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Matching startup founders with Techstars mentors

The Problem

With the entire world going online due to a global pandemic, Techstars' portfolio company founders were having difficulty connecting with mentors to help them grow their businesses.

My Process

Discovery

In speaking with founders we found that they evaluated mentors based on their industry & experience. Likewise, they evaluated our accelerators based on the depth and relevancy of the mentor pool. Surprisingly, they weren't interested in a tool to connect with mentors, and preferred using Twitter or LinkedIn.

Founders fit into two buckets, based on our discovery work: 
1) They want to find mentors for a specific accelerator
2) Or they don't

User research also showed that there was value in showcasing the totality of Techstars mentors for our secondary personas as well.

Knowing this, it made sense to design an experience that was flexible and allowed users to see the broader list of Techstars mentors, while also getting out of their way if they know what they want.

Company

Techstars

Year

2020

Role

End to End Product Design

Methods & Tools Used

User Research, Information Architecture, User Journeys, Wireframing, Hi-Fi Prototyping, Visual Design

Ideation

I originally experimented with an alternate flow that would funnel the user through a multi-step form asking them to narrow down their search before seeing a list of mentors. We tested this with founders and there were too many steps in the process, founders wanted to see the full list and go from there.

My Solution

We built a lightweight app that allows founders to search, filter and sort mentors by what is important to them. Once a founder has sliced and diced the data to end up with a customized list, they can share the restults with their co-founders, or bookmark for later. This also allows our corporate partners and managing directors to manage their own lists as well.

Let's Work Together

I'm currently at Techstars, leading our user and brand experience. If you have a project in mind or you just want to chat, please email hey@johnegan.io to get the ball rolling.