Working with Mentors and Investors

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Guide for early stage startups for working with mentors and investors

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Working with Mentors and Investors

  1. 1. Working with MentorsJuly 2012
  2. 2. Why do I need mentors?“I don’t have time for this shmoozing. I just wannnalaunch my product. “With mentors you don’t waste time, you gain time. You are here toaccelerate the development of your startup. No need to repeatmistakes and be guessing around when you can get smart advice frompeople who have already been through this journey.
  3. 3. Who are these mentors?“Mentorship: that is just a mouthful. Tell me whothese guys really are.”Mentors are experienced entrepreneurs, VCs, and experts in thefields of marketing, technology, and design. We have over 100mentors in our database, local and international. If you can’t find amentor in our database that fits your needs, we will search until you haveall the resources you need. Let us know!
  4. 4. Maksym SchkolnykFounder & CEOAddress.uaAndriy LogvinFounder & CEOModnaKastaAlexey OrapFounder & CEOYouScanYegor AnchiskyFounder & CEOZakaz.uaArman DariniFounder & CEOOfficial HumanEntrepreneursAndersOstlundFounder & CEOFryday Kyiv/Coffeenar
  5. 5. Maksym PecherskyFounder & CEONew StrategiesAndrjez OlejnikChief Marketing OfficerPlatinum BankMaxon PugovskyHead of Online MarketingMicrosoftExpertsPavel RyazanovDirector of MarketingQUARTSOFTMaksym TkachukDesignerMacPawElena PodshuvejtChief Operating OfficerNew Strategies
  6. 6. Rodion KuhaevChief Investment OfficerEastone GroupAdriy GutaCo-ownerMIRYADan PaskoPrincipalHorizon CapitalIgor KimManaging PartnerGIV VentureViktoriya TigipkoManaging DirectorTA VentureTorben MajgaardFounder & CEOCyclumInvestors
  7. 7. Why mentors get involved?“What’s on for these guys?”It’s your job to engage them!Mentors get involved for several reasons:“Peek Preview”They may be angel investorsinterested in getting to know youbetter before committing $$$“Startup Disease”These guys are passionateabout the s/u ecosystem.They think you are cool andthey wanna be around you.PRIt’s prestigious to bepart of this project.NetworkingHere they may findinvestors for theirprojects, their nextgig, team members, etc
  8. 8. How to better manage my relationship withour mentors?“So how do I keep these guys happy?”The key to getting the best out of your mentor is good communication.Email, daily blogging, phone call, meeting…each mentor will prefer thatyou stay in touch in a certain way. Figure out what works best forhim/her. And always close the loop on the issues and topics you wentover together. If the mentor led you to a certain decision, make sureto keep him posted on the outcome of the decision, how it worked outin the real world, any pivoting, and hindsight.
  9. 9. What if I don’t agree with the mentor?“Come on, is the mentor going to come telling me howto run my business? Can I change him/her in themiddle of the program?“It’s your business and all decisions are made by you. Mentors use theSocratic approach to lead you to your own answers. They challenge you,make you think, ask a million questions, take you to areas you haveignored, forgotten, or do not know, until you find your own solutions.Choose mentors wisely. We want the mentorship experience to bebeneficial and fun for both sides. But if things derail along the way, ofcourse you can and should change mentors.
  10. 10. How is this thing going to work?“Can I call mentors every day? “Ad-Hocs 1-2 Lead Mentors 1-2 EL PartnersLocal and international. Youcan request as many asneeded, any time needed.They are usually experts inparticular fields, or verysuccessful entrepreneurs andinvestors.These mentors will dive deepinto your project. Make surethere is a mutually interestingrelationship beforecommitting. Average 2times/week face-to-facemeetings, a couple of hourseach. Work out the detailsdirectly with the mentor.Some weeks may require moreintense communication, someweeks less. First and last 2weeks are expected to be themost intensive ones.Each Partner has his/her ownmain areas of competencies.Ex: Olga- education,government relations, social.Hrish-VC, social+datingnetworks. Eveline-media,projectmanagement/execution.Partners are available uponrequest for consultation.
  11. 11. Who should I use and when?“I am confused by now. Just show me how to usethese ad-hoc guys.”. Mentors use the Socratic approach to lead you to your own answers.They challenge you, make you think, ask a million questions, take you toareas you have ignored, forgotten, or do not know, until you find yourown solutions.Define Build Test/Measure& ValidateSellExperienced entrepreneurs:e-commerceGroup-buyingVODgamingdigital mediasocial entrepreneurshipeducationappsdating…UX/UIe-paymentOnline MarketingSalesSEOVC and angel investors
  12. 12. Be smart about the resources available to you!
  13. 13. Working with InvestorsJan 2012
  14. 14. How to get investors interested?Master your PitchABC - "Always Be Closing"
  15. 15. What do investors look for?TractionProductFounders/Management TeamCompetitive AdvantageMarket Potential/SizeBarriers to entryExit Strategyu need. Let us know!
  16. 16. Thank you!
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