During our program, you will select 1 or 2 days in which to sit down with each of our startups, listen, and offer them the help you think they will need from you. Each initial meeting is for 45 minutes.
How Mentoring Works
Mentorship is about giving startup founders the tools you wish you had when you were in their position.
It’s about giving back, and just as importantly, learning new things.
Network with other dedicated and serious mentors at our exclusive mentors only events. New startups and business partnerships have been launched because of these interactions.
A vital part of mentoring is helping startups to connect with the players they need to succeed. This means it will be your job to open your contact list, and offer to make introductions to companies, investors, or advisors that founders need to meet with.
Our mentors also have visibility on our website, and can take part in our public events, including as speakers or workshop leaders, where they can build their personal brand as startup advisors.
Mentoring doesn’t end with the first meeting. Startups and mentors identify people with whom they share important goals and reconnect during and after the program. Mentors have become advisors, investors, and even team members of our startups.
Our trusted mentors become insiders with special access to our events and plans, portfolio companies, and partners. Can’t make a connection you need? Chances are good that we can help you.
The Mentor Manifesto
David Cohen of Techstars has developed a “Mentor Manifesto,” that articulates the values and characteristics of mentorship.
David ran Techstars for six years and watched eleven batches of companies interact with hundreds of mentors. In that time, he witnessed thousands of mentor interactions, from some of the best entrepreneurs and investors on the planet. Here’s what he says entrepreneurs can and should demand from their mentors. And here’s what mentors should consider if they want to build effective relationships with the entrepreneurs they’re working with.
It’s worth a read:
Expect nothing in return (you’ll be delighted with what you do get back).
Be authentic / practice what you preach.
Be direct. Tell the truth, however hard.
The best mentor relationships eventually become two-way.
Adopt at least one company every single year. Experience counts.
Clearly separate opinion from fact.
Hold information in confidence.
Clearly commit to mentor or do not. Either is fine.
Know what you don’t know. Say I don’t know when you don’t know. “I don’t know” is preferable to bravado.
Guide, don’t control. Teams must make their own decisions. Guide but never tell them what to do. Understand that it’s their company, not yours.
Accept and communicate with other mentors that get involved.
Be optimistic. Provide specific actionable advice, don’t be vague.
Be challenging/robust but never destructive.
Have empathy. Remember that startups are hard.