On Tuesday evening I was part of the official launch of Tech Manchester and the mentoring programme.

The event was attended by more than 100 people but also attracted 2.6 million impressions on Twitter, reflecting the energy in the room.

Mentors are crucial to business success but especially in technology, which is where Tech Manchester comes in.

The purpose of Tuesday’s event was to get business leaders to register to become potential mentors and more than 60 did just that in just two hours.


Marsh, centre, on stage with BusinessCloud editor Chris Maguire and Tech Manchester project lead Patricia Keating

Marsh, centre, on stage with BusinessCloud editor Chris Maguire and Tech Manchester project lead Patricia Keating

BusinessCloud editor Chris Maguire hosted the event and he opened up with a quote from Benjamin Franklin which summed up perfectly the idea behind mentoring.

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

It set the tone for the common theme of collaboration and people developing themselves and each other.

Joining him on stage for the first set of panel talks was Katie Peate of the Business Growth Hub (part of the Manchester Growth Company focussed on the development of all industries in Greater Manchester), Alveena Malik from One Million Mentors, Jonathan Bowers, managing director  from UKFast and Trish Keating, project lead on Tech Manchester. 

All spoke about the very real difference that mentoring made but it was clear that there were more people wanting mentors than were actual mentors, which is why the event was so important.

TechMCR launch

Attendees at Tuesday's Tech Manchester event at UKFast

The second set of panellists were inspirational. Tom New and Al Mackin spoke about how mentoring was the prelude to them launching their  tech business  Formisimo together.

Abdul Alim from Offer Moments told the audience how he found his first mentor Volker Hirsch on LinkedIn and has never been turned away when he’s approached someone for help.


Marsh and Patricia Keating of Tech Manchester

Samantha Deakin-Hill from Campus Capital has never actively sought out a mentor but named several people who had helped her along the way. Initially she thought they would have helped her more in running her various businesses but she realised that wasn’t the role of a mentor.

Once the panel discussions had ended we returned to our tables and as a table host myself I was tasked with asking several questions to the people squeezed onto the table. The questions were designed to stimulate a conversation and come up with some action points for Tech Manchester to take forward.

After 20 minutes the nine group leads then stepped to the stage to briefly present their findings to the crowd and key comments and points of interest.

The event closed with a request for the number of people in the room willing to commit time to mentoring pre-start ups and start-ups in the tech industry in Greater Manchester and we were thrilled with 61 people making the promise.

The follow up event will be held in September  at UKFast with a focus on developing the interest gained and match-making with those in need of hearing advice and guidance.