This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending the Startup America session at SXSWi. One important quote I took away was from Chris Schultz, an entrepreneur whose startup accelerator program is a part of the Startup America Initiative.
“Entrepreneurs need mentors – a network of people around you who care about your success.”
As Don Dodge, developer at Google, says in his recent blog post: “Most startups don’t finish. Thirty percent of new companies fail in the first year, and 50% fail within 5 years. Second time entrepreneurs have a higher success rate than first timers.”
He also echoes Schultz’s suggestion and calls for more mentorship programs, and it makes sense. Entrepreneurs can’t do it all on their own. They need mentors, coaches, a sounding board, trusted peers, and altogether, a good support system to help them make better decisions, give them advice, and lend an ear when frustrations keep them from seeing their goals. How do you find a mentor or become one? Get involved in your local organizations. For example, Entrepreneurs’ Organization has chapters around the globe. In Texas, entrepreneurs should check out the Texas Entrepreneur Network and Austin Entrepreneur Network websites for helpful articles and events around town. RISE also has resources on its website, including more information about their mentor program.
The Startup America Partnership is working on a national level to help entrepreneurial companies start or grow, but what can we do on a local level? Where can you plug in to find a mentor or become a mentor?