Pollinate Networks Inc.
Pollinate Networks Inc. is a rare success story. Launched in 2008 by CEO Christy Pettit and CTO Giovanni Salas, the company has made the leap from its start as an organizational development consulting firm to become a technology company with a proprietary matching solution for mentoring, teams and ecosystems. Innovation Guelph has supported Pollinate’s growth trajectory since 2015, when the company enrolled in the Fast Lane program and worked with mentors on a business model pivot. The project focused on a strategy to productize the consultancy’s service offerings in order to scale. It became clear that Pollinate’s unique selling proposition was the algorithm-based technology it had developed to match people in pairs and cohorts for organizational mentoring programs, including a validated personality assessment that measures how people prefer to collaborate, learn and work together. The company also participated in Innovation Guelph’s Fuel Injection program for enhancements to its mentoring program and a marketing strategy that culminated in rebranding in early 2019 as Pollinate Networks Inc. The Innovation Guelph mentoring team that has supported Pollinate over the years includes Mark Goldberg (business strategy), Sandra Herriot (strategic global partnerships), Jeff Campbell (go-to-market strategy), Stacey Curry Gunn (branding strategy), George Staikos (partnership and exit strategy) and Jennifer Andrews (digital marketing). Today, the company’s matching technology, Cross-Pollinate AI™, is used to strategically match people in pairs and groups for agile and effective mentorship programs (Pollinate Mentoring), as well as new applications, including forming and reforming teams (Pollinate Teams) and ecosystem networking and activation (Pollinate Ecosystems). The algorithm-based matching tech takes the guesswork and complexity out of matching people at scale for specific objectives. Clients describe Pollinate matching as “pure magic” for its ability to effectively create pairs and groups for quick traction and results. That magic comes from insights from the company’s proprietary Knowledge Transfer Index psychometric assessment and other intake data that includes participant goals and program objectives, plus the proprietary algorithms honed over 12-plus years. The ability to efficiently and effectively match people, based on individual collaboration styles and other key factors, addresses today’s need for flexible, fluid teams and networks in a new era of remote and hybrid work. This solution provides the agility organizations need to solve problems and seize new opportunities, serving to increase productivity and engagement, mobilize knowledge and close skills gaps, improve culture and diversity, and make connections to fuel innovation and other desired outcomes. Pollinate’s partnership with Innovation Guelph has also come full circle, with Innovation Guelph using the company’s Cross-Pollinate AI matching technology to pair mentors and participants for the multi-cohort Rhyze Ventures program. Pollinate clients also include organizations in financial services, manufacturing, government, not-for-profit and other sectors.