MESA’s Minnesota Tech Mentoring Model Keeps Expanding


MESAThe most qualified advice comes from those who have been there and done it before — nothing less will cut it in business.

It’s that ethos fueling the growth of Minnesota’s Emerging Software Advisory aka MESA as their mentor-to-mentee reinvestment model keeps expanding.

One by one, MESA is spreading throughout the Minnesota startup scene, so we checked in to learn the latest since the launch of “Seed” earlier this year:

Now counting 23 on the active mentor roster — which spans the c-suite of founder/CEOs to CFO, CTO, even investors and board advisors — three most recent additions include Daren Cotter, Dave Abbott, and Bob Tuttle, (now CEO at Agile Frameworks).

MESA also added six new mentees to their portfolio, including (seed) GADiiD, Delve Health, and HOMI and (core) Sansoro Health, Sezzle, and Capture Life. In total, here are the 17 startups actively under the wings of MESA.

CORE (post revenue)

(Player’s Health and Reliabills graduated in 2017)

SEED (pre/early revenue)

MESA was started in 2011 by a small group of local tech execs who wanted to spark a movement to make Minnesota’s software industry among the most vibrant in the nation by providing a no/low cost mentoring model that enables other around them to give back in a targeted, efficient, and scalable way.

On the flip side, there is no fee for founders to participate in seed while there is a small admin fee for those involved with core that’s tied to revenue gains.  Ultimately, the mentors involved do not receive compensation (or stock/board seats) for any impact made on the involved founders.

Since inception, they have mentored a total of 32 Minnesota software companies; 14 have graduated, 18 are still actively engaged, while 4 did not complete the multi-year commitment required for the core path.

“We are constantly and selectively expanding our network of mentors and mentees,” says retired tech CEO Jim Moar, a MESA co-creator and member of the executive committee.


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