Have You Found "The One"?
The love of a mentor is a powerful, awesome thing.
Like a May-December romance (and at the risk of pushing this metaphor a little too far), mentors can bring a level of savvy and experience to a business, teaching you things and guiding you through challenges that it would take years and plenty of heartache to learn on your own, and all without the unsavory gossip.
Mentors can help you think through a business idea, suggest ideas for startup capital, lend insight into your market or operations and give you the heads-up when trouble is headed your way. The right mentor relationship can go a long way to saving—and even making—you money.
So how does one go about finding this many-splendored thing?
You can post your request on Facebook and take your chances—or you can go to those organizations that have tried and true methods of mentor matchmaking.
Here are a few mentor programs that have helped Kansas City entrepreneurs find their true mentor love. Use MOSourceLink’s Resource Navigator to find the mentor program for you. Just enter your business data and select “Mentoring” under “Assistance Needed.”
The AAIM Management Association is an employers association providing a wide range of high-value business solutions improving organization through recruitment services, organization development, human resource practices, wage and salary surveys, benefit consulting, merger and acquisition consulting, and outplacement services. Contact Margaret Fite at 314-968-3600 or via email.
GatewayVMS promotes entrepreneurship education and leadership through team mentoring of innovative new ventures at no cost by experienced serial entrepreneurs and business persons within the metropolitan St. Louis area. Mentors, who want to give back to the community, agree that Entrepreneurship education is the program's primary goal, The venture belongs to the mentee(s) and they will continue to work with mentees regardless of their business decisions, and The mentors can have no operational or financial interest in the ventures they mentor. All mentors sign a blanket confidentiality agreement with GatewayVMS. The entrepreneurs acknowledge that they are freely receiving advice, sign a liability waiver, and will abide by the rules of the program. Contact Michelle Rutledge at 314-862-4867 or via email.
The Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program is designed to grow entrepreneurs with businesses older than three years and revenues more than $1 million to achieve the next level of success. HEMP facilitates the development of a long-term relationship with a mentor who acts as a coach and a sounding board. contact Christina Dreiling at 816-471-4367 or via email.
SixThirty is backed by the St. Louis Regional Chamber and venture capital firm Cultivation Capital, SixThirty is a business development accelerator that invests up to $100,000 in a handful of financial-based technology (fintech) startup companies each year. The companies selected to take part in our accelerator program receive hands-on training, mentoring, and networking opportunities with the top financial services companies in the region. Why St. Louis? St. Louis is one of the largest financial services hubs outside of New York. It’s home to Edward Jones, Scottrade, Stifel Nicolaus, and US Bankcorp CDC, Wells Fargo Advisors, and boasts one of the most dynamic, explosive startup communities in the country. Contact Michelle Myers at 314-669-6803 or via email.
Looking for resources in a different location? Try MOSourceLink's Resource Navigator, or the following organizations:
SCORE: Volunteer mentors who provide free, one-on-one services. Schedule a mentoring appointment in your area, or via email.
Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers (MO SBTDCs): Find business specialists in your area.
What are you looking for in a mentor matchup? Or if you’ve had a mentor, how did they change your business?