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Connecting mentors and founders

I get asked all the time, how can i find a great advisor/mentor/angel for my startup?  My friend Fred Wilson wrote a great post the other day about role models. I encourage you all to read it.

I’m a big believer in mentorship driven programs and have put my money where my mouth is as an investor in Techstars and YC companies.

It was nice to see so many local mentors come out and support a new-ish program like TechStars Cambridge. By last count, I think we have over 60 great mentors willing to lend a helping hand, share experiences, make connections, provide candid feedback and if nothing else become a friend to the founder.

We had a number of other folks that wanted to become mentors but at some point the team running the program at techstars had to stop taking mentors on because each year, Techstars only backs about 10 startups per year per city (boulder, seattle, cambridge).

But the fact that many others would like to mentor young startups shouldn’t go unnoticed. Plus Techstar [+ City] only lasts a few months each year. And not every startup gets accepted into these programs (less than 10% of the applicants).

How do we bottle up those mentors (as well the others) that want to mentor and match them with young founders on an ongoing basis?

Running ongoing events is one way to do this. But events (to date) haven’t been nearly as effective as mentorship programs like techstars, YC or seedcamp. Maybe a service like Kickstarter could add a way for mentors to donate “time” as well as money (both are extremely valuable).

Or maybe a new non-profit web site could emerge to match mentors with founders in a given city.

If you are interested in this topic then please let me know. Let’s make it happen.