Getting To Know Mentor, Tony Stephens

Tony Stephens is the Director of Client Engagement at Jobs for NSW – the NSW Government’s agency dedicated to Transition NSW’s economy by working with those companies that are creating the jobs of the future. Previous to this role, Tony worked in strategy and innovation in business leadership roles across a range of business environments from startups and growing SMEs to multinational corporations in the medtech and healthtech sectors.

Tony has been a mentor for Remarkable for past cohorts and this year he is working with the Founder of NumbRay, Peter Simpson-Young. NumbRay is creating personalised neuro stimulation devices for kids with Cerebral Palsy.

We asked Tony to tell us more about himself and his Remarkable experience.

What are your areas OF expertise when it comes to mentoring for Remarkable?

My core expertise is in strategic marketing – in particular identifying a value proposition that can create a platform for a compelling business vision and narrative, and exploring the conditions that are necessary for this opportunity to be adopted.

Having operated in a wide range of business environments, I can assist founders to build a credible story and articulate what they know, and to be realistic about approaching the uncertainties and opportunities of growing a business.

What inspired you become a mentor for Remarkable?

Being a mentor gives me an opportunity to continue to learn the ways in which we can address disability with the increasing capabilities of technology and information insight. Having led businesses myself, I also know it all starts with the founder: their motivation, personality, self-awareness, as it will be these capabilities that enable them to navigate the risks and rewards that lie ahead.

Are there any particular parts of the accelerator program that you look forward to?

Demo Day. It’s the day that provides a reference point on the journey of the founders which is hopefully very memorable for them.

This year, you’re working with NumbRay, how’s that going?

I am looking forward to working with Peter Simpson-Young. NumbRay is an ambitious proposition in its field; it’s early stages but has great potential. I have seen some technologies radically surpass their expectations (e.g. Cochlear) and others were just not ready to deliver a reproducible benefit to the individual. I’m excited to see what the future could hold for NumbRay.

Peter Simpson-Young, Co-Founder of NumbRay

What is your top tool, blog, book or podcast that you’d recommend others look at?

David Skok’s Forentrepreneurs.com. So many businesses I see may have a business model but they have not thought through their customer acquisition economics and lifecycle value to the business. If the business model doesn’t work at a customer level – then the business will never deliver.

We’d love to hear your advice for the teams. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given in your work life that you would like to pass on to the startups?

Listen (it’s been a lifelong journey for me!).