Pros and cos of mentorship to startups
Lot of Angel Investors today are not only investing and are also aiming to provide mentorship to the start-up on the same lines. Luckily, it doesn’t require any achievements as such to be a mentor, if you happen to be the founder’s blood relative, far relative or a neighbor or even a mere acquaintance.
But frankly, mentors can sometimes be so misleading that it affects the firm. They seem to know everything in the market and sometimes provide baseless advices, rather than just mentioning their views. Their opinions seem correct in their sight and the founders end up respecting them for their age rather than for the personality. The things that mentors share are mostly applicable in their era, but they fail to recognize the current scenario and the mind-sets of the young Entrepreneurs.
If they are sharing something out of their experience, it must be old-school. No doubt it has an impact on the present, but the fact of the matter is that the times have changed and the generation has gone by, similarly, there are new challenges to face just not the old ones. If these new challenges are to be faced on the lines of an old timer, there is a higher probability of placing themselves in jeopardy. Sometimes, mentors go so far to achieve their dreams through the founders’ hand. They are happy to give their lending hand, but refuse to hold it accountable when anything goes astray. Thereby, they find themselves misleading the Entrepreneur and there’s nothing to do about it anymore.
Sadly, the founders also fail to differentiate between a good and bad advice. They easily fall into a trap because they are always excited to find someone to lean on – mentor. Of course, the first impression would have been the best, but for some reasons, the founder has to look at the both sides of the mentor in advance. Because down the line, it would be difficult to manage himself when he knows that he’s got onto a wrong path under the mentorship.
Entrepreneurs need to be smart in choosing the mentors, in fact, the right mentors. Perspectives may differ, but one shouldn’t only look at the background, experience and the talent, but also the likes of integrity, faithfulness and honesty. A mentor shouldn’t only look for the mentees growth, but also should recognize his own by asking for a review. It is believed that a smart founder cultivates several mentors which is how he gets to know the contrast between the good, the bad and the ugly. Then he can make the best bet on the right mentor.
This article is a confluence of Dr. Aniruddha Malpani’s (Director at Solidarity Investment Advisors) words and research on on what exactly does Angel Investors look for in a startup.