Critical to Entrepreneurial Success: 5 Key Learnings from Mentoring 76 Software Startups

by Jim Moar | at Minnebar 17 | 2:50 – 3:35 in Nokomis | View Schedule

MESA is a non-profit organization offering pro bono mentoring by C-level software executives to founders/CEOs of MN-based startup software companies. MESA’s sole mission is to grow the size and vibrancy of the Minnesota startup software community.

Founded in 2011, MESA has mentored 76 companies, including many Minnesota startup success stories, for over 6,000 total mentoring hours. These include When I Work, Dispatch, Players Health, Sezzle, Fulcrum, Omnia Fishing, Datica Health, and Vidgrid. With 6 mentors at our founding, we now currently utilize the proven knowledge and experience of 41 C-level, volunteer mentors.

Through our combined experience, we have identified a short list of critical and focused actions common to the successful growth of our startup mentees. With attention given to these building blocks, we speed founder/CEO learning and avoid potholes that slow growth.

This session will highlight the key points an entrepreneur needs to understand for each of these five critical startup building blocks:
* Selecting your first target market (what to look for)
* Founder as initial Chief Sales Officer (when you’ve never sold before)
* The path to predictable sales results (data matters)
* Being ready to raise money (if you want to)
* Minimizing chances of a cash crisis (when to raise the yellow and red flags)

All levels

Jim Moar

Jim Moar is an experienced technology leader with over 30-years of experience as CEO and COO of five successful Minnesota companies ranging from early-stage startups to businesses with $500M in revenue. As COO of Identix, Jim led the sale of the publicly-traded business to L-1 Solutions for $875M – 10x forward revenue. Jim is a co-founder and current president of MESA who has personally mentored 16 Minnesota software startups for a period of 1-7 years each.