Transform Spotlight Series: Founder Ioanna Mantzouridou Onasi of Dextego

Transform Founder Spotlight Series: Tigran Sloyan

Welcome to Transform’s Founder Spotlight Series, an exciting journey into the minds of innovative leaders who are disrupting the now and next of work.

In each Q&A-style article, we’ll introduce you to co-founders like Transform Spotlight Series: Co-Founders Ioanna Mantzouridou Onasi and Sean Vazquez of Dextego, who are redefining the boundaries of their industries with forward-thinking ideas and transformative approaches.

About Ionna

Co-founder and CEO Ioanna Mantzouridou Onasi, originally from Greece, now resides in NYC. Since starting her entrepreneurial journey at 15, Ioanna now leads Dextego, an Autonomous Sales Coach that enhances sales teams’ relationship selling skills. A Gen Z leader, she champions technology’s transformative power.

Previously, as VP of People and Chief of Staff at Aptivio, a B2B SaaS Revenue AI company, Ioanna managed global talent development. She also co-founded a sustainable fashion business, revitalizing traditional Greek knitting crafts, which provided jobs to local women.

Ioanna is committed to building a sustainable future and shares her insights on her “Gen Z Founder” blog, which helps young entrepreneurs thrive. Recognized as a Top 100 Entrepreneur and a Young Leader by Education 2.0, she continues to inspire with her vision.

About her Co-Founder Sean

Sean Vasquez, Co-Founder and CTO, has a deep passion for engineering and technology and firmly believes that integrating technical prowess with exceptional soft skills is essential for unlocking boundless career opportunities. Throughout his career, he has led numerous engineering teams, witnessing firsthand the profound impact of soft skills on professional growth and success. Recognizing the significance of effective communication, leadership, teamwork, and emotional intelligence, he has dedicated himself to building Dextego’s innovative solution that enables individuals to enhance their soft skills.

What truly inspires him is the potential for his technology to impact on a large scale significantly. The transformative effects of Dextego’s AI coaching platform on professionals’ careers fuel his drive to foster innovation and unlock new opportunities within the constantly evolving landscape of engineering and technology.

About Dextego

Dextego is an Autonomous Sales Coaching Platform that ingests data from the best sales experts in the world, massing that up with the unique knowledge of the buyer and your business, which makes it the most accurate, real-time coaching available.

The right coaching at the right time to progress deals faster.

Let’s dive into Ionna’s founder story, and learn firsthand about her inspirations, challenges, and breakthroughs that marked her path to success.

The Startup Journey

Q: What gave you the idea of starting Dextego?

A: Before Dextego, I was working as a VP of People and Chief of Staff for Aptivio, which was selling to sales, and I was getting a lot of questions about sales enablement. Reps needed to practice their pitches and learn how to handle objections in a safe space and were coming to me. No one wants to practice on the client, so I realized that managers have no time to coach, but they all want their reps to adhere to the script. So, we built an Autonomous Sales Coaching Platform that personalizes both on the individual and company data to coach reps in the flow of work. Our mission though is larger than sales, it’s to develop the skills that matter the most to give every individual equal opportunities for career growth.

Product Development

Q: Who benefits from Dextego?

A: Revenue teams

Q: Why is this so important?

A: In today’s market, people aren’t just looking to be sold to; they seek genuine connections. Sales reps must cultivate relationship-selling skills, centering on trust and rapport with prospects, which hinge on well-developed soft skills. These are best learned through experiential learning, integrated seamlessly into daily workflows. Companies poised for success are those with robust feedback mechanisms. This is precisely where our autonomous sales coach can revolutionize the process, offering real-time, actionable feedback that transforms sales interactions.

Q: What are some examples of companies leveraging Dextego?

A: 200-2000 size companies in Manufacturing, Construction, Professional Services, Tech Companies

Q: What have you learned from your Dextego users and customers so far?

A: They love the personalization they can do, i.e., uploading their playbooks and choosing their sales methodologies. They also love the analytics they get around the coachability of their reps and the actionable insights they get on how to improve their sales playbook and organization.

Dextego Client Testimonial: Aptivio

Scaling & Growth

Q: How do you build a strong company culture while scaling the business?

A: We can do this by empowering our team to own projects, keeping an “open door” policy, having flexibility due to remote work, and celebrating small wins!


Q: How do you maintain strong relationships with your Dextego investors and optimize their contributions?

A: I make myself reachable for 1:1 conversations, send monthly newsletter updates, and send more personalized emails depending on each investor’s interests.

Q: What advice do you have to similarly situated founders as they begin fundraising? 

A: Warm intros go a long way, and the classic your network is your net worth is more than true, so put yourself out there and build your network!

Team Building & Leadership

Q: What are your strategies for attracting and retaining talent?

A: Having done recruiting in the past, I know how to select talent. However, being an early-stage startup with limited resources, the challenge is to attract talent. At this stage, what attracts talent is the mission and the founder. People join startups to learn and be part of the exciting rollercoaster ride while having an opportunity to build a financially free future.

Q: What leadership skills do you believe are critical in the current environment? 

A: Adaptability, resourcefulness, curiosity, sustainability mindset, hard work!

Marketing & Branding

Q: How does Dextego differentiate from competitors?

A: By taking both internal and external data from the best sales experts in the world, such as David Weiss.

Challenges & Lessons Learned

Q: Can you share any specific lessons or mistakes you made during the startup journey and how you overcame them?

A: In the early days, I believed that everyone who said they would help would actually do so, but I learned that actions speak louder than words.

Q: What advice do you have for other founders?

A: Work both hard and smart.

Industry and Market Insights

Q: What is one significant trend or prediction that you believe will drive the transformation of work?

A: A lot of senior leaders are becoming startup advisors and/or consultants and prefer the fractional work which I think is a game-changer and is transforming work as we speak.

Company Vision

Q: What’s next for you and Dextego?

A: Launching our product-led growth motion.

Q: What would you like to say to People leaders considering using Dextego?

A: Having been in your position, I understand that software adoption and usage are the most important. This is where GenAI can play a huge role, as it can allow us to do personalized coaching at scale and enable teams to manage the flow of work successfully.

On a Personal Note

Q: Describe your perfect day when you aren’t working.

A: I paint or read books about psychology or business. 

Q: What is your personal mantra?

A: Everybody dies, but not everybody lives.

Check out other inspiring Founder Spotlights on the Transform blog.

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