Ivanka Menken - Accelerator Coach

Ivanka Menken - Accelerator Coach

Ivanka for the WIN with Luke, Simon, Scott, Marc and Jen! 

How long have you been involved with EO Brisbane? I joined EO in September of 2006 and have been very active within the group. I love connecting with the other EO members and learning from their experiences. Going to universities and GLCs have been my highlights over the years.

Why did you decide to become an Accountability Coach? I remember the first time when I heard about [the accelerator program] at a University in the US (probably either Houston or Orange County), where discussions started on how to create an inclusive program for entrepreneurs who want to be in EO but need a little bit of help getting there. I also saw the immediate opportunity around accelerator as an incubator for female led businesses to grow beyond the $1M in revenue. My friend was involved in setting up the accelerator program in the Seattle chapter and I started discussing it with the EO board as part of our Rockstar program during my presidency. 

When I got back into EO I told myself I wouldn't step into any leadership roles for awhile, as I needed to focus on growing my own business. But in becoming a coach, it has sparked my passion for the accelerator program and also an opportunity to refresh my own business acumen and understanding of the Gazelles methodology (which was so successful for us in the past). So I guess it's a win-win scenario where I learn from the group as much as I can give from my own experience. 

Why do you feel EOA as a feeder program is so important as a prior first step to EO proper? Very important. Not only do Accelerator entrepreneurs understand the benefit and core value of EO - they also understand that their personal accountability is what brings success. 

I think that even for many EO members it will be very interesting / important / eye opening when they attend the learning days again. After so many years in business you tend to forget what really matters and the accelerator learning days help you to create clarity in your own strategy and company structure. In addition to that - and I think this is mostly for the girls in the room - I think the accelerator program helps build confidence in their own abilities. 

How did you feel about your group winning the quarterly group award? I couldn't be more proud! They work hard for it - they always show up for the meetings and even when they can't due to business or personal reasons they still 'show up' by preparing their updates and doing all the work during the month. 

What are your plans to celebrate the win? We already planned to have a Christmas dinner as a group so the $500 dinner voucher will go towards that. What a wonderful way to finish the year.