Case: Open Innovation for high-impact mentoring

100 Open Startups
3 min readMar 18, 2023

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See how high-impact mentoring was implemented by the startup Top2You at the mining company Vale, which had the challenge of doubling the number of women in leadership positions.

Top2You , a startup founded in 2017 in Rio de Janeiro, innovated by creating a high -impact mentoring platform . The startup’s solution focuses on the B2B market — business to business — allowing corporations to provide specialized mentoring for their teams.

With hundreds of mentors, ranging from CEOs of multinationals, neuroscientists, Olympic champions, authors of best-selling books , among other renowned professionals from different areas of knowledge, Top2You has become a reference in connecting inspiring mentors to professionals who want to accelerate their professional development. .

In 2022, more than half of the mentorships carried out by Top2You were led by women, highlighting the importance of having a more inclusive and representative approach in the search for professional development.

Case Top2You and Vale: Open Innovation for high-impact mentoring

Vale has invested in the ESG agenda in several ways, and diversity is one of them. The iron ore and nickel giant says it recognizes the importance of the female presence in building a more egalitarian and sustainable future.

However, in the sector, historically, men have always been the vast majority of the workforce. At Vale, women accounted for just 13% of all employees two years ago. With this challenge, the mining company committed to doubling, by 2030, the number of women in the company, including in leadership positions.

The connection between Top2You and Vale emerged in 2017, with the aim of accelerating the development of women in leadership positions and their successors, based on access to high-impact mentors.

In 2022 alone, Top2You was responsible for carrying out 1,600 mentoring sessions with more than 380 women identified as talents by the mining company . The results were so expressive that Vale anticipated its commitment to double the female presence to 2025.

Among the Top2You mentors, we had the presence of Lara Bezerra , who was CEO of Bayer and Roche, Elisangela Almeida , CFO with international experience and sportswoman who climbed Kilimanjaro, Kahena Kunze , disciplined and resilient athlete and two-time Olympic and World Sailing Champion , Daniela Mignani , C-Level at GNT (Globo) and member of the UN Women Committee, and Agatha Arêas , C-Level at Rock in Rio, expert in Marketing & Learning.

In November 2021, female participation in Vale had already advanced to approximately 19%. There are approximately 4,500 more women in the company, with 80% female growth in senior leadership positions.

Celane Nery , one of the professionals benefiting from Top2You’s high-impact mentoring program with Vale, shared her testimony about her experience. In her own words, the Inspiring Conversations Program for Female Leadership is one of the most interesting programs she has experienced within the company. This is not just a development program, but also a demonstration of the appreciation of professionals.

With the success of the solution, Top2You will continue to work together with Vale in the coming years to develop strategic plans. In addition to Vale, the startup from Rio de Janeiro has in its portfolio cases with dozens of other large companies, such as TIM, Dasa and Alpargatas, all focused on high-impact mentoring.

Open Startups and Open Corps: the importance of collaboration in open innovation processes

For Simone Madrid , creator and Co-founder of Top2You, and Thiago Correia , CEO and Co-founder of the startup, collaboration between startups and corporations is a more efficient way to generate results for both sides, since the open innovation movement stimulates development from both parties, so that both the startup and the corporation can learn and generate positive results together.

In addition, the characteristic of agility that startups have allows solutions to be created, tested and implemented with fewer resources, more quality and more efficiency.

Top2You was awarded in the Ranking 100 Open Startups 2022 , guaranteeing a position among the best startups in the EdTech — Corporate Education category. According to Thiago, being in the Ranking is a super important endorsement, which facilitates the connection with players and partners of large organizations that are looking for innovative solutions with high impact and validated by the market.

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