Why You Should Join a Startup Mentorship Program

Alvaro Chacon

You’re not the only one looking for the secret sauce to startup success. One recent study looked at thousands of companies in New York City’s tech sector in an attempt to determine what makes firms successful. 

According to the report, it boils down to connections. The founders of high performing companies, the study found, had strong personal relationships to other successful founders. In fact, one-third of entrepreneurs who were mentored by other successful founders became top performers, according to the study. 

Dynamic relationships with mentors provide upstart businesses with competitive advantages. Here’s why you should join a startup mentorship program and how to get the most out of your relationships with other entrepreneurs. 

Benefits of startup mentoring

From broadening your network to literal cost savings, you can benefit from startup mentoring in a variety of ways. For example: 

  • Startup mentorship can save you money and time. A robust mentorship relationship allows you to learn from successful startups without making the same mistakes. It could also provide a shortcut for learning necessary skills. That saves you time and money.
  • Mentors can be a source of inspiration. Engaging with  successful entrepreneurs gives you a chance to workshop ideas with someone who’s familiar with building a business. A good mentor will challenge you and provide honest feedback. 
  • Mentors can help you expand your network. Successful founders have undoubtedly built strong and extensive professional networks. These kinds of connections can provide networking opportunities. You might even find a new investor, employee or another mentor from your mentor relationships.

How to get mentorship for a startup

Each entrepreneur mentorship program caters to different founders’ needs, so you can find a program that’s right for you. If you’re trying to figure out how to develop connections with founder peers in your sector or city, check out the mentoring programs for startups available through Founders Network. 

Mentorship programs for startups at Founders Network include:

  • Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives: Founders Network features two initiatives that aim to support diverse founders, the Black Founders Initiative and the Women’s Leadership Initiative. Both offer unique events and discussion opportunities to help foster useful dialogue. 

  • Sector Mentoring Programs: If you’re looking for mentorship more specific to the topic of your work, check out Founders Network’s Sector Mentoring Programs. Each startup mentorship program is divided by subject, from fintech to real estate. 
  • Global Tech Summits: You can learn from successful entrepeneurs via Founders Network’s Global Keynotes, which feature speakers in a virtual format. Check out Founders Network’s calendar for upcoming events. 
  • Chapter Mentoring Programs: Connect with founders in your area through Chapter Mentoring Programs. Founders Network hosts intimate networking events with startup founders in cities all over the world. 
  • Startup Curriculum: Founders Network provides webinars on various topics like fundraising, recruiting and growth. You can also access previous recordings of past events on Founders Networks’ Mentorship Platform. 
  • Peer Advisory Roundtables: Join 10 to 12 fellow founders of tech startups for confidential roundtables where you can have open and honest conversations.   

What mentorship adds the most value to startups?

When you consider professional mentorship, you might have in mind the image of an older all-knowing guru. But these days, building effective mentorship relationships in the startup scene requires creating a new and dynamic mentorship paradigm.

Here are a few tips for developing high quality mentorship relationships:

  • The best mentor isn’t a single person. At different points in your career, you’ll need different perspectives. You’ll need a team of mentors who provide different types of support. 

  • Identify your weaknesses. Be strategic about selecting mentors. Determine your weaknesses and select people whose strengths complement yours.
  • Select high quality mentors. The most helpful mentors will be those who have already achieved success in their fields. So, choose wisely.
  • Give advice when you are asked. Part of developing dynamic mentorship relationships is giving back and becoming a mentor yourself. Share your expertise and keep the cycle going. 

Mentoring is at the core of what we do at Founders Network. We offer a robust lineup of mentoring programs and in-person events to help accelerate your connections.  See if you qualify for membership to join.

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