So: you’ve got a great team and a killer business plan. You’re ready to go…right? Except you know you’re fudging two points. Big time. And you can’t move forward — because let’s face it: you can Google all you want, but nothing is going to change the fact that you need advice. What do you do if you can’t afford to hire an expert?
Funny you should ask. You find a mentor, that’s what you do. And lucky for you, Mack Flavelle of Compass Engine decided that start-ups had enough to worry about without also freaking about where to find guidance from the technology community. Mack took advantage of a program at Bootup Labs called Wantit (ie: want it? Ask for it) – and spearheaded Mentor Speed-Dating this past February. Which is exactly what it sounds like. Unless you think it means setting you up to date single mentors, because no, it doesn’t mean that. Now Mack is heading up MSD 2.0.
“Mentor Speed-Dating 2.0 is basically five-minute rotating dates between founders and mentors. So you do need your elevator pitch. But at the same time, this isn’t a situation where you’re pitching to sell to an investor,” Mack explains, “this is about help. Totally different approach. We had such a great response to the first Mentor Speed-Dating. There were over thirty founders with ten mentors – including our sponsors Clark Wilson and Bootup — along with companies like Outcome3, First Choice Capital, and BCIC. For this next one we’re also streamlining the process by asking founders to submit one-pagers ahead of time. Both founders and mentors will be able to read about each other on a confirmed list before the event.”
Mentor Speed-Dating 2.0 – which is free, thank you Bootup – takes place again at the law offices of Clark Wilson (thank you, Clark Wilson) on Friday, May 7th from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM. Start-up companies interested in participating will need to set up a profile at http://mentors.bootup.ca and submit a one-page Executive Summary before Friday, April 30th. The organizers ask that you please hang on to your one-pager for now as the site will be updated shortly regarding submission details. Twelve to sixteen participating companies will be chosen by the organizing team (Mack, Simon & Karen). Companies are asked to arrive at MSD 2.0 having researched the mentors they’d like to meet and ready to identify two key issues (ie: legal, fundraising, technology, business development, sales, accounting etc.) they’d like help with.
Feel like sharing your wordly wisdom? MSD 2.0 isn’t a one-way street: Twelve participating mentors will also have the opportunity to mingle with each other at an informal dinner on the evening of Friday, April 30th.
If you’d like to help build Vancouver’s start-up community (which includes keeping track of companies you enjoy meeting for a follow-up after the event), sign up for a profile at http://mentors.bootup.ca.
There you go. Meet a Mentor at MSD 2.0. May 7th. Mark your calendar: this is one date you can’t afford to miss.