StellarUp, the HR SaaS platform allowing people-first cultures to thrive

Estelle Roux-Stevens is the Co-Founder and CEO of StellarUp, a knowledge sharing and learning platform that allows people to connect, learn, and grow. Estelle’s goal is to build diverse environments where people-first cultures can thrive and flourish.

With over 23 years of HR experience within the IT and FinTech sector, Roux has devoted the past three years building a business that addresses the engagement and retention challenges and opportunities faced by distributed organisations. In 2017, she was nominated for a Woman in Tech award in the Diversity Category.

Here she talks to Startups Magazine’s Sheryl Miles about StellarUP, a global HR SaaS platform, and how technology-driven HR solutions can enable a company to thrive.

Could you tell me about your background and how StellarUp feeds into this?

My background is rooted in both human resources and technology. Before founding StellarUp, I worked in HR for over a decade, where I saw firsthand the challenges organisations faced in fostering and, moreover, sustaining mentorship and knowledge sharing within the community. A shared passion for leveraging technology to enhance HR practices led my co-founder and I to create StellarUp. It's a platform that combines my expertise in HR with cutting-edge technology to empower organisations to build effective mentorship programmes and facilitate knowledge sharing seamlessly.

Today, we work with a variety of organisations including The Aleto Foundation, PVH Tommy Hilfiger, Konstanz University in Germany, and ScaleNL here in the Netherlands. 

What is the main purpose of StellarUp’s HR SaaS platform, and how does it enable better knowledge sharing through structured and unstructured learning tools?

The main purpose of StellarUp's HR SaaS platform is to foster mentorship and knowledge sharing within organisations of all kinds. We achieve this through a combination of structured and unstructured learning tools. Our platform provides a structured framework for mentorship programmes, making it easy for organisations to set goals, track progress, and measure results.

Additionally, we offer unstructured tools such as discussion forums and user generated content publishing to encourage organic knowledge sharing among employees. By blending these approaches, we create a dynamic ecosystem where learning and mentorship thrive.

How can technology-driven HR solutions address the challenges faced by organisations in launching successful and engaging mentoring programmes?

Technology-driven HR solutions, like StellarUp, address several challenges organisations face in mentoring programmes. We streamline the mentor-mentee matching process, making it more efficient and precise. We also provide tools for ongoing communication and progress tracking, ensuring engagement remains high. Furthermore, we offer data analytics to measure your programme's effectiveness and make data-driven improvements. Overall, technology-driven HR solutions simplify the management of mentoring programmes and enhance their impact.

We are working with a few customers right now whose main objectives are improving inclusion and diversity within their companies, and for their programmes to add real value – not just a tick box programme.  So, we’ve helped them build a mentoring programme designed specifically with those goals in mind. 

What advantages does mentorship offer to both mentors and mentees, and how can StellarUp's platform facilitate these benefits within organisations?

Mentorship is a win-win for both mentors and mentees. Mentors gain the satisfaction of giving back, honing leadership skills, and often learning from mentees. Mentees receive valuable guidance, career development, and expanded networks. StellarUp facilitates these benefits by providing a user-friendly platform for mentorship connections, tracking progress, and sharing knowledge. Our platform ensures that mentorship becomes a structured and easily accessible resource within organisations, maximising its advantages for all parties involved. The flexibility to create a variety of mentoring programmes – from micro-mentorship chats to reverse mentorship and one-to-many virtual mentorship – makes StellarUp a potent choice for organisations looking to build out their knowledge sharing programme.

One partner that has opted to host its mentoring programme with StellarUp is GiLE – The Global Institute for Lifelong Empowerment. In their pursuit to support young people in developing competencies that underpin a successful and meaningful life, GiLE hosts mentorship programmes that bring together young innovators, experts, and organisations – all of whom can access the programme worldwide and at any time. Our smart matchmaking technology has allowed GiLE’s facilitators to put the effort that was once dedicated to brokering connections into developing other areas of their programmes. Saving time is invaluable when an organisation is focused on blazing trails and StellarUp is very proud to provide this via our software.

I understand you secured funding recently. How was the process and what features and improvements does StellarUp plan to implement with funding?

Securing funding was an exciting milestone for us. With this funding, we plan to enhance StellarUp by adding features like personalised learning paths and expanded analytics capabilities. We also aim to invest in user experience improvements to make the platform even more intuitive and engaging for our users. Our goal is to continually innovate and provide the best possible mentorship and knowledge-sharing solution.

How has StellarUp successfully onboarded and served large-scale, non-profit, and government projects, and what lessons have you learned from these experiences?

Our success with large-scale, non-profit, and government projects is a testament to the adaptability of our platform. We've learned that customisation and scalability are crucial when serving diverse organisations.

By tailoring our solution to meet specific needs and adhering to rigorous compliance standards, we've been able to onboard and serve a wide range of clients. The key lesson is that flexibility and a deep understanding of each client's unique requirements are essential for success.

How can the integration of technology in HR SaaS solutions improve job satisfaction, retention, and overall performance within organisations?

Technology integration in HR SaaS solutions improves job satisfaction by providing employees with valuable mentorship opportunities and resources for personal and professional growth. It enhances retention by fostering a culture of continuous learning and development, which employees find rewarding. Overall performance is boosted as employees become more skilled, engaged, and motivated, leading to increased productivity and innovation.

One such instance of our software deepening connectivity and engagement is displayed by our client VirtualResource. The online HR capabilities of StellarUp have significantly boosted productivity for VirtualResource by efficiently connecting their global consultants, hosting training and upskilling resources, and enhancing communication and collaboration across their virtual team, ultimately contributing to the success of their Workday consultancy services.

What challenges do key decision-makers often face when implementing mentoring programmes, and how does StellarUp aim to address and overcome these challenges?

Key decision-makers often face challenges of time such as mentor-mentee matching, programme tracking, and ensuring programme ROI. StellarUp addresses these time constraints by offering an automated matching system, robust programme analytics, and tools for tracking progress and engagement. Our platform simplifies the entire mentoring programme lifecycle, making it easier for decision-makers to implement and manage successful programmes. 

In what ways does StellarUp address the onboarding, mentor-mentee matching, relationship management, and measurement of engagement and return on investment for organisations?

StellarUp provides a comprehensive solution for onboarding, mentor-mentee matching, relationship management, and measurement of engagement and ROI. We offer customisable onboarding processes, intelligent matching algorithms, communication tools, and analytics dashboards. This end-to-end approach ensures that organisations can seamlessly manage every aspect of their mentoring programmes and derive meaningful insights to optimise them continually.

What are the specific operational bottlenecks that StellarUp aims to remove in the process of onboarding, mentor-mentee matching, relationship management, and engagement measurement?

StellarUp aims to eliminate bottlenecks by automating administrative tasks, providing intelligent recommendations for mentor-mentee pairs, simplifying communication, and offering real-time insights into engagement and programme performance. By doing so, we remove the friction created by these processes, making them efficient and effortless for organisations, mentors, and mentees. 

What are StellarUp's future plans and goals?

Our future plans are ambitious and exciting. We aim to expand our reach globally, empowering organisations of all sizes and sectors to harness the power of mentorship and knowledge sharing. We'll continue to innovate by incorporating emerging technologies like gamification, AI, and machine learning into our platform. Ultimately, our goal is to be the go-to solution for organisations seeking to create a culture of continuous learning and mentorship, driving the success and growth of everyone involved.