Mentor ProgramThe single most important aspect of success of our portfolio companies is the mentoring they will receive from experts in the industry and other aspects of business. Mentors have a profound impact on the entrepreneurs. It is common for the mentors become integral to the company and are themselves introduced to new ways of thinking, doing and growing businesses.
The mentor pool is from a wide range of industries, with about half coming from the insurance industry. Tech, legal, HR, marketing and design were other areas represented to offer the startups a wide range of resources. The individuals range from CEO's, Directors and VP's of well-established companies to former/retired executives to local small business owners. There are just over 80 mentors, of which approximately 70 work in Central Iowa and meet the startups face-to-face. The remote mentors connect with the startups via Skype.
The Matching ProcessEach startup meets with each mentor in a 30-minute "speed-dating" setting. The mentors self-schedule their meetings over period of a couple weeks. This fosters an intense influx of new connections, ideas and sometimes adjustments on the fly. Each startup, respectively, rates each mentor at the end of each day, documenting expertise and experience to ultimately build a list of potential mentors to work with. Mentors rate each startup, marking their interest level for future involvement.
Training and ExpectationsThe GIA provides mentor training to set expectations and explain what it takes to be a great mentor. The most important thing as a mentor is to have a "pay it forward" mentality - we stress that this is very much a volunteer position and these startups have very little to give at this point.
Complete our online application or contact us to learn more.