Case Study: How MeVitae is building a rock solid founder team


Two of MeVitae Founders: Riham and Vivek

Two of MeVitae Founders: Riham and Vivek

Like a top sports team, the founder team at MeVitae know they need a “rock solid” mindset to meet the challenges ahead. Pivomo’s web tool, Dynamiqe, really helped them get in shape.

When a company wants to sift through a CV or resume, they currently have on average only 6 seconds to choose “yes” or “no”. Not only does this mean companies literally throw away good potential, they also need to bear substantial administration costs to sift through all the paperwork.

Enter MeVitae: Three graduates of Oxford University, Riham, Anu and Vivek, are setting about disrupting this sorry state of affairs, and creating a win/win for companies and candidates in the process. Their methodology is to utilise Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Pattern Recognition to powerfully automate the candidate shortlisting process and learn recruitment patterns to foster intelligent decision-making in candidate hiring.

MeVitae have won a string of prizes and awards: Graduating from Isis Innovation, MeVitae is an alumni Company of Microsoft BizSpark; and the Company has won a place on the UKTIs flagship Sirius programme.

This is a company that is getting noticed.

Yet, despite their early success,  the founders are smart enough to know that building a company requires more then just smart technology and financial backing.

They needed to work on themselves.

Being a member of a founder team means collaborating with others on bringing about the unknown: Zero to One, as Peter Thiel describes it. The is why entrepreneurship is so difficult; and so different from company management.

Along the way, founders will face pivotal moments when their mindset, relationships and work styles will be tested:

  • Strategic choices about markets, customers and products
  • Tough trade offs between retaining ownership and attracting funding
  • Learning to work together effectively, under time intensity and great complexity.

Like a top sports team, founder teams need to get fit to ensure they are ready for what is coming at them. It’s not just about technology and finance, the human factor is just as critical:

Mindset
What are the motivations, values and goals of each founder? What are the areas of resonance, where the founders are aligned? Where is there dissonance, and how are these differences to be respected and managed?

Social Preferences
How do the founders balance their desire for autonomy (“be my own boss”) with the desire to collaborate and feel part of a strong team (“let’s work together!”)?

Work Styles
How do the founders resolve the dilemma between being strategic and methodical on the one hand, and responsive and creative on the other.

It is not impossible to reconcile these competing issues, its just difficult in practice.

By working with Dynamiqe, MeVitae were able to identify the similarities and differences that they had to work on. They noticed areas where their entrepreneurial profiles were similar, and also where the team might have gaps. And, they are now in a better position to support each other to develop as effective entrepreneurial leaders.

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