“Mentors are the secret weapons of successful startups”
… that is the conclusion of a number of studies around the world (check: Forbes, Techcrunch or Google)
As I launched my first mentoring program in 2008 to support local entrepreneurs I couldn’t agree more! When the right mentors with the right attitude and motivation are recruited and they are matched with local, ambitious entrepreneurs something happens: Trust is quickly established between mentors and mentees, new ideas come up in the dialogues, and the journey of the startups take off!
While managing many mentoring programs since 2008 I started noticing what made the difference between the different programs and how I could support the process and facilitate the best matches. Based on my observation and a lot of “trial-and-error” I adjusted my model to improve it. Today this experience is the foundation of my concept WE LOVE MENTORS. A concept that focuses on proper screening, training, match-making and feed-back between mentors and mentees – a steep learning curve for all parties!
My theoretical foundation for supporting entrepreneurs is a Master’s Degree of Science where my main focus has been “Regional Growth Strategies” within the field of economic development. Besides my training offers I’m part of the team at a high tech incubator at the Danish Technical University.
The concept for managing mentoring programs including mentor training has been presented at international conferences around the world including:
- INBIA’s Mentor Program Manager Certification Course, August 2020
- ICBI 34, April 2020
- e.builders Forum at Niagara Falls, 2019
- INBIA’s International conference, Minneapolis 2019
- Forum for SBDC’s, Copenhagen 2016
- INBIA’s International Conference, Denver 2015
- NBIA’s International Conference, New Orleans 2014
- Russian-American Business Forum in Moscow, 2014
- NBIA’s International Conference, Boston 2013
- CABI’s International Conference, Toronto, 2013
Thomas is hosting an online certification course for INBIA in March 2021.