Mentory is a new global mentorship community from Denmark, targeted for match-making between mentors and protégés. In addition to matching people for the traditional one-on-one mentoring relationships, the web service allows for open “mass-mentoring” among the whole network. The key target users are businesspeople and entrepreneurs.
The service is easy to get started with – it is quite simple even, allowing one to fill in profile details and background information and wishes for being a mentor and searching for one. You can browse other members’ public profiles in the search of a good sounding match. You can create goals for yourself, and either keep them private or share them publicly. In addition, it is possible to broadcast questions to Mentory’s discussion board, and to your social networks like Twitter and Facebook. All answers you receive in these other channels will be gathered to your profile on Mentory for easy reviewing. The benefit of this kind of an open model is you are not limited to the opinion of one person, but can receive support and different answers from multiple sources. However, you probably won’t reveal the most difficult questions, doubts, and challenges to everyone.
The service is currently in Beta, having been founded in early this year. At least for now, the open mentoring part is basically just a message board with seemingly little difference to for example LinkedIn questions apart from the cross-networks messaging aspect. The key is, however, that it is a simple, yet hopefully active, community that brings like-minded people together. Currently the quality and topics of questions and profiles varies a lot.
There is no revenue model in place yet. However, it is stated that a paid enterprise version that would work inside a corporate domain is in the works. There are also a variety of other options available, but the service will remain free at least for the (beta) time being.
As a fan of Keith Ferrazzi, I like the idea behind Mentory a lot. It could be a very good way of expanding one’s network of trusted advisors beyond the geographical boundaries. If the Mentory community builds up globally (or at least in some key countries), it might become a good medium for giving and getting valuable advice and coaching on business and entrepreneurship. At the moment it still needs some developing and nurturing to take off.