Growth through Mentoring

For many years I was privileged to contribute as adviser and mentor to The Fox School’s of Business Enterprise Management Consulting Practice (EMC) to help International MBA students with marketing strategy and presentation polish. Through my involvement I met many entrepreneurs — students and peer advisers — and had the opportunity to see many successful project launches.

Mentoring is a way to help others succeed by providing tools, resources, access, and support. My favorite thing about mentoring is seeing young professionals develop as people as they build their skills along with their business ideas.

Starting something new is hard — think about a new job, moving to another city, or even preparing for a talk at an major conference. Imagine what it's like when that new thing is a business. Reading the headlines and success stories you would likely never know how difficult it was to confront what did not work and to stay motivated along the way.

Because I appreciate both the opportunity to help others and the need for business innovation I am very excited to share that the Venture Fund for America accelerator launched yesterday:

In partnership with our lead sponsor, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, we’ll give six Fellow-led teams the chance to go from side project to flourishing business. We’re covering housing, food, and transportation for our teams, but we’re not asking for equity – there’s no cash, but no catch.

These 2013 Fellows launching their nascent companies will live together in Philadelphia, spending each day based at First Round Capital‘s generously donated coworking and community space. First Round’s investment in Philadelphia’s startup community is showing great returns, and we’re excited to be welcomed in.

And that this new venture is doubly exciting because it gives me the opportunity to participate as a mentor. As Mike Tarullo, SVP Corporate Development at Venture for America and program director for the VFA Accelerator says:

“Our favorite thing about working at Venture for America is seeing our Fellows change and grow throughout their time with us. We meet thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs on campus or early in their careers who say they want to launch a business one day, but don’t know where to begin. Then after a few years with VFA, we’ve seen them grow and are helping them make it happen.”

Exactly my sentiment. Growth happens all around, and learning to learn has long been my motto.


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