Reduce risk, accelerate growth
To understand what MESA is all about you need to first understand what we are not. We are not a for-fee consulting agency. We are not a venture capitalist firm. We do not take equity or assume a board seat. Instead, we are a non-profit C-level mentoring organization focused on helping Minnesota’s emerging software companies succeed by reducing execution risk and accelerating growth.
Our motivation and reward lies in the success of our “portfolio” companies and our approach is based on a simple premise: today’s successful software companies will become the seeds of the next generation and the source of major growth in the overall Minnesota software community. As mentored companies grow and become recognized players in their respective spaces, they often get to the stage or level of success where their entrepreneurial seeds break-off and start something new. By helping to accelerate this regenerative process, MESA rekindles Minnesota’s software economy and re-establishes our State’s primacy as a top-tier technology center.
We operate with a process we call the “Intellectual Capital” model. We seek out the most promising emerging software companies in need of mentoring in order to grow and realize their opportunity and apply our collective intellectual capital to help them achieve it. While we don’t take an equity stake in our portfolio companies or assume a board position, we do require them to be committed to a growth strategy, engaged in our process, and apply due consideration to mentoring input.
The mentorship model
The MESA Intellectual Capital model includes the following steps for a company to engage with and then be mentored by MESA:
- Company presentation to a roundtable of MESA group mentors
- Internal MESA group assessment
- Due diligence process to vet the company’s technology and understand market potential
- Decision to proceed with mentoring (all of the above takes 60-90 days)
- Engagement process commences with monthly mentoring sessions with two selected MESA mentors
- Define shared success goals. MESA mentoring focuses on 1-2 Wildly Important Goals at a given time that are most important to the company’s next phase of growth and success
- MESA mentoring period that typically lasts 2-3 years with monthly mentoring sessions so significant interaction exists and major company progress is achieved
- Successful company graduation from MESA