Why You Need A Startup Mentor and How To Find The Best One For Your Startup

As a founder, you are proud of your accomplishments and cannot wait to advance. However, being a startup founder can be isolating as you cannot handle everything in the company. A good support network is essential.

We all have mentors, but we don’t often have open conversations about their role in our paths to success. This article will explore how to leverage startup mentors, and how having one can give your startup a competitive advantage.

What is a startup mentor?

A startup mentor is someone who understands everything in a startup, from start to finish. He knows the amount of time, energy, attention, and funds necessary to begin and survive the business.

Do startup mentors get paid?

Most startup mentors make money through consulting, marketing, accountancy, or agency services. However, some charge a fee and ask for a company’s share in equity.

Do you meet the requirements to be a growth mentor?

Some of the main requirements for a prospective mentor include:

  • Experience working in growth marketing with startups or in technology organizations.
  • Familiarity with the mentorship categories you want to offer
  • The capability of conducting conversations using digital audio or video conferencing platforms
  • Passion or enjoying what you do as a growth mentor is all about helping others
  • Understanding and good listening skills

Where do you get answers to all the hard questions you ask as a new entrepreneur?

Nobody is born knowing everything about businesses, and that’s fine. Some places are brimming with skilled and experienced individuals who can provide you with solutions.

Where can you find a startup mentor?

There’s a slew of options, including:

Startup Incubators and Accelerators

Startup Incubators

Startup incubators and accelerators provide education and mentorship programs for high-growth, early-stage startups.

While on the incubation and acceleration program, you’ll work with industry experts. It’s crucial to search for incubators and accelerators that are the best fit at a stage where your startup can benefit from a startup mentorship.

Indirect competitors

Startup Mentor- Indirect Competitors

Look for indirect competitors, such as companies in the same industry targeting a different market niche or national corporations that have little influence on your local relationships.

If these businesses have been around for longer than you have, their CEOs have a wealth of knowledge to share.

Everywhere else

If you’re willing to do new things and meet new people, you could complete a mentor almost anyplace.
When it comes to finding mentors, there is no “secret”: Look in the places you’d go if you were a mentor; be patient and open to new contacts, and you’ll ultimately meet someone who can help your business in concrete ways.

How do you find a startup mentor?

Watch out for these main qualities:

Industry Experience

Looking for somebody with startup expertise is an excellent starting point. If you hire a consultant with organizational expertise, you may expect some lively debates, most of which will revolve around performance issues.


Seek guidance from someone you can trust and one who can point you in the right direction. Don’t seek out a “yeah of course” mentor; instead, seek out one that will challenge you and with whom you can develop a strong bond.


Sometimes, a mentor’s greatest value is the unique connections they can provide you access to. Most industry veterans have unique and hard-to-penetrate professional networks that are simply not available to entry-level entrepreneurs or businesses without track records. A connected mentor can make all the difference, from product development, supply chain management to fundraising and hiring.

How important is a mentor for a startup founder?

A startup mentor assists a founder in resolving complex issues. There are many uncertainties for beginners to manage, and an effective mentor can help them overcome these variables with knowledge and insight.

Why is the contribution of this figure so important in a startup?

The most important part is the successful sharing of skills and assisting firms in all aspects. Building a new firm not only requires global influence and talent; it also demands people, and if you’d like to develop a rich heritage and a quality investment, mentors are requisites.

What is better, to pay for a mentor or earn a mentor’s trust for a new startup?

In a corporate mentoring relationship, trust is crucial. If the mentee does not believe in the mentor, he will hesitate to open up and feel vulnerable, limiting some meaningful discussions necessary for business success.

Do you want your startup to be a success?

Most successful firms consider a successful mentor as a secret plan. Successful entrepreneurs devote effort to seeking capital from investors and utilizing a vital resource; their mentors.

Startup Mentor's Role In Success

Several of the world’s most popular firms consist of founders with significant ties to other successful entrepreneurs who recognize mentorship’s importance in business success.

How do you get advice from a mentor as a startup founder?

The key would be to select a mentor available to assist you and know the sort of business you would like to launch.

You can also engage with someone who can help you figure out what measures to take presently and ahead. Accelerator programs and incubators are great options to consider.

As a startup founder, how many advisors do I need to have, and when do I stop seeking advice?
One effective mentor is enough. However, if you love diversity, you can have one with industrial experience, another one with market experience, and one focused on industrial enhancement.

How did you find a mentor for your business?

Mentoring relationships work best when the mentor and mentee are a good fit. To select a mentor, note your career aspirations, determine personal role models, and strike up a casual partnership with them.

What advice do you have for someone with a startup but doesn’t know where to start?

Ambition and knowledge should be in harmony: For a young entrepreneur, ambition is among the most critical components of a solid corporate plan. Your passion will always drive you to enhance your method to help your company flourish.

How important is networking for a startup founder?

Most startup founders got their breakthroughs due to the referrals and connections they developed as they mitigate risks.

While you may start a brand with no need for a comprehensive portfolio, networking is among the essential strategies to establish a viable and profitable firm.

I want to be an entrepreneur thinking about starting networking with people; how to start networking?

Social media has made this easy and possible. Get into LinkedIn or Twitter, find individuals based on your sector or demographics, and be sure to introduce yourself in a casual and unassuming manner before asking for a significant involvement.

Why even consider learning about startups in an online school like a community?

An online school community provides an excellent opportunity to obtain motivation, Master the principles of a new venture, and Interact with others even on a startup event to establish connections.

Moreover, entrepreneurial strategies, like how startup founders seek out possibilities, obtain money, and grow, could be transformed by digitalization.

How do you choose your first startup mentors and advisors?

Go for someone who can integrate operational and conceptual skills in areas where you experience difficulties or require learning more.

Accelerator programs are sometimes the best place to find relevant mentors. Most of these mentors are incentivized to help you succeed due to a shared equity pool in participating startups. High-quality mentors will already be vetted by the accelerators.

If you don’t have access to a startup accelerator, it’s possible to look for the relevant people using platforms like LinkedIn, AngelHub, and online startup conferences. When addressing them, be straightforward about your goals and expectations. Having a solid idea of what a mentor can help you with will also make a key difference.

What are the top questions for startup mentors?

Questions To Ask From Startup Mentor

What has been your most challenging career experience?

This query prompts your mentor to reflect on the difficult times they endured when establishing their respective company.

It may provide valuable information that you may apply to your startup.

What you’d do in my shoes as the founder of an early-stage startup?

Do not be fear enlisting the help of your startup mentor to fill in for you. Inquire of the mentor what they’d be doing if they were in your shoes.

It enables you and your mentor to tackle the problematic aspects of your business venture straight on, resulting in authentic, personalized guidance.

Ask them to point out what you don’t know (industry expertise). Your startup mentor has most likely worked in the field for a long time or has experience turning a small tech startup into a full-fledged company.

Your company’s future will likely waste time, opportunities, and unnecessary energy by not posing such questions.

SWOT Analysis advisory / Risk analysis?

A startup mentor will see aspects in you or your company that you haven’t identified. You also could be making the errors they did during their startup periods.

Rather than being offended whenever your mentor points out your weaknesses, seek out this input on your initiative towards being the best possible version of yourself.

Is it necessary for me to interact with others?

For your business, everyone has their own set of abilities and knowledge. Startup mentors are generally connected people with a broad network of connections in the business world. Grab the most of this opportunity to extend your horizons.

Is it more common to negotiate a startup advisor equity agreement straight away?

Sharing equity causes problems since it restricts the founder’s liberty and subjects him to losses as equity has no value during the early stages.

Just In: Non-Equity Based Funding

You are yet to establish your company, and probably you don’t have any resources, earnings, or intellectual property. A founder must have 100% equity.

How should a startup compensate an advisor that helps to raise money?

Based on the startup stage and the quality of the guidance rendered, an advisory may obtain 0.25-1 percent of the company’s stock.

There are methods to establish such incentives so that founders receive fair compensation for their shares while also having the option to substitute advisors while retaining ownership.

Founder Institute’s FAST agreement is a free contract template to simplify the process for startups to work with advisors & mentors.
Generally, startup founders give consulting and mentorship fees to advisors.

As a startup founder, how important is it to have a mentor?

Mentorship is not always essential, but the capacity to make the right decisions as a founder is critical to a startup’s success or failure. The place where mentors deliver the greatest value is to supplement a founder’s skill set, weaknesses. For example, a founder may be a 30+ year domain expert in software development, but lack marketing skills that a mentor can help advise on.

What should I ask a corporate mentor?

How can we achieve convenient discussions?

Having the willingness to work within your mentor’s timetable is a big step towards fostering a great connection.

The emphasis of the engagement is primarily on you. When requesting facial arrangements, take into consideration your mentor’s expectations for efficiency and time.

To show courtesy to your mentor’s time, prepare meeting agendas that can be sent by email to the mentor ahead of the meeting so all parties are aligned and aware of what topics need to be discussed. This also enables your mentor to prepare in advance, likely helping you benefit more.

What percentage of CEOs said that mentors were a big part of your success?

A performance management poll showed that 80 % of them benefitted from mentorship. Mentors are interested in your accomplishments, and they attempt to provide relevant support to help you advance in your business.

What could be more valuable to a CEO or startup founder than having an experienced and trusted external mentor?

Having more than one mentor would be ideal. Even the most knowledgeable mentor has imperfections that may even coincide with those of a mentee.

A CEO with different mentors will benefit through each concern that arises as he will acquire advice from those that have faced difficult and unexpected situations.

How do mentors help entrepreneurs?

Mentors draw on their skills and experience to create and deliver authentic examples that are substantially relevant to new entrepreneurs’ issues.

They collaborate with the entrepreneurial firm to assist them through the complete system while also allowing them to work out obstacles to achieve resilience.

What can you expect from a business mentor?

Your mentor will:

  • Pay attention to the concerns you get about your brand and assist you by discussing their failures and successes.
  • Provide pleasant, impartial assistance
  • Offer helpful and insightful comments
  • Share connections and systems to further your individual and commercial advancement
  • Grant you continual help and assistance to become a successful entrepreneur

What makes Silicon Valley so successful for startups?

Collaboration is the critical source of Silicon Valley’s success. Most local business owners, for instance, attended the same school.

Reasons Behind Silicon Valley's Startups Success

As a result, despite the firm’s affiliations, they can consider one another. Also, foreigners established behold more than 50% of the company’s startups, and the diversification stimulated innovation.

Furthermore, world-class universities surround the valley. Most of those founders are Stanford University graduates, and skilled tech support employees came from other regional institutions.

What makes tech startups successful?

Successful startups are close to their customers. Whenever a tech startup evaluates an item, they connect with their customers, chat to them openly, award them gifts for becoming influencers, conduct surveys, modify it and re-evaluate it.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Continual help and endorsement: They provide academic, professional, and institutional assistance to entrepreneurs, spanning from selecting suitable projects to success and sustainability.

Mentors support startups in problem-solving. There are many unknowns for new entrepreneurs to deal with, and a good mentor can help them cope through wisdom and expertise.

Time is a limited commodity. Entrepreneurs ought to research to choose a mentor who is best suited for them alongside their economic concerns.

Be precise about what you’re seeking, how they can help, and have a solid understanding of the route you want to go before engaging them.

The majority of charges span from $50 to $3,000, based on the mentors’ status. For most affiliation groups, the price range might be $150-300 for each mentee.

Consider joining a professional group, join meet-ups, or make introductions in industrial events.

Make it a point to get people’s contact details and follow up with everyone you encounter, even if they don’t appear to be significant prospects instantly. Perhaps you’ll get a mentor along. Until then, create meaningful self-awareness.

Why wouldn’t you invest in training and skills to help you accomplish your business objectives and live the dream you anticipated once you decided to strike out on your own? Admittedly, you wouldn’t provide your business goods or services away for free.


As a startup founder, you are now proud of your accomplishments and cannot wait to advance. You may be an entrepreneur with an idea or strategy to grow or build your business but lack the experience, funds, or faced with the challenge of how to go about it.

A startup mentor understands everything from start to finish through helping you overcome beginner uncertainties towards achieving the success you desire.

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