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Tech Manchester 'Speed Dating' Connects Mentors with Startups

Article date: Wed, 11 Oct 2017 12:59 GMT

UKFast Tech Manchester Mentees

Fledgling tech firms are taking their first steps towards tapping into a wealth of free knowledge and experience, after a ‘speed dating’ event matched Manchester startups with their perfect mentor. 

More than 500 individual conversations took place at the Meet the Mentor event hosted by Tech Manchester, with a total of 45 startups set to be matched with experienced mentors.

Startups pitched their business plans to prospective mentors during the event at UKFast Campus.

Following initial meetings, startups chose five mentors in order of preference. The mentors then selected the business best suited to their skills, experience and personality.

Tech Manchester project lead Patricia Keating said: “We’ve had four areas across UKFast Campus alive with thought provoking conversation. There’s been a great energy throughout the event and I’m excited for the next stage of this project, when our mentors begin making a real difference to the startups. 

“This is the first generation of Tech Manchester startups and we’re all on this journey of discovery together. I can already feel something very special is going to come out of this.”

More than 60 tech industry experts have already signed up to the project, pledging to commit thousands of hours to the cause.  Mentors receive intense, face-to-face training before entering the programme to ensure they had the tools and frameworks to mentor effectively.

Julie McGann’s startup Unicorn and Co has a vision to redesign wellness at work using a corporate wellbeing platform. She said: “I was inspired to participate in Tech Manchester after hearing Lawrence Jones speak about his aim to make Manchester Europe’s leading tech city.

“Events like this show the value of mentoring; even a simple conversation can spark a great idea. I have met some fantastic mentors and I’m confident, with their input, my business can be a great success.”

Entrepreneur and mentor Glen Jones, founder of Emile Education which supplies online learning resources to primary schools, said:  “I’ve had some great mentors and their advice has accelerated the growth of my business.  By sharing my knowledge, other people can avoid making the mistakes I made.”

Tech Manchester is a not-for-profit initiative backed by UKFast co-founder and CEO Lawrence Jones MBE and aims to accelerate Manchester’s startup ecosystem.

UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones said: “It’s inspiring to engage with people who are so passionate about sharing knowledge and ideas.  I have been fortunate enough to have been given some fantastic advice by other business leaders as UKFast continues to grow and I believe it’s the responsibility of established entrepreneurs to support startups on their journey.”

Tech Manchester is partnered with the University of Salford to measure the impact of the mentoring programme on the city’s tech ecosystem.


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