Minnesota Emerging Software Advisory — aka MESA –is rolling out ‘Seed’ to augment their C-level mentorship model with a new pathway for local tech startups seeking guidance from others who may have been there before.
As formed in 2009, MESA’s missions is to “make Minnesota’s software community among the most vibrant by providing C-level mentoring for CEOs of emerging software companies.”
Since then, MESA has grown to 21 mentors, engaged with over unique 30 companies and graduated 13 to date.
Now, with Seed, pre-revenue startups have an opportunity to participate provided that they: (1) Offer a value proposition with significant market opportunity, (2) have viable software that already exists and (3) are led by a coachable founder/CEO.
“We’re introducing Seed to serve more companies with the intention of helping them grow into the regular MESA system originally created,” says spokesperson Jim Moar. “We have the hard evidence and entrepreneur testimonials that what we’re doing is valuable, so it’s time for broader reach and impact.”
Under the original MESA model, now called “Core,” a qualified post-revenue company is paired with two local tech mentors for monthly meetings over a duration of 2-3 years. In exchange, the company pays MESA somewhere between $500-$2,000/year for administrative overhead as MESA’s mentors are unpaid volunteers who do not take equity.
Under Seed, a single mentor is matched and there is no cost whatsoever for participating companies up to a year. The objective is simply to help the mentee achieve a more significant presence in their respective market and become a revenue-generating scalable enterprise.
18 companies overall are currently active within MESA’s portfolio, and of those, six are already enrolled in Seed.