

Systems > Tactics and Always Be Learning

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

Building growth into your company culture.

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

When in doubt, do it manually. We were struggling with our onboarding at Safara and so we just decided to do it manually. After 300 onboarding sessions, the insights were insane. Sometimes “good” simply comes from the grind.

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5. Josh Walovitch

Describe yourself

I work with amazing growth-stage startups as the strategy lead at Ideometry, a Boston-based growth marketing agency. I also the growth marketing lead on the platform team at Companyon Ventures, a post-seed VC firm investing in B2B SaaS companies.

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

Often times I am able to help answer/troubleshoot questions startup founders have in a couple of minutes or a 1-hour call that might take them hours of googling or days of strategising – and I really enjoy helping.

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

Experimenting. Finding encouraging points of traction to double down on. Always keeping in mind the short and long-term goals you’re tracking towards.

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

How to get started with go to market strategy. Too many early stage companies don’t know where to start. I’ve worked with countless early-stage teams to figure out, given their resources and KPI’s, what they should focus on first.

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

Many early-stage B2B companies can get to 1M in revenue without knowing for sure what part of their marketing engine got them there. Often time’s having founders take a single hour to reverse engineer how they landed their core accounts/clients will make clear the obvious areas they should be double/tripling down on their marketing.

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6. Karishma Rajaratnam

Describe yourself

Hi, I’m Karishma, Head of Growth at ChartMogul. Prior to ChartMogul, I spent five years at Chargebee, where I helped grow the business from an early-stage startup to multi-millions in ARR. I started my career in Behavioural Psychology academia, switched to co-founding a Digital Marketing + Behavioural Science consulting business and eventually found my way to the exciting world of SaaS.

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

I’d like to share my learnings with the rest of the SaaS community.

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

A growth mindset to me is the desire to continuously learn and grow, both in one’s professional and personal life. In my opinion, developing a growth mindset begins with self-awareness and the humility to understand that everyone has an area of improvement and nobody’s perfect. A growth mindset also means showing up & putting in the hard work it takes to continually get better at a skill or craft.

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

Growth Marketing and Product-Led Growth.

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

Built out a lead segmentation and lifecycle marketing programme for Chargebee’s freemium customers, that served automated communication based on milestones and product usage. This reduced the % of time that the sales team spent 1:1 with freemium leads, while the Growth team communicated with free customers at the right intervals and gave them the resources they needed to succeed with the self-serve product.

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7. Margarita Loktionova

Describe yourself

I’m a big believer in content marketing and marketing automation – especially when it comes to B2B tech companies. I’ve been lucky to work in 3 countries and launched multiple projects that combined creativity, customer centricity, and direct impact on the bottom line. I’m currently working in the marketing team of Refinitiv, a global financial data provider.

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

I think it’s a great way to enhance my own growth, network, as well as to do my bit to help businesses thrive during these difficult times –  through sharing my knowledge and passion.

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

As a marketer, I believe that growth is all about growing with your customer, helping them reach their goals, and spending every day finding new ways of making their lives better. It’s achieved by constant listening, adopting a data driven approach and practicing empathy.

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

It would be marketing messaging and content marketing strategy for B2B tech companies: how can you create your brand story and use your limited resources to create content that resonates with your customer, converts, and tells this story in the right way?

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

I joined a Spanish legal tech startup to help them create the messaging framework and launch their content marketing. The industry was quite competitive, while the product (document automation) – relatively niche. To find the right messaging angle, I conducted multiple in-depth interviews with existing customers, created several buyer personas, and identified one key pain point they were all sharing: an unhealthy work-and-life balance among legal professionals.

From that moment, we started to talk about promoting a healthier, more creative, and engaging work environment as our key brand mission. And guess what? Multiple content pieces we created – including a simple article focusing on 15 ways legal professionals can have a better work and life balance – actually started generating multiple inbound leads. My point is: B2B is also about people and the way they feel. Don’t underestimate the power of emotion.

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8. Rob Denton-Ross

Describe yourself

I’ve worked in consumer marketing for companies of all sizes and consider myself a generalist, equally comfortable in a spreadsheet or shipping a TV ad. Most recently I’ve led the Nested marketing team as we scale to become London’s top estate agent.

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

I like growing companies, and find myself helping friends a lot so see this as a natural extension, plus its a great way to meet interesting people with interesting challenges.

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

You’re probably wrong. And even if you’re right, it’s probably not black and white so there is another, maybe a better way to be right. I see a growth mindset as just reevaluating what you think it true, not being dogmatic, and being open-minded to try new things and I think if you’re good at it you probably find out that you’re wrong pretty often – but it’s better to know right 😉

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

Understanding your customers and how to use that as a foundation for your growth strategy

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9. Sameer Khan

Describe yourself

Hey, I’m Sameer, I am a service business (SaaS and non-Saas) fanatic. I’m always thrilled to learn and help businesses navigate the challenges that come with growth. I am humbled to say that I have seen it all from small startups getting acquired by bigger brands to Fortune 100 companies using digital to transform for growth.

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

I am already a growth mentor and would like to extend my mentorship to more companies so they can benefit from my experience

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

Growth mindset starts with being an avid learner and listener. It’s easy to deliver a growth solution which could be one size fits all. I believe in understanding what it means to experience the pain a growing company leaders experiences. Every company is different and the solution design for growth mode must align with the growth pains.

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

I focus on leadership mindset development and marketing/sales transformation

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

I designed and delivered a 21-day sales outreach campaign for a startup that was struggling to improve close rates. Within weeks of implementation, the sales team production improved by 50%. I helped a CEO transform from being a task junkie to a business leader who generated new-found revenue from a strategic partnership.

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10. Vidya Dinamani

Describe yourself

I’m a partner and founder at a product coaching company. We’ve helped over 200 companies get better at making better products. We do this through helping teams learn how to make fast, effective decisions that are customer-backed. My expertise (or superpower) is helping teams arrive at product-market fit in a way that is motivating, clarifying and fun.

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

I have built up a lot of experience and like to share with others so they can learn and move faster.

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

A growth mindset is one that is open to constant learning, adjusting and experimenting.

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

Product-Market Fit. Understanding the customer problem in a way that enables ideation, and honing in on the target customer that is ready to buy.

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

I’ve worked on so many products, that I’m really fast at seeing connections that lead to product-market fit, or describing the customer problem in a way that my clients are wowed. In my latest advisory call – I helped a technical co-founder understand how to describe his product so that prospects would understand it. He’s redoing his website, his videos and all sales material based on this aha moment.

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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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