3 Tips on How to Interpret Mentor Feedback at Your Startup

The first month of Excelerate is “mentor dating month”- a chance for startups to meet as many mentors as possible with the goal of forming meaningful long term relationships.

With only two weeks left in mentor dating month, we took time to catch up with some of the company founders and see how they’ve been dealing with all of the feedback they’ve received. We’ve already had hundreds of meetings take place inside the Excelerate office this month and expect still to have hundreds more by next Friday, so you can imagine the astronomical amount of advice shared in these past few weeks can get a bit overwhelming.


Here’s an honest account of how some of our founders are feeling about mentor meetings thus far…

  • “It feels like simultaneously the most excited and confused I’ve ever been at the same time because there are so many directions we can take. Almost every single mentor has said something really interesting and really applicable to what we’re doing and those will be coming from two completely different ends and drawing us in different directions. We have to stay true to our North Star, so that’s our theme of the week: be really open to what your solution could be, but don’t stray away from your problem if it’s something you’re passionate about.”   -Wes Dearborn, Lasso
Adam and Wes of Lasso

Wes Dearborn and Adam Bordow of Lasso discuss mentor meetings and new features for Lasso in the Excelerate offices

  • “I think the most interesting thing that we’ve heard was somebody who said, ‘wrapping around real life behavior and what people are doing now is easier than getting them to entirely switch their behavior. So, how can you take people’s real life networks of sharing hand-me-downs and piggyback off of that to take advantage of those real life viral networks that already exist?’”   -Sharon Schneider, Moxie Jean

  • “We’ve gotten a lot of really useful feedback from the mentors, I actually thought I’d be more overwhelmed by all the different feedback from meeting with 10 people in 2 days, but, in fact, meeting with so many different people in such a tight time frame helps me tease out what trends are there.”   -Alicia DiRago, Whimseybox

And finally, we asked Scott Vold of Fibroblast what he is most excited about regarding Excelerate in the coming weeks…

  • “I’m looking forward to the programming in July, the sort-of mini Entrepreneur’s MBA courses. Whether that’s in finance, accounting, or some of the other stuff that you may not get anywhere else, July programming is really exciting for me. Also, in July and late June I’m connecting back with the mentors that I’ve met and had a really good connection with the first go around, so I’m really excited for follow up meetings with them to show our progress and to solidify those relationships.”

As you can see, there’s a lot going on at Excelerate these days. Lots of hard work being put in and lots of critical business decisions being made. Stay tuned for more updates on how our companies are progressing through the program!

Filed under: Excelerate Programming — Tags: — June 20, 2012