The Mentoring for Scale session at the office last week was the 16th in a program inspired by Openet CTO and founder Joe Hogan. “MFS” started in May 2015 and was quickly dubbed Dublin’s Secret Power Breakfast! It is a powerfully valuable initiative and my colleague Sarah Leahy and I are always on a bit of a high after delivering the two hour sessions.
A who’s who of Dublin's homegrown tech industry is involved in MFS, from the deep bench of "been there, built that” mentors, to the startups who get invited, 10 at a time, to participate in the monthly sessions.
Companies like Glofox, LearnUpon, Restored Hearing, and Axonista. MFS companies are thinking global and executing on it at the earliest stages.
The CEOs of these companies are learning by doing and most of the time they come to MFS to share the burden of live issues, more in search of the right questions than silver bullet solutions.
Mentors meet three companies each per session, and usually there’s no context provided or preamble. We’ve discovered that when you introduce successful entrepreneurs to the newest kids on the block, there’s already such genuine interest and common ground between them they just dive right into their own discussion until the next person in line turns up and obliges them to move table.
Last week's session had that familiar feel to it, from the din in the room and the calls for more coffee, to the observations the mentors shared with us all at the end of the session.
They’re happy to talk through challenges like hiring and culture, cap tables and board meetings, but the messages they're really hammering home are all sales related.
"There's tech dripping from the walls of these companies” as one mentor put it. “To be successful the CEOs need to focus now on sales, sales, sales. The rest is just noise”.
MFS is sponsored by Bobby Healy, the CTO of CarTrawler, one of Ireland's great tech stories. There may be a lot of tough love meted out during this power breakfast but when it’s coming from accomplished entrepreneurs like Joe, Bobby and the rest of our mentors we know it's helping to cement the future for the next generation of Irish success stories.