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MDC Iowa recognized that access to qualified mentors was a critical component of addressing racial equity. When we evaluated the current mentoring programs we quickly identified that they all had gaps. We envisioned a new program that leveraged technology and provided an online platform that delivered smart mentoring activities that could scale as the number of mentors and mentees increased.


We interviewed 50 mentees and mentors to get their feedback on other programs. One of the biggest challenges that new mentors shared with us was the lack of guidance that they received prior to being matched with a mentee. Almost all of the mentees that we interviewed shared their frustration that none of the mentoring programs that they had participated in provided the option for them to provide feedback after a mentoring session.

So what, now what?

Now that we had this information we had to decide what to do about it. For almost 10 months, MDC Iowa's founder and Executive Director, Tracy Jon Sargeant, and Chief Technology Office, Matt Butler, worked with a software development team to develop a next-generation mentoring platform that would address all of the challenges, issues, and concerns that we learned while interviewing mentors and mentees. The first minimally viable product (MVP) was introduced in 2020, and there has been one major release since then. The platform is continually evaluated and improved as the mentoring community continues to grow.

Our goal... to democratize social learning through smart mentoring activities and connections.

  • Smart guidance and curated content ready to use on the first session

  • Clear context and mentoring session targets suggested for each matching

  • Online application process  using smart matching with AI-driven tool

  • Continuous feedback from/to mentor & mentee

  • A new-gen platform with a focus on mentoring activities that really work

  • Simple and easy to use to optimize the end-user experience.

  • Detailed application profile with in-depth personality analysis

  • Smart Analytics over the progress of each matching & overall program

  • Scalable platform that will grow as our community gets more involved

  • Continuous improvement based on an open user feedback

  • Mobility with compatibility on phones, tablets, and PC

  • Built-in video conferencing, web chat, and mentoring session scheduling

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