mentors & advisors
Mentorship is a vital element of an entrepreneur's success
Are you a subject matter expert or experienced business leader looking to give back to the community? Do you want to support entrepreneurs as they build their vision?
We invite you to be part of the growing Tucson small business and entrepreneurial ecosystem by sharing your knowledge and insights with the next generation of innovators!
Join 80+ other individuals in our Mentor Network in supporting local entrepreneurs!
Mentors play an important role in helping businesses set realistic goals and decide on tactics for accomplishing those goals. By sharing their experience, they help other entrepreneurs avoid some costly pitfalls they may have faced themselves.
Mentorship is also a two-way street.
Not only do mentors learn from their mentees and discover common connections, many mentors are also mentees and students themselves. It's through these shared community experiences that we can best build and support the startup ecosystem here in Tucson.
92 percent of small businesses agree mentors have a direct impact on growth and the survival of their business.
And of those surveyed, nearly all of those business without a mentor wished they had one.
American Express Business Blueprint survey of 200 small businesses
"I find mentoring with Startup Tucson exciting for the same reasons I find entrepreneurship exciting: I get to support and learn from smart, passionate people solving real problems. The energy the entrepreneurs bring to the Fundamentals workshop is electric and makes me very excited for Tucson's future." - Aleshia H.
what makes a good mentor?
All of our programs and services work together to help founders reduce risk, increase profits, and minimize growing pains. We focus on approaches that are customer-centric, data-driven, relationship-based, and goals-oriented, and our core programs are grounded in the Lean Canvas.
Our mentors play a vital role in helping entrepreneurs apply these concepts
to their real life business decisions. They're in it TOGETHER with the entrepreneur to find the best solution for their business.
They provide feedback & advice, offering specialized recommendations based on industry knowledge and personal expertise.
They listen & guide, asking questions to help them get to the answers rather than just telling them what to do or giving the answers.
They are advocates & supporters, giving constructive feedback while also providing encouragement and enthusiasm.
How the Program Works
Our vision for the Startup Tucson Mentoring Program is to have a diverse, growing group of mentors and subject matter experts who are consistently involved with entrepreneurs in ways that they find personally fulfilling and that work for their busy schedules.
We regularly ask mentors to meet directly with entrepreneurs. We also offer a variety of opportunities for our mentors to engage with mentees, including facilitating workshop activities, judging at pitch events, and serving as panelists and guest speakers.
Direct pairings with an entrepreneur for one-to-one meetings.
Startup Tucson will make introductions between you as the expert and the entrepreneur, and then you take it from there.
Action Advising Sessions
"Office Hours" for brief and focused coaching sessions.
Mentors volunteer for 2-4 hour blocks of time, and then entrepreneurs schedule back-to-back 30-minute sessions using an online portal.
Support of workshops, trainings, and other Startup Tucson events.
Mentors support Startup Tucson programming during a class, teach a workshop, or judge at a pitch competition.
Monthly Mentor Bulletin: We communicate upcoming opportunities via an emailed Mentor Bulletin with requests for volunteers and announcements about community opportunities. This includes opportunities at Startup Tucson and other mentor requests from our community partners. You can sign up for as much or little as you like.
Mentor Events: We also host regular events for mentors to meet other entrepreneurs and the Startup Tucson team. A few times a year, these are reserved exclusively for mentors only so you can also get to know other mentors in the network.
Mentor Training & Resources: We provide mentors with a handbook to help facilitate successful engagement with entrepreneurs. We also provide opportunities to shadow experienced mentors to learn more about supporting specific types of Startup Tucson trainings.
Application & Onboarding Process
After applying, a member of our team will schedule a brief call with you to learn more about your experience, motivation for mentoring, and to answer any questions you have about Startup Tucson or our mentorship program. If you are approved as a mentor, you will be asked to complete our mentor agreement and then you will be added to our mentor database and to the distribution list for the Mentor Bulletin where you'll learn about new opportunities each month. Annually, you'll be asked to "opt-in" again to remain an active member of the mentor network.
Still have questions?? Connect with Megan!