In 2016, Heidi and her now business partner Lucy Lloyd got together over a glass of wine and came up with an idea to make career progression more accessible. Two years later and that idea, now known as Mentorloop, is a thriving business boasting the likes of the BBC Worldwide, Australian Olympics Committee and Sportsbet as clients.
“Our philosophy around mentoring is that if anyone wants to participate they should be able to opt-in,” explains Heidi. “I have numerous mentors. Some that I would call those sage mentors that have years’ of experience … and then some that are other startup founders who are six or twelve months ahead of us. [That helps with] that forward planning: things to look out for and things you’re currently struggling with.”
“We mentor back into the community as well,” Heidi continues. “Mentoring is a two-way thing. Even as a mentor you can gain insight … people shouldn’t just view themselves as a mentee or a mentor, there’s a play for both … It’s also important for people to acknowledge that while you’re at this certain point there are people behind you that could benefit from your experience – pay it forward.”
This inclusive approach and collaborative hustle has seen Mentorloop grow from three team members at the beginning of 2016 to nine staff members currently. While being her own boss and developing a startup is a continual learning process, it’s the unexpected skills that have been the biggest learning curbs. “You don’t start a business so you can go and raise money and you don’t start a business so you can manage people either, so it’s kind of these two areas of the business that … you hadn’t really planned for.”