Posted on July 5, 2017 by staff

Mentoring ‘helps start-ups focus at challenging time’


An entrepreneur who has signed up with the new Tech Manchester initiative says having a mentor is crucial for a start-up to maintain focus.

Miia Kankaanpaa is the CEO and founder of MGH Performance, which provides sales and leadership consultancy services.

“The biggest challenge facing start-ups today is the question of how to scale and grow, attract talent and raise finance. Having the grit and perseverance to continue despite failures [is difficult],” said Kankaanpaa.

“Having a mentor is a great way to accelerate your learning and keep focused on the journey ahead.

“I love how mentoring can help to discover new things about yourself and business: when you see your mentees developing, it is so rewarding.”

Kankaanpaa joined Nokia in 2006 and became head of sales excellence at Microsoft in 2014 after the tech giant bought Nokia. She mentored internally throughout this period.

She left the company in April to focus on MGH Performance.

The Tech Manchester project is headed up by former Regus director Patricia Keating and backed by a number of high-profile entrepreneurs including UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones MBE.

The organisation has a particular focus on connecting technical mentors with early-stage technology businesses alongside connecting talent with potential investors.

Tech Manchester is already working alongside organisations like the Business Growth Hub, part of Manchester Growth Company, sharing resources and connections to deliver an improved tech mentoring offering in Manchester.

“It’s a great initiative,” added Kankaanpaa. “I’m looking forward to getting to know new people and their businesses, understand their challenges and provide perspectives which hopefully help to move people forward in their journeys.

“I’m hoping to meet passionate entrepreneurs at the launch event and feel inspired.”