Getting mentoring is as easy as 1, 2, 3
Determine Which Type of Mentoring is Right for You
- Normally occurs preparatory to long-term mentoring
- Usually occurs one-on-one
- Student may meet more than once with the same mentor
- Student must complete prerequisites (see Step 2)
- Watch assigned videos
- Research business idea
- Write a business summary
- Agree to Student Code of Conduct
- Connect with mentor via GetMentoring.com (see Step 3)
- Is available to student teams (advisement mentoring may have already occurred)
- Encourages teams to focus on business model validation and developing a scalable plan
- Helps teams compete in collegiate events
- Can be useful for products already in the marketplace
- Consists of the Rollins Center matching appropriate mentors with student teams
The length and frequency of mentoring meetings will be determined by the mentors and student teams. The goal is to prepare students to successfully launch a venture. Students must complete prerequisites (see Step 2).
Complete the Prerequisites
These prerequisites help you prepare to meet with a mentor and understand the basics of turning your business idea into a real opportunity.
- Learn about the customer-centric approach to starting a business:
- Watch two videos of Steve Blank, an expert in “lean startup” methodology: Video 1 (4 minutes) and Video 2 (67 minutes)
- While not required prior to initially meeting with a mentor, read the following: Innovators Method by Nathan Furr and Jeff Dyer or Nail It then Scale It by Nathan Furr and Paul Ahlstrom. Become familiar with the customer-centric approach found in Business Model Canvas by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur. These books can be checked out from the Rollins Center library.
- Research basic ideas and marketing for at least an hour (preferably more). Include internet, trade magazines, in-person interviews, and other media sources in your search. If your idea or product is patentable go to www.freepatentsonline.com and see if it has been patented.
- Write a business summary. We have found that if students cannot articulate their ideas in a short written summary, then they probably don’t understand their own concept. In a page or more please describe your idea and answer the following questions.
- What is your business concept and the basic pain it solves? How does it differ from other alternatives in the market?
- Who are your potential customers?
- What are your potential revenue streams and how will you be paid?
- What is the marketplace you will be in, and who are your key competitors?
- Accept the Student Code of Conduct.
Your mentor will ask you if you have completed the prerequisites. You should be prepared to email him or her a copy of your business summary before your meeting.
After completing Steps 1 and 2, sign up for a mentor at GetMentoring.com.
Please be mindful of your mentor’s time and keep their contact information private. It may take several attempts to contact a mentor.
If you wish to keep your idea private in your business summary, you should still answer as many questions as you can without disclosing the idea. However, keep in mind that most ideas are not unique—it is the execution of the idea that matters most.
To maintain excellent relationships with mentors, violation of the student code of contact—including being late for appointments—may result in dismissal from the mentoring program.