Yet after talking to thousands of entrepreneurs at all stages in the business life cycle, we’ve discovered that they struggle with the following when it comes to consistently attracting mentors.
Navigating the unknown unknowns. Beyond understanding your company’s minimum viable product (MVP) and/or service, most entrepreneurs simple don’t know what they don’t know when it comes to navigating the entrepreneurship and investment ecosystem. You can’t effectively attract and engage mentors and advisors when you don’t know what advise or expertise to seek. A thorough understanding of your industry, market and the entrepreneurial ecosystem is required when identifying and connecting with the right mentors.
Finding mentors. Finding mentors that aren’t actually trying to sell you something can be very difficult. Where do they affiliate? Usually, it is with a coworking space, pre-accelerator, accelerator and incubator. Their mindset is that if you – the entrepreneur – think enough of your business to invest in a membership in an entrepreneurial space and community; then you’re possibly worth the investment of their time, talent, connections and maybe, capital. You must invest in the ecosystem to withdraw from the ecosystem. Unfortunately, there is no entitlement or hand outs when it comes to building your business.
Understanding engagement. Bottom line, nothing in life is free. This is especially true when it comes to entrepreneurship. You have to be willing to invest money in building your business. Skilled and vetted mentors are very, very , very busy and are in high demand. You have to determine a way to compensate them for their time. Sometimes, you can volunteer. Sometimes, they may take small amounts of equity; but most times they simple want to be paid for their time. Even when you don’t pay for it, someone is.
Opportunity Hub is intentionally about addressing the necessity for vetted mentorship. We have we have curated over 50 mentors in residence that have experienced idea to exit as serial entrepreneurs, angel investors or vetted industry professionals. Areas of expertise include but are not limited to ideation, customer discovery, business model generation, legal (startup, securities, intellectual property, hr), accounting, finance, pitching, raising capital (debt, equity, crowdfunding, alternative), sales automation, marketing, branding, app/software development, manufacturing, logistics, supplier diversity, supply chain innovation, social impact/non-profit and beyond.
To this end, we offer mentorship in the following ways.
Monthly mentor meetups. Many of our mentors our monthly mentor meetups or lunch-n-learns. These are reserved for Ecosystem and Hotdesk coworking members. Learn more
Office hours. Hotdesk co-working members can access mentors during scheduled office hours. Learn more
One-on-one. We offer affordable 1-on-1 mentorship sessions on an hourly, daily or monthly basis. These sessions can be done live-in-person at one of our coworking spaces; or online via Google hangouts or Skype.