SME WORLD Bureau
We are fast ushering into a startup ecosystem. Innovations and idea on how to do business are shaping up. Disruptions in the markets are happening all around. With this has arisen an opportunity for mentoring. Choosing the right mentor to give you a much needed push in the right direction is quite a challenge. Who can be your right mentor who can become a strong support system in nurturing you and your ideas in your growth trajectory? Do all startups need mentors? There have been instances when even strong and seemingly workable ideas fell flat on the execution level. What goes wrong? And why? “Even most ideal projects fail in the absence of strong execution capabilities,” says Bhavesh Kothari, Co-founder, TheMentropreneurs and adds “This is where a combination of the experienced and able mentorship coupled with the right execution strategy can turn the tables.”
“That is how TheMentorpreneurs Inc. was born to handhold these brilliant ideas with the right execution strategies to be on the right growth track. More often than not, start ups, despite brilliance and drive, fail on the execution front. We assist them to set the sail in the right direction”, Bhavesh says. “While TheMentorpreneurs Inc. has been active in the mentoring space for a brief period, we have been helping friends and contacts in our own way by connecting them by opening our network and contacts to these budding entrepreneurs”, says Shraddha Patil, Co-Founder & Chief Mentor, TheMentropreneurs.
“Although we have been in the mentoring area for a long time but it didn't work on a long term basis and everyone would take our mentoring casually,” says Bhavesh. “In the absence of active handholding and mentoring, the advice being extended to entrepreneurs was on good faith and the approach both ways appeared very casual and informal and often riddled with communication failure leading to disconnect. This is how we decided to start TheMentorpreneurs Inc., in 2015, to create a model in assisting startups and be a partner in penning their growth story.” Adds Shraddha, “TheMentorpreneurs is an entire ecosystem in itself comprising of the startups that can connect with the Mentors, the investor community along with the incubators as well as the allied service providers who are handpicked and carefully selected as trusted partners. “
Bhavesh Kothari and Shraddha Patil interacted with SME WORLD recently.
Kindly explain the launch of your venture 'TheMentorpreneurs' and tellus its basic concept.
TheMentorpreneurs is the leading platform for “Mentoring” Startups launched in the year 2015 by two entrepreneurs & mentors Ms. Shraddha Patil & Bhavesh Kothari having over a decade and half years of experience across industries. TheMentorpreneurs was born out of passion for Mentoring and sheer need as they were approached by many startups who were seeking help in their business. The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not crafting them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to discover themselves and bring out the best potential.TheMentorpreneurs is a global platform aggregating the startups to catapult growth and thereby ensuring effective collaboration in the startup ecosystem with an objective to bring together the entire ecosystem under one roof with a clear focus on adding value to the community. At TheMentorpreneurs, we handhold startups in various areas such as Idea Validation, Pitch Deck Validation, Term Sheet, Legal and Compliance, Financial Models, Go to Market Strategy to Investor Connect Funding Assistance(Seed/Series A/ Angel/Venture Capital) etc, to even in areas such as Investor Relationship Management post raising funds.
We run several initiatives such as “Nurture Series”, “Mentor Clinics”, “Community Building seminars”, as well as programs which are customized for Colleges, B-Schools & institutes. We also support various startups events as their exclusive “Mentoring Partner” and run mentor clinics where there is dedicated one on one mentoring session. We have recently launched two dedicated Mentoring programs, “TheMentorpreneurs Ideate” (Duration 6 months) for startups at the Ideation Stage& “TheMentorpreneurs Enhance” (Duration 6 months)for startups at the growth stage which also provides fund raising support.
What really is mentoring especially for Startups and small businesses?
A mentor helps you with insights on your business plan enabling fast progress thus build a robust and scalable business model. There have been ample opportunities for utilizing the right mentors who can become a strong support system in nurturing these businesses to guide them in the right direction of growth and scale faster. Handholding small business and assisting them to identify the changes that happen in today's dynamically changing business environment ensures that they are on the right track toward achieving their goals.
What is your USP?
TheMentorpreneurs is the only platform which focusses on “Mentoring” businesses thereby enabling them to catapult to growth and business success across the spectrum of function and industries. With a huge pool of functional experts onboard as “Mentors” across industries and domains we ensure that it's not just guiding startups on the do's and don'ts, but focus on bringing value and solve business challenges.
Who all need mentoring and why?
Mentoring is needed at all levels of the business, be it a startup or be it at the enterprise level. It is also needed across functions and across designations. This ensures that the leader is able to tie all the stakeholders with the organizations mission, vision & value there by navigating them to the right path of growth and success.
What are the areas wherein most seek mentoring?
Mentoring is needed across function within an organization. Business strategy, Technology, marketing & branding, finance, customer acquisition and retention, brand building, talent management, product- market fit, Go-to-market strategy, Investment raising, etc are some of the areas where business seek mentoring. We also assist startup's in project manage in various areas ranging from legal, compliance, taxation, IP, etc to name a few.
How can an entrepreneur faced with challenges like finance, technology, marketing etc. be assisted by 'TheMentorpreneurs'?
The entrepreneur gets “Mentoring” support in these areas with either the help of in-house experts or via mentors which are domain/functional experts identified by TheMentorpreneurs. This is a strategic match making initiative to ensure maximum value both to the mentee and mentor thus ensuring that there is tangible and result oriented output. This is done through a very stringent onboarding process to ensure the right set of challenges are identified and solved with a more result oriented outcome. These are then reviewed periodically to measure the effectiveness and maneuver accordingly to reach the desired goal.
How many organizations you have mentored so far and what is the outcome?
So far we have mentored more than 15 startups within the last one year and a few of them are now being assisted in raising funds from VC's / Investors for them to scale it to the next level of growth. These startups are in the industries verticals such as Healthcare, Ecommerce, Fintech, IoT, Robotics, etc to name a few.
What is your vision for your platform?
We are looking at building the best mentoring platform across the globe to bridge the gap and build a robust ecosystem focused on Value and Innovation at its core. In the coming years we would be also launching initiatives to provide the right mentoring programs for Institutions, B-schools, Co-working spaces, Incubators & e-Cells in colleges across the country. In the next 1 & ½ years we wish to cover pan India market by setting up of dedicated mentoring hubs.
What are the problem areas you solve?
TheMentorpreneurs Inc. today acts as a trusted mentor and advisor to the startups right from the ideation to the execution stage. We handhold startups in various areas such as Idea Validation, Pitch Deck Validation, Term Sheet, Legal and Compliance, Financial Models, Go to Market Strategy to Investor Connect Funding Assistance(Seed/Series A/ Angel/Venture Capital) etc, to even in areas such as Investor Relationship Management. TheMentorpreneurs also assists these startups to reach out to various events giving them a platform to present their ideas as well as exposure to networking and meeting likeminded entrepreneurs thereby creating B2B opportunities for their business.
What's your current team size?
The current team size comprises of 2 core founding team members and associate representatives in Pune, Bangalore & Delhi. It currently has 5 expert mentors on its advisory panel to assist them in their business strategy as well as client engagements. It also has tie-up's with several partners, who are experts in areas such as Finance, Compliance and Legal, crowd funding platforms, startup story platforms and media tie-up's.
e) How has your startup journey been so far?
The journey has been very exciting for TheMentorpreneurs with 7 unique startup's in our kitty from areas such as Autonomous car technology, Healthcare, Robotics, IOT, B2C, to name a few.
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