Becoming a Startup Haven Mentor
There are three types of mentors: Program Mentor, Executive Mentor, and Mentor-at-large.
The difference between each type of mentor has nothing to do with their ability to provide thoughtful and experienced help. The difference is primarily the amount of time each mentor is able to spend working with accelerator teams.
Program Mentors are experienced founders and investors representing a broad variety of backgrounds, domain expertise, technical and operational skill, and industry experience. In addition to serving as a traditional mentors (in every respect) Program Mentors are there to help guide teams through the GroundWork process. As such, Program Mentors must be well versed in the principles of GroundWork methodology.
In addition to serving in the same capacity as a Program Mentor, Executive Mentors work closely with the accelerator operations team to monitor and assess team progress, coach teams on the GroundWork curriculum, provide teams with guidance on selecting and engaging with mentors and serve as a point of contact for teams experiencing challenges with the program or with other mentors. For their extra effort, Executive Mentors receive a share of the equity accrued by the accelerator program. Each team is assigned two Executive Mentors. These mentors may or may not be the mentor a team works with most or most deeply.
Mentors-at-large can be considered “on demand” mentors. While they may not have sufficient time to commit to “going deep” with a team, their specific domain experience may make them an extremely valuable resource for teams on an ad hoc basis. Mentors-at-large strive to be responsive, but when a team reaches out to a Mentor-at-large, they understand that the mentor is committed to being helpful but that mentor’s time may be constrained.
Accelerator mentors can be either local or remote. Because in-person collaboration can be so valuable, teams are encouraged to build relationships with local mentors in their city whenever they can. However, because the program is essentially virtual, any team can work with any mentor in any city. In working with remote mentors, teams are encouraged to utilize web collaboration tools such as Zoom, Google Docs, etc. Accelerator teams and mentors are also provided access to private channels on Founder to Founder, Startup Haven’s member-only ask/offer forum.
All mentors are required to commit to a minimum six-month term and must be a Startup Haven member in good standing, i.e. an experienced founder, C-level exec or investor. We cap the total number of mentors in the program and we try to maintain a balance of both subject matter expertise and startup experience. As such we ask that prospective mentors submit a simple profile for consideration for fit within the current panel of mentors.
Assumptions and Cogency — the Core of GroundWork
Mentors are incredibly helpful in a myriad of ways. However, because the concepts of ‘assumption’ and ‘cogency’ are fundamental to the accelerator program, it is important that mentors understand the role these principals play in the GroundWork methodology. Startup Haven members seeking to become accelerator mentors should familiarize themselves with the GroundWork curriculum. As part of the selection process for Executive Mentors and Program Mentors, a brief phone conversation is used to ensure that any questions or concerns a mentor has about the GroundWork principles are addressed.
Ready to go? Fill out the Startup Haven mentor application form.