“I was devastated,” recalls Adam Mitcheson about the moment he and his co-founder Damien Shiells realised their business My2be had run out of track.

“The biggest challenge I had was there was no plan B. I thought this what I was going to be doing for the rest of my life. It’s like dealing with a death and you have to grieve.”

Statistically 60 per cent of businesses fail within five years and the friends’ mentorship software startup marked their fifth anniversary by becoming just another statistic.

“We took the emotion out of the situation,” explained the 37-year-old. “We had five years of it. We’d given everything and we’d done it on fresh air.

“We felt we’d taken it as far as we could but we had to be honest and realistic with each other.”

The pair had launched My2be in 2018 and had been targeting £1m revenue on the back of winning the likes of Box, Nextdoor, and Bruntwood as customers.

Mitcheson had been working at BNY Mellon when he came up with the idea for My2be.

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“I was lucky enough to have a mentor who really opened my eyes and changed my life,” he recalled.

“However BNY Mellon’s mentoring programme was only available for 100 people in the EMEA region and I wanted to change more people’s lives.”

Eventually the friends launched their mentoring tech platform, My2be, to help everyone access mentorship and equal opportunities to reach their full potential.

The tech platform worked by helping companies, engage and develop their teams, remotely and at scale through mentoring.

The business raised £180,000 in investment, most recently from NorthInvest in November 2022, although it wasn’t announced until May.

The company’s annual turnover peaked at £75,000 but hoped to hit £1m on the back of an off-the-shelf software package they were working on.

Last year Mitcheson was named as one of the Top 100 global Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) leaders by American firm, Mogul, but by 2023 all was not well in the business.

“We just couldn’t scale it,” said Mitcheson. “We felt there was a recession coming and mentorship was going to go further down the priority list.

“Market conditions changed dramatically at the turn of the year although the decision to close was only made very recently. With a heavy heart we reached the difficult decision to close the business.”

The pair declined the offer of additional investment because they felt that would just be delaying the inevitable.

The entrepreneur praised the support he’s received since announcing the news but insisted he had no regrets.

“I wouldn’t change the experience because of what we learnt but Damien and I are at peace with the decision,” he said.

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“We’ve failed up to a point but when you fall down you get up again and I’m ready to get back up.”