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Tuesday, 20 June 2017 15:07

Alumni Entrepreneur Spotlight: Meet Rob Dennison, CEO of Trainiac

Rob Dennison is an Endeavor Alumnus and owner of Endeavor Alumni company - Trainiac – an employee empowerment company based in Johannesburg. Endeavor contacted Rob – a longstanding entrepreneur, alumnus and mentor to discuss his entrepreneurial and business journey.

1. How did your time with Endeavor help you as an entrepreneur?

It helped me tell the Trainiac unique story better, and to think beyond the South African borders. At last count we had done work in 30 countries.

2. Wow, that is amazing! What has your entrepreneurial path been like since you graduated from Endeavor South Africa?

We have successfully digitised the business and developed software to publish map-based learning experiences as e-learning and more recently as mobile learning.

3. Mentoring is at the heart of Endeavor’s philosophy. In your view, why is it important for seasoned entrepreneurs to mentor upcoming and incoming entrepreneurs?

I think we develop our own language in our businesses and when we tell our stories they are not always clearly understood by the audience. In my experience mentors can add huge value when it comes to helping refine the value proposition and the pitch.

4. What is the most rewarding part of being an entrepreneur?

For me I value self-determination and specifically seeing our ideas being realised as commercial solutions for globally recognised companies.

5. What is the most rewarding part of being an Endeavor mentor?

I love the energy of entrepreneurs. Spending time and supporting them in any small way is gratifying and hope impactful. Endeavor entrepreneurs are particularly receptive and engaging which makes it all the more interesting. I always come away feeling like I was the beneficiary of the learning.

6. What motivates you to get out of bed every morning?

Tea and bubblegum … and by bubblegum, I mean all the creative and compelling ways we can add surprise and delight into the learning process. Every single day we come up with a new way to engage some or other audience. I love sifting through all the possibilities and carefully adding new features into our digital authoring and workflow product.

7. Do you have any encouraging words to share with entrepreneurs wanting to join Endeavor South Africa?

Think of Endeavor as a journey and a community and not a competition. The process delivers value from the first instant and does not stop so long as you stay engaged.

8. How did Endeavor help Trainiac grow?

We had the tremendous benefit of a hugely talented advisory board. They gave us particular focus on our talent strategy and our sales approach … both critical to the success of any business.

9. What was the best advice you received from an Endeavor mentor with regards to Trainiac?

I was taught to keep quiet. I was taught so clearly that while we sell cool stuff that people like to see … we should not use valuable sales time to speak about what we do … we should rather listen to what clients need. We now obsess about our client's problem and not about our solution.

10. Trainiac promotes the empowerment of employees through learning. Can you share with us the importance of training employees in this day and age, and how companies can focus on this service offering more diligently?

I could write a book on this but our principle advice right now would be to make all learning relevant … this means one size does not fit all roles, generic content may not hit the mark especially given limited time to learn, audiences need to be segmented, learning has become multi-channel and in some cases omni-channel. Best results come from thinking about learning as a campaign and not an event.