Good Mentors can supercharge your Startup. Here’s why. - Start-Up Hyderabad
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Good Mentors can supercharge your Startup. Here’s why.

 7 years ago    

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Being a startup founder is hard as is. Building a sustainable product, hire, manage & motivate a team, retain customers, raise capital, manage social media & PR; the list is endless. Should you take time to find an awesome mentor and share your startup journey with them? Is it really worth it? This article answers just that.

Do I need a Mentor?

A recent survey conducted in the New York Tech sector, the second largest tech hub in the world; revealed that 33% of all the startups who had a mentor went on to become highly successful, top performing startups. On an average startups who are guided by a good mentor are seeing a growth rate of over 60% every year.

Successful entrepreneurs / founders such as Chad Dickerson of Etsy and Nat Turner of Flatiron Health have been mentored by other successful entrepreneurs like Caterina Fake from Flickr and Brian O’Kelley of AppNexus. When Steve Jobs passed away, Mark Zuckerburg said that the Steve had been an invaluable mentor. The founders of Dropbox, Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, are mentored by Ali and Hadi Partovi, two successful serial entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley.

Quoting a few examples from home, Phanindra Sama, founder and chief executive of redBus attributes much of the company’s success to the visionary insight he received from mentor Sanjay Anandram.

Sairee Chahal, founder, says that she found great mentorship in awesome entrepreneurs and professionals – Vijay Shekhar Sharma (founder Paytm), Vibhor Mehra (Ex-SAIF Partners), Amit Ranjan (co-founder, Slideshare) and Rajul Garg (angel investor) – all of whom are invested in success of SHEROES and that makes all the difference.

Time and time again, the value a good mentor provides to a startup has been highlighted by surveys and by the founders themselves.

What makes a Good Mentor.. well, Good?

To find the right mentor for your startup, look for a confident mentor who has expertise in the skills you lack. Big names and titles don’t always mean someone will be a good mentor. The best mentors are those who don’t want anything in return but just want to help entrepreneurs. They are the ones that believe in giving back to the ecosystem and genuinely want to make a difference. Having said that, it is also the responsibility of the entrepreneur not to overstep and take undue advantage of someone’s time.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s look at what attributes make a good mentor? A good mentor is:

1. Someone having the right experience

Find someone who has expertise in the areas you lack. Are you a techie and are totally new to marketing+sales? Find a mentor who can guide you on the latter.

2. An Entrepreneur Themselves

Look for someone who has real life experiences and learnings to add. Most of the good startup mentors have their own high performing startups. This is also a good way for you to see them apply their own advice in action.

3. Patient, supportive & a good listener

Anyone can give advice, good mentors are great listeners. Find someone who is patient, is supportive and believes in the problem you are trying to address. A good mentor has to be frank and warn you if you are heading in the wrong direction. Most importantly, good mentors are always good listeners.

4. Approachable

Having a mentor and speaking to them once a year serves no good. Mentoring, more than anything is a relationship. Time, effort and work has to be put in for it to cultivate and become valuable. When looking for a mentor, see how approachable they are and the best ways you can stay in touch with them – at least once in a quarter.

Where do I find a Mentor?

Now that is a Million Dollar question!

But worry not, WE from Headstart (more on them in a bit) has got you covered. This October 2016, Hyderabad is to witness the first of its kind, a Mentoring Event for Women Founders. Click here for more details about the event - The event that can hockey-stick your startup’s growth


About the Author:

Jayasri Nagrale is a volunteer with Headstart. She is the founder of Yeloni and Lightious. She can be reached on Facebook. When not working on her startups, she is loves playing with her puppy Zen.



Guest - Jayasri Nagrale, Founder, Yeloni


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