5 reasons why mentorship matters, and how you can help

Scratchpad Accelerator Participants

From L to R: Brian Rahill (CourseStorm), Lisa Liberatore (Scratchpad Accelerator), Matt James (CourseStorm), Jason Harkins (Scratchpad Accelerator and Maine Business School), Spencer Wood (Tip Whip, LLC), Vincent Lewis (L&K Manufacturing), Jennifer Hooper (Scratchpad Accelerator and University of Maine), Sameer Pimpalkhute (Tip Whip, LLC), Andrew Katon (L&K Manufacturing), Matt Hodgkin (Blackstone Accelerates Growth Fellow and UMaine student). Missing: Dan Kerluke from Double Blue Sports Analytics

Entrepreneurs have an incredible amount of passion. They’re inventors, researchers, programmers, scientists, and your “average joe” like you or me. What unites them is an intense desire to share their idea with the world. But just because they have an incredible idea, it doesn’t mean they are necessarily incredible at building a business. (And even if they have, every new business faces unique challenges.) That’s where mentors come in.

Why are mentors critical to the success of entrepreneurs?  Here are five reasons:

  1. Mentors have experience. Many mentors have built their own businesses, so they’ve “been there, done that.” Even if they haven’t invented your widget, researched your science, or know how to provide your service, they’ve built a company (or more) and know a thing or two. That experience can save a newbie entrepreneur a heartache and lead to numerous “aha” moments.
  2. Mentors have wisdom. Wisdom stems from experience and serves as a foundation for good judgment. It’s acquired through success, but just as often (or more), it’s acquired through failure. A mentor’s wisdom, imparted as an experienced coach, can help an entrepreneur navigate through some tricky and unexpected territory.
  3. Mentors are subject matter experts. Some mentors are not entrepreneurs. Instead, they’re experts in a particular field like Marketing, Sales, Finance, or maybe Nanocellulose. Their industry focus makes them a specialist in their field, with insights you would have never considered. Even a single meeting over a cup of coffee could make a huge difference.
  4. Mentors force you to look up.  An entrepreneur who keeps her head down (focused on one thing) is like motorcycle rider watching the pavement just in front of the wheel: she’s unaware of the potential dangers ahead. A mentor can help you look further down the road, as well as peripherally, and point out potential road blocks, curves, and obstacles.
  5. Mentors help you move faster. One of the scariest things about entrepreneurship is not knowing what to do next. It can be paralyzing, keeping you frozen in one place. A mentor can get you moving again by making the unknown known. Just helping you take a single step can set you on a new track for building momentum and moving forward again.

Interested in providing mentorship?
Mentoring is not just about the entrepreneur; it’s an incredibly rewarding experience for the mentor as well. Please join the Scratchpad Accelerator team for food and drink as we bring together our existing mentor pool and thank them for their contribution to the Scratchpad Accelerator.  Not yet a mentor? We’re also looking for mentors to join our growing mentor network. This event is for both current mentors and potential-mentor-wannabes!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015
5:00-7:00 PM
Target Technology Center
20 Godfrey Drive
Orono, Maine

RSVP early to reserve your spot!
(Limited availability.)

About Scratchpad
With full time support and access to industry experts and mentors, the Scratchpad Accelerator is a pilot program dedicated to helping startup companies uncover answers to critical questions about their businesses. The Scratchpad Accelerator is a University of Maine initiative in collaboration with the Maine Technology Institute.


Founding Sponsor:

Master Craftsman Sponsor:

Bangor Area Target Development Corporation

The team is looking for additional sponsors interested in supporting entrepreneurs. Please email lisa@scratchpadaccelerator.com to inquire about sponsorship opportunities.


Jennifer Hooper

About Jennifer Hooper

Jennifer Hooper is the Communications Director of the Scratchpad Accelerator. She's also been working in the Maine entrepreneurial ecosystem for the past several years at the Foster Center for Student Innovation at the University of Maine.