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Meghan Chayka, Stathletes Founder and CEO

How a peer group will transform your entrepreneurial journey

Peer Groups are a little bit like a secret ingredient. Can you create something tasty without it? Probably. But could it exponentially improve the overall dish? Absolutely. In the world of business, not everyone is part of a peer group...and not everyone thinks they matter. But those people are unknowingly missing out on so much potential.

Simply put, a peer group is a group of people who meet on a regular basis to discuss their problems and share their knowledge with each other to help everyone in the group learn and succeed. 

Peer groups should be an essential part of any entrepreneur's journey, but this is especially true for entrepreneurs in the tech ecosystem. In an environment as fast-paced and constantly evolving as technology, having a group of like-minded peers can make all the difference.  

In our late-stage accelerator program, ScaleUp, we connect our founders with each other via peer groups. Although our program only runs for 12 months, the peer groups established during that time often continue far beyond the year they spend with us. 

To write this article, we sat down with ScaleUp alum, Meghan Chayka – Founder and CEO of Stathletes – to talk about her experience with peer groups and why she thinks they’re so important.  

Why are peer groups so important? 

1. Networking

One of the most significant advantages to being part of a peer group is the networking it provides. You get the unique opportunity to meet and connect with other professionals in the same field, which can lead to new business opportunities, partnerships, and collaborations.

In fact, a famous example of networking really paying off is how Jimmy Fallon became the host of “Late Night”. As a relatively unknown actor on SNL, Fallon would go up to the show’s creator after every single show just to thank him. This went on for weeks until he started to get noticed. This connection and Fallon’s dogged determination led to him being recommended to host “Late Night” when his career was faltering, which ultimately catapulted him into the success he has today.  

When chatting with Chayka, she pointed out that “it’s human nature for people to stick to what they know and who they know.” That’s what’s so great about peer groups – they force you out of your comfort zone and make you meet other people, which can end up changing the trajectory of your business or even your life.   

There are truly so many benefits to networking. Check out this Forbes article to learn more. 

2. Knowledge Sharing and Feedback 

Peer groups provide a platform to share their knowledge and expertise with your peers. This can be especially valuable in the tech industry, where new technologies and trends are emerging all the time. A peer group can help you stay up-to-date on the latest developments and effective new strategies in your whether or not your business should start a TikTok. 

Peer groups can also be a valuable source of feedback. Members of your group can provide constructive criticism and offer suggestions for improvement, helping you refine your products and services.  
Chayka reflected on her own experience: “When you get an outsider’s opinion of what you’re doing, you’re going to learn. It will either reinforce what you are doing, or you will get some better options of what to do in the future.”  

Getting unbiased feedback from a peer is infinitely more valuable than getting caught in an echo-chamber (of loyal friends, family and business partners) and only hearing from people that agree with you.  

ScaleUp alum, Josh Domingues – Founder and CEO of Flashfood – said this about his peer group experience: 

“Peer groups have been great, better than I thought they would be, especially since they’ve been remote. They’ve been great because of the people in my group. We've talked about our collective experience as founders. One of our members went on parental leave and told us about their journey; one of our founders took secondary and taught us what that was like.  Several of us talked openly about our funding rounds, different investors, who we liked, who we had negative experiences with.  All of it is deeply personal and rarely talked about. Learning through others' lived experiences has been invaluable. I couldn’t have imagined a better group. I think we will do peer meetings forever, even after the program ends, because of the quality of the people.”

3. Support and Motivation 

Starting a tech business can be challenging, and it’s not uncommon to face setbacks and obstacles along the way. Being part of a peer group can provide individuals with the support and motivation they need to persevere through difficult times.  

Being a CEO can be an incredibly lonely job – few people can truly understand your experiences. According to the Harvard Business Review, about 61 per cent of CEOs express loneliness which they believe hinders them in their job. Having a peer group to lean on and relate to can be extremely important for your overall mental health and well-being. 

Not only does the support help CEOs combat loneliness, studies have found that CEOs and executives in peer groups, “experience faster gross revenue growth of 5 percent versus an industry average of 1.6 percent—or a difference of 200 percent. The companies also see, on average, profitability increases of twice as much—22.6 percent versus 10.3 percent.”  

Support your mental health and grow your business faster? Sounds like a win-win to me.  

How do you build and maintain a successful peer group? 

As peer groups are a huge part of the ScaleUp program, we're always trying to perfect the best way to build a successful peer group. Here are the tips we recommend: 

1. Define the Purpose

This is the first step to a successful peer group. Are you looking to network with other tech professionals, share knowledge and expertise, or provide support and motivation to one another? Clarifying the purpose of the group will help to attract like-minded individuals and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

2. Set Expectations

Once you’ve defined the purpose of the group, it’s essential to set expectations for members. This includes establishing guidelines for attendance, participation, and confidentiality. Finding a good moderator is key to having clear expectations. Moderators can keep people on track and remind people if they start to stray from the established guidelines. Moderators can come from either within the group or be an external contributor. Find what works best for your specific group.

3. Establish a Regular Meeting Schedule  

Regular meetings are crucial for maintaining a successful peer group. It’s essential to establish a schedule that works for all members and stick to it. We’d recommend starting with a monthly meeting. Meetings can be held in-person or virtually, depending on the preferences of the group.

4. Encourage Participation  

This is a really important component. Members should be encouraged to share their knowledge and expertise, provide feedback, and support one another. Not only will this be beneficial to the group, but it will also give you the reinforcement you need if your peers support you, or it will allow you to reevaluate your plans going forward.

5. Foster an Inclusive Environment

Finally, it's essential to foster an environment where all members feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. This means creating a space where everyone feels valued and respected, regardless of their background or experience. We recommend curating a peer group with people of different industries but similar company sizes. This should limit conflict and ensure free and open knowledge sharing.


Peer groups are a crucial aspect of any tech business. Chayka called peer groups “’therapy’ for CEOs” -- they provide networking opportunities, knowledge sharing, support and motivation, and feedback. To build and maintain a successful peer group, it’s essential to define the purpose, set expectations, establish a regular meeting schedule, encourage participation, and foster an inclusive environment. By doing so, tech professionals can connect with like-minded professionals and take their businesses to the next level.

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