cbuzz Episode 16: Phil & Andy George, MentorcliQ

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Bringing you the best stories from Columbus business owners, cbuzz is presented by the Columbus Chamber in collaboration with the Columbus Dispatch and CD1025. Our host, local comedian Dan Swartwout, talks with entrepreneurs every other week in Columbus’ first business-focused podcast.

It started as an idea over FaceTime.

Phil George, living in San Diego, and Andy George, located in Columbus, formulated the beginnings of what would become MentorcliQ, a software system dedicated to helping companies launch and manage mentoring and employee development programs across the nation.

“We kind of liken it to e-Harmony,” said Phil George, co-fouder and chief executive officer of MentorcliQ, in response to how the software works. “We look at personality and we look at their professional interests in terms of competencies that they’re interested in working on,” Phil said, “and so it’s really to say, ‘if I could have an ideal mentor…what would they help me with? How could they help take me and mold me into what I’m interested in working on?’”

MentorcliQ

For smaller companies, it’s easier to look across the room and say, ‘Sarah would be a great fit as a mentor for the new employee.’ For companies that employee hundreds or thousands of people, the inability to effectively mentor employees often stands not only as a missed opportunity but even as a standing detriment to the company.

That’s where MentorcliQ comes in. By maintaining turnover, encouraging professional growth and reaching into a company’s workforce to help propel the organization forward, MentorcliQ’s software tackles a complex problem with a simple approach.

“There have been a lot of case studies to really identify the value [of mentoring]—not just to the employee but to the company—of supporting this and really having a culture that supports mentoring and supports employee development,” Phil said.

“Our philosophy is to make it as simple as process,” said Andy George, chief marketing officer and MentorcliQ co-founder. “Of course it isn’t simple but it feels like that to the employees. They get the opportunity to sign up to indicate precisely what they are looking for.”

Unlike a LinkedIn profile, MentorcliQ’s software is about matching your profile with those seeking a compatible mentee or mentor. From there, the software takes the profile and searches within the company to find other mentors who’ve indicated specialties in certain areas.

Developed with a focus on companies with large workforces, the decision to locate MentorcliQ in Central Ohio has turned out to their best yet—despite some early consternation—for various reasons.

MentorcliQ  MentorcliQ

It’s a little bit backwards in a lot of people’s minds to start on the west coast and then come to the Midwest to start a tech startup,” Andy explained. “But I think what we found is the community here is so close knit and so supportive and helpful in wanting to see you succeed. And the other thing you have in your back yard is a lot of big companies…so it’s really kind of the best of both worlds.”

“Frankly, we now recognize it. It was maybe the single best decision we made,” Phil said of starting MentorcliQ in Central Ohio.

As part of the George brothers’ praise of Columbus’ collaborative environment, Rev1 Ventures played a significant role as a mentor for MentorcliQ.

“I would be amiss if we didn’t point out…our partner, Rev1 Ventures, is based right here in Columbus and they really are a key part of that ecosystem because they really focus on early-stage start-up companies, really helping them find a path forward, getting them connected to the right mentors and that was…a key part to our success,” Phil said.

Going forward, MentorcliQ has made quite the impact not just for leaders and company heads, but for each individual employee. Whether it’s through mentoring or employee development, Andy explained what keeps him motivated in moving forward with MentorcliQ.

“The way I would say it straightforwardly, from a dream standpoint, is a high percentage of employees in the United States at some point feeling like their professional life is simply better, something they have to look forward to because of the product we created.”

For Phil, the value of MentorcliQ formulates in a variety of ways, ending in one—making companies better.

“[MentorcliQ] really is an effective way to empower employees to really have the insight within an organization that they need to be successful. It makes their life better. It ultimately makes the top and bottom line of companies better as well.”

Published on:
February 2, 2016

Dan Swartwout, Host; Andy & Phil George, MentorcliQ


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