PHOTO: The James River
Our exceptional team of mentors have started, grown, and sold companies across a range of industries. They provide specialized coaching at every stage in the startup process, helping our members face challenges with confidence and find solutions with ease.
What It Means to be a Mentor
Mentors are at the heart of the Startup Virginia experience and help drive our members to success. Our mentors come from a wide variety of professional backgrounds, representing an array of industries and offering unique viewpoints. Members are connected to mentors who have the skills and expertise most relevant to their individual business or business challenge.
Because mentors are a vital part of our culture, we hold them to the highest of standards. We select those who have the professional credentials, as well as the time and dedication to devote to our members.
Being a mentor is about much more than simply offering advice. It's about cultivating a deep relationship with someone in order to help them grow as an individual, as well as a business. By taking a vested interest, providing support, and being a steadfast resource throughout the process, you become an invaluable part of our members' journeys.
In order to ensure a successful mentor/member relationship at Startup Virginia, below is an outline of our expectations:
- Allocate at least 3 hours of mentorship office hours each quarter
- Come prepared by doing your research and be thoughtful with your questions
- Serve as a trusted partner who can empathize and offer guidance
- Share knowledge in confidence and give back without expectations
- Be intentional, honest and direct with your ideas and feedback
- Remain professional and respectful of time by not arriving late or running over
- Take initiative in building the mentor/member relationship
- Practice active listening and refrain from dominating the conversation
- Understand that the value of mentorship is not monetary
- Schedule all meetings and offer feedback after each session using Union, our mentoring platform
- If a meeting is scheduled outside of Union, please let us know by sending the name of the participants, the date, and the time of the meeting to: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to helping our members, there are many benefits of being a mentor. You can stay updated on the latest startups and ideas, be invited to networking and exclusive events, and take pride in the fact that you are contributing to the startup ecosystem in Virginia, driving the success of the next generation of business pioneers.
A Subject Matter Expert (SME) offers deep industry or functional expertise and coaching in a specific area (e.g. finance, marketing, sales, strategic planning, technology, etc.)
Entrepreneur Mentors, in addition to being an SME, have been directly involved in founding a startup.