’s Burton D. Morgan Foundation Mentoring Program
offers young companies a little additional insight into running a successful business. Each participating startup is assigned between one and four mentors.
“It really depends on the stage the company is at and what their needs are,” says Anthony Hughes, director of the program. “No one mentor is going to have all the skill sets needed as these companies take their ideas to fruition.”
Companies do have to be involved with JumpStart to enroll. Currently, 38 mentors are involved in the program and they have assisted 33 companies since it was launched in March of 2012. The program currently has 21 active companies.
“The companies have generated or raised $2.9 million in capital," says Hughes. "Startups with access to mentors and advisers are seven times more likely to raise capita and three and a half times as likely to gain customers. We are responsible for creating serial entrepreneurs and polishing the diamonds in this ecosystem. They’re really flying blind without access to people who have been there, done that.”
The mentors come from virtually every industry and background -- from Fortune 500 companies to venture capitalists, to leaders of nationally-know startups. “We’ll entertain anyone, but through a stringent evaluation process. We use mentors who are experienced and knowledgeable,” says Hughes. “Mentors are invitation-only. We’re not trying to be elitists or exclusive.”
Source: Anthony Hughes
Writer: Karin Connelly