RMIT finance and marketing graduate and Mentorloop Co-founder Heidi Holmes is on a mission to make mentoring mainstream.
In 2014, Heidi and now business partner Lucy Lloyd co-founded Mentorloop, a cloud-based software platform to make mentee–mentor relationships more accessible, more effective, open to more people and better overall. After just two years, Mentorloop was valued at over $2 million and today continues to grow.
It all began with ambition, hard work, an enterprising mind … and a glass of wine.
While completing her accounting degree and then her masters in marketing at RMIT, Heidi climbed the ranks from Cadet in KPMG’s taxation area to Marketing Manager. Her experiences soon saw her launch Adage, one of Australia’s leading career services for professionals over the age of 45, which she built up and then sold in 2014.
“Starting a business was always inevitable for me,” she says. “It’s something I always wanted to do since leaving school. And having an accounting and marketing background in both study and work has equipped me with the skills and confidence to be able to start and run a business effectively."
Helping others through their career journeys and successfully navigating the hurdles and triumphs of starting her own business sparked Heidi’s interest in the role of mentoring for businesses and individuals trying to progress their careers.
“Mentorloop started when my co-founder and friend Lucy and I were having a glass of wine one evening and discussing our various career choices. We mused ‘wouldn’t it be great to have a dating site for mentees and mentors … where you could connect with that future, better version of yourself’.”
The two did some further research and saw an immediate problem in how organisational mentoring programs were being managed and who they were being offered to.
“Over 70 per cent of Fortune 500 companies run mentoring programs. But they do it badly, and they do it for a select, special few,” she says.
“We started Mentorloop because we want to make life-changing mentoring connections available to everyone."
"Our mission now is to make mentoring more accessible – more accessible for companies, regardless of budget or number of users, and more accessible for end users, regardless of their career stage, network or location.”
Her success to date is testament to Heidi’s ability to take all she’s learnt, combine it with her passions and transform it all into great products to help others.
So, what advice does this successful alumnus have for others who want to start their enterprising journey?
“I’ve always found it extremely beneficial to combine study with real-life work experience. It not only prepares you for work after study but it enables you to get more out of your education by giving you a lense through which you can understand real work situations,” she says.
“And remember that obstacles are a part of the journey. Quitting your job, getting your first customer, bootstrapping to raise capital – they are all important milestones that are just part of the experience.”
You can find out more about what Heidi and the Mentorloop team are up to at www.mentorloop.com.
Find out how you can get connected while you study. Visit www.rmit.edu.au/getconnected