MentorPitch is a global mentoring platform for companies, universities and interest groups that manages and measures mentoring programs online.  In this interview, founder Gerard Kiely explains to Elizabeth Douet of Collaborative Consumption how he started the platform in Dublin, Ireland.

I wanted a place for employees, students and even CEOs to easily find the right mentor and communicate using a structured mentoring platform.

The easiest way to explain MentorPitch is

MentorPitch is the home of mentoring and offers structured online mentoring for businesses, universities and organizations. The company offers cloud-based mentoring plans to manage both open and private mentoring programs. MentorPitch is instantly searchable, measurable and mobile. We offer cloud-based mentoring plans to help manage both open and private mentoring programs. Businesses and universities benefit from the outcome intelligence MentorPitch generates from mentoring relationships in a private mentoring group.

The idea came from

Structuring mentoring to get the most value of time from the mentor and mentee. It is impossible for a manager or a team to manage all the interactions and measure the success of a mentoring program. As well as providing mentors and mentees with a better experience, we also wanted to measure what took place during a mentoring cycle and make this intelligence available to inform the manager, the mentor and mentee for future mentoring.

I believe it is the right moment for MentorPitch to take off because

Three out of four Fortune 500 companies have formal mentoring schemes in place. Businesses see mentoring as crucial to talent management and development, particularly in the highly skilled career areas. However, of the small number of companies who have a system in place to match mentors and mentees even fewer capture outcomes. For universities,  MentorPitch enables career and alumni services to work together – adding huge institutional value overall. Without MentorPitch, formal mentoring programs can impose an administration burden with little or no way of measuring success. MentorPitch is stepping into the space to ensure people feel supported through the mentoring process and mentor/mentee experience.

Describe yourself and what fueled you to start-up the platform.

I wanted a place for employees, students and even CEOs to easily find the right mentor and communicate using a structured mentoring platform.

How long did it take to build MentorPitch?

MentorPitch was built over 12 months.

How did you come up with your business name?

The best mentoring relationships start from the mentee finding the right mentor, so we created MentorPitch to enable this. Traditional mentoring is where a middle person matches the mentor and mentee. While MentorPitch makes it possible for an organization to match mentors and mentees in this traditional way, it can also intelligently recommend the mentors to a mentee. The mentee then makes a pitch (introduction, expectations for mentorship and skills they wish to develop) to their potential mentor in order for the mentoring relationship to start.

Favourite success story so far is …

One of the great successes of MentorPitch so far is that over the past six months, more than 2,000 mentors and entrepreneurs from all over the world have signed up to our open platform and joined mentorship groups. Within this same period, nearly 15 key enterprise and university institutions have joined in private mentoring groups.

The biggest challenge to overcome is…

Making quality mentoring available globally to anyone searching for a mentor.

In your opinion, what is the secret for success of MentorPitch?

MentorPitch, built on real mentorship management experience, was the first company to provide structured mentoring with real outcome intelligence. Focused predominantly around skills, MentorPitch’s outcome intelligence uses insights from both mentor and mentee to establish that the mentee has gone from X to Y in a particular skill area over the course of the mentoring relationship. These measurements are seamlessly built into MentorPitch’s application, with ease of use similar to communicating on a social network. Built to maintain as much online and offline interactivity as possible throughout a mentor relationship, the platform provides interactive communication tools for mentoring, including a private mentorship area with video and text conversation.

A unique fact/statistic that surprises people about MentorPitch is…

The average one-to-one formal mentoring relationship lasts for 9 months.

How do you compete with other companies in the same category?

We focus on corporate and university mentoring programs because these are the most advanced and benefit from MentorPitch’s outcome intelligence, and represent about 90% of our business so far. All our business and university groups have access to a secure and structured mentorship framework, which is a private area for mentor-mentee communications.

What makes your company disruptive to other business models?

We go beyond simply matching mentors and mentees or what can be done manually by consultants. It is impossible to manually manage mentoring programs of any decent scale. MentorPitch responds to this and gives the power to the individual by providing the needed structure, intelligence and tools to enable mentees to find their mentor.

How might your company work alongside other collaborative consumption services?

MentorPitch integrates with Google Apps, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and SoundCloud.

What’s your favourite example of an innovative use for your company?

Universities and companies use the platform to build a strong mentoring community which continually grows every year. The mentors and mentees share some insights within the community and everyone gains.

What’s the most unique customer or team story behind your service?

We have an extremely strong technical and client services team all experienced in working at a senior level in large global companies. Our Advisory Board is equally strong, representing experience in Learning and Development, Alumni Relations, Communications  and IT Security.

Another example of Collaborative Consumption I admire is…

SoundCloud is a business I like personally, because you have really great original content being shared online and the music community itself is vast.

MentorPitch is the leading online mentoring platform for businesses, universities and organizations. MentorPitch delivers online mentoring programs.

The full feature interview on Collaborative Consumption.