Startup founders have a growth imperative that requires them to constantly take intelligent risks to stay competitive and ultimately excel. Within the cut-throat startup environment, the quality of partners and alliances startups work with have a direct impact on their ability to overcome challenges, navigate uncertainty, and innovate on a budget. Among those relationships, working with the right mentor has the potential to be among the most impactful.

Sustained top tier performance in any field is virtually unattainable without some form of coaching or mentorship. Entrepreneurship is no exception. A good mentor can help founders accelerate growth considerably or simply skip costly mistakes by offering valuable experience-based insight, relevant resources, network access, and so much more.

In the mentorwise podcast, the International Trade Center’s Claire Sterngold and Hanan Taifour along with VC4A’s David Coleman join forces to offer listeners access to advice from a variety of seasoned international business experts and young entrepreneurs on how to build and maintain a lasting relationship with the right mentors for your business.

Listen to the podcast here

With 8 episode this pilot will bring together two respected voices in the SMEs support sector. Don't miss the latest episodes. Be sure to sign up to receive the lastest podcast episode direct to your inbox. Click on the button below!

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Episode 1: Is a mentor actually necessary?

While you’re busy trying to grow your enterprise, it can feel like there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done, let alone eat and even sleep! But evidence highlighting the power of mentorship cannot be ignored. Entureprenuers with mentors tend to perform better by leveraging their mentor’s wisdom and pool of knowledge and networks. On this episode we’ll outline the reasons why a mentor is indeed necessary!

Episode 2: Does my start-ups business stage affect the type of mentor I need?

You might wonder if the stage of your business affects the type of mentor you should seek. To get to the bottom of this question we asked our mentors and mentees whether each new stage of business development demands a new mentor with new skills and expertise. Should you look for one mentor when developing a prototype and then another when seeking seed funding? While there are certain mentors who can stay with you throughout your journey, serving more as life advisors or guides, when it comes to seeking mentors with specific skill sets, the answers may surprise you... 

Episode 3: Does my start-ups sector affect the type of mentor I need?

Do you need to seek out a mentor that has knowledge of your specific sector or industry? Can a young entrepreneur in tech still get concrete guidance from a mentor in say, marketing? Mentors who have experience in your sector can deep dive to provide that in-depth technical insight, but, mentors can also be leveraged for more general skills, and in this case, a mentor from another sector can still support. Tune in to hear more.

Episode 4: Where can I find a good mentor?

Platforms like VC4A and ITC's Ye! Community are excellent online resources that connect entrepreneurs to mentors located anywhere around the globe, even halfway around the world and in another time zone, who can share their unique experiences and offer guidance. However, there are a number of other places you can also find a mentor. In this episode, we dive into the locations where you should be on top of your game networking, to attract a potential mentor, while also shedding light on some of the more unexpected ways you can find a mentor.  

Episode 5: How do I know exactly what I want out of a mentor?

A mentee should have a clear idea of what they want out of a mentor before taking the leap to “make the ask” for a first meeting. However, in practice, this step often gets overlooked or doesn’t get the level of attention it deserves. Defining clear goals not only provide a better framework to guide the growth of your business but also help a mentee understand what they want to achieve out of a mentor relationship.

Episode 6: What does it take to set up and maintain a mentor relationship that can help you and your business grow?

Once an entrepreneur has found an individual to approach to be their mentor and has done their homework, the next step is to set up a meeting, which can be very daunting! That’s why this episode explores the “do’s and don’ts” for setting up and having the first meeting. It will also provide insights on how to determine whether the mentor is really the right fit and if they are, ways to maintain an ongoing relationship.

Episode 7: Can having different mentors add value?

Having a mentor can add so much value. So why not have more? There is so much to gain from the insights and perspectives of different mentors. However, managing multiple mentor relationships can be challenging. It’s a balancing act that requires a methodical approach to get the most out of each of them.

Episode 8: How can a mentor help me navigate challenging periods?

Entrepreneurship is no small feat. While it can be an exhilarating and fulfilling journey, let’s face it, roadblocks are inevitable. Having a mentor to guide you during challenging periods can be a source of insight, motivation and at times a lifeline.

Tune into the podcast here

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