© Mentessa

Mentessa: The Office Matchmaking App

The Munich startup Mentessa wants to revolutionize mentoring programs in companies with its matchmaking app. The app aims to help employees quickly and simply find the right mentor for easily overcoming hierarchies or prejudices. We spoke with Tina Ruseva, co-founder of Mentessa.

1. Who are you and what do you do?

We’re Tina and Ivan, and we’re developing a matchmaking app for the office – a kind of business Tinder. You can use it to find the right expert at the right time to make working life better and happier. We met at Wayra, Téléfonica’s Open Innovation Hub, where we’re both residents. In the Wayra community, that kind of frequent communication among peers happens on a daily basis. It happens rarely in large companies.  We’re both 37 and second-time founders from the software industry.

Make your own match

With our startup, we want to overcome obstacles to gaining informal knowledge, such as hierarchies and prejudice. Most importantly, we want reduce the amount of effort needed to create a working world of the future that is distinguished by diversity and collaboration. Our first customers are mentoring program providers who currently bring mentors and mentees together manually and manage tandem meetings with Excel tables and emails. What we offer instead is making matches yourself and directly, peer-to-peer. That means you can find one mentor each year or dozens each week, if you want. That transforms mentoring from a program into a resource. It’s a new kind of collaboration.

2. But that’s nothing out of the box!

Of course there’s nothing that doesn’t already exist. And yet: As a mentor in dozens of formats and a member of many communities, I’m still introduced to my mentees by email, then we have to contact each other, meet up and only then do we know if the chemistry is right or not. People are not just a collection of professional accomplishments and skills, but also of their values, interests and the sense of meaning they’re looking for. All of that can be measured really well online now. As a result, you get the right match faster and more efficiently, which gives you access to help more often and makes it easier to participate.

“This is the future of work!”

3. What are the three main ingredients in your recipe for success?

Mentessa is a decentralized matchmaking app that functions without a central point of contact. That saves on resources in HR departments, which can then be invested in valuable activities elsewhere, such as mentor training. After all, the peer-to-peer approach makes it possible for everyone to find a mentor or also become one. That not only has a scaling effect, but is also realistic — we all have strengths and can share them with others depending on the situation. This is the future of work! Our app creates holistic profiles that go far beyond professional bullet points like in LinkedIn. That makes it possible to bring people together based on skills and values to create purpose-driven tandems.

4. Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: How is business going? 

Mentessa was founded in March. Pilot projects are currently running with Wayra and, starting in September, with the startup association ‘Start Munich.’ We’re very proud of that and hope to soon have 1,000 users on the platform. At the same time, we’ve also been talking with several large companies in and near Munich with the aim of generating our initial revenue with licenses.

“You can’t predict the future in startups or in life”

5. What does Munich mean to you?

I’ve spent half my life in Munich. The city is home to me. Most importantly, I attended my first business plan seminars here at the Technical University of Munich ten years ago, founded my first company Gymzap here and have been an active part of the Munich startup scene since then.

For Mentessa, Munich is beneficial as its location because it’s home to many large companies that need to prepare for the future working world and look for solutions to network and motivate their employees.

6. How will your startup become the next unicorn? Or will we be seeing you at an Epic Fail Night soon?

Hehe, you can’t predict the future in startups or in life. But we’re motivated, recognize the problem and have a lot of experience to offer. We’re supported by a lot of people. Now we just have to put in a whole lot more work — which is also how it works with unicorns too.

7. Isar River or English Garden?

English Garden! If for no other reason than to think back on the good old days at the LMU Entrepreneurship Center with Gymzap. We often took walks as team meetings there in summer. That time has shaped who I am to this day.

Sandra Ohse

Sandra Ohse hat bisher als Redakteurin für eine bekannte Computer-Zeitschrift über die neuesten technischen Innovationen berichtet. Nun freut sie sich darauf, in die Welt der Startups einzutauchen, kreative Köpfe kennenzulernen und sie auf ihrem Weg redaktionell zu begleiten.

Related articles

The Zoé Lu founders: Ulrike Heintz, Jennifer Rüggeberg and Larissa Walter (from left to right).

7 Questions


“One Bag — Many Looks”: Zoé Lu

The Munich startup Zoé Lu has created an interchangeable handbag. It’s not only meant to look good sporting its different designs, but…

Webmag founders David Maus (left) and Christian Wust. (© 2019 by Thomas Kiewning / BK Media Solutions)

7 Questions


Webmag: Digital Magazines for Companies

Webmag developed a platform for digital corporate publishing and is currently being supported by Media Lab Bayern. With Webmag, companies can affordably…


7 Questions


Dromos: Taking a Robotaxi to Work

Dromos wants to replace public transportation as we know it and revolutionize commuter traffic with robotaxis and air drones. Putting the fun…

© Leadtributor

7 Questions


Leadtributor: “Our Software Gets Sales Ready for the Digital Age”

Digitization is changing a lot of things in the field of sales: New channels are being added and the relationship between customers,…


7 Questions


Bravobike: “We’ll See if That’s Enough to Become a ‘Unicorn’”

Up(bi)cycling: Bravobike refurbishes used bikes and sells them online. We asked its founders our seven questions. 1. Who are you and what…

Robotise Team

7 Questions


Robotise: Service Robots Made in Munich

As the name suggests, Robotise works with robots. To be more exact, the Munich startup develops service robots, which are already in…


A talk with...


Matchmaking for the Manufacturing Industry — A talk with… Techpilot

Startups in particular require individually manufactured parts in small series production. Many shy away from the problems that accompany production in the…


7 Questions


Transforming Mobility – 7 questions to… SPLT!

SPLT is an B2B transportation management platform changing the way people meet and move worldwide, freeing up hours and cars from the…

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.