Building a platform to connect mentors with mentees

Hey friends! Like many of us, I'm only at my current career level because of the mentorship and support I received from the women who came before me. I try to give back as much as possible: scheduling coffee chats with people who reach out on LinkedIn, proactively reaching out to women struggling early in their careers, etc. But while I genuinely believe that this sort of outreach is incredibly important, I'm also a serial product-builder, and for months now I've wanted to try to build something on a larger scale to help more people than I currently can on my own. So!

I'm currently building a platform designed to connect mentors with mentees, focusing primarily on women and marginalized groups, and I'd love to start collecting interest, feedback, thoughts, and critique. One thing that's important to me is making sure that mentors are paid for their time. Another thing that's important to me is making sure that students or those in disadvantaged positions are able to access support without having to worry about costs. To that end, I'm creating a model that allows mentors to charge what they're worth, while also giving students and those in need access to more limited but free coaching/mentorship as well.

In the meantime, I'd love to collect any thoughts you all might have! If you have a spare 60 seconds, please fill out this quick 4-question form. I'll be using any feedback I receive to try to make a platform that's genuinely life-changing for as many people as possible, so I deeply, deeply appreciate any time you spare!

iynna's profile thumbnail
That is so timely! Apparently, it is national (US) mentoring month! I hope you can leverage this to gain momentum. Also my amazing friend @kristinahu is building the Equity Network I am so excited for this!
adalysmarias's profile thumbnail
The Equity Network looks AMAZING! This is the sort of thing that would have been life-changing for me as a student, and it makes me ecstatic that we're starting to build networks and communities dedicated to helping people in the early stages of their careers gain access to resources that were previously only for a very small, select group of people. It's slow, but we're all building a better world :)
tanmayisai's profile thumbnail
Congrats on starting this initiative @adalysmarias! i've ran a free mentoring program before and the constant pain point was we always got more mentees than people who could mentor. I think mentors being able to charge for their time will help resolve that ! I always struggled with charging people to get mentorship, especially, in underserved communities so always kept it free but that definitely has its challenges. I'm excited to see how your model works out!!
adalysmarias's profile thumbnail
Thank you so much, @tanmayisai! I know exactly what you mean: it's so difficult trying to achieve a viable balance of mentors and mentees, and there's this constant tension of wanting to pay people from their time and also realizing that hey! a lot of people genuinely cannot afford the kind of rates that many mentors charge. I've been working on the business model for a while and have realized that there's never going to be a perfect solution, but I've landed on a model that balances paid offerings (a higher-cost individual mentorship option and a lower-cost group mentoring option) with a more-limited but free option for people under certain income brackets. And then obviously adjusting those models as feedback comes in.Anyway! If you ever have time, I'd love to pick your brain about your own experiences running a mentoring program :) I hope you have an awesome day!