Mentor Program – FAQ
Below you can find a list of frequently asked questions divided by topic.
If your question is not on the list, or you would like to know more about a particular topic, send Keyvan an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the difference between training and mentoring?
Training follows a pre-set curriculum, with the trainee carrying the responsibility of meeting the curriculum’s deliverables. Mentoring is a more personalized activity, that assigns deliverables to the mentor as well as to the mentee. The mentor may serve as a “role model,” whereas the role of a trainer is generally to deliver a specific content without having a “partnership” with the trainee.
Who are the mentors in the program?
Our mentor network consists of +300 entrepreneurs, experienced business professionals and professors with different backgrounds, representing multiple industries in 17 countries. We are constantly recruiting new mentors to offer a better coverage of knowledge across disciplines.
Who are the startups in the program?
To be a part of the program, at least one member from the founding team should be enrolled in a higher educational institution in Denmark (participants in the AKA Startup program or the University Startup World Cup are exempt from these requirements).
How will I communicate with my partner?
You are free to agree with your counterpart on the method that fits you best, whether it is personal meetings, skype or email. If you are located in the same area, we encourage you to meet face-to-face since it’s a much more effective way of communicating.
What happens if the mentor or mentee is not responsive?
If your counterpart hasn’t answered within 2 weeks, please reach out the Mentor Program staff and explain the situation. If this is due to a loss of “momentum” in the relationship, the best option would be to simply ask your mentor/mentee for a honest clarification of his/her motives and intentions.
What is Speed Matching?
Twice a year, we host a Speed Matching event. A setting similar to a speed-dating where startups and mentors meet each other and potentially match for a mentorship. During the event, startups pitch their idea in front of the audience of mentors and fellow startups. Mentors can then meet the startups and have a brief conversation about how they can contribute to the startup’s challenges.
How does Flash Mentoring work?
Flash Mentoring is a one-time, one-on-one mentoring session which lasts 2 hours in total. During the event, you can meet 2 startups during a 45 minutes-long heat each. We recommend this event to mentors with limited time, or simply to meet new startups. After you sign-up, startups will book a time-slot with you. Before the event you will receive information about the startups you are going to meet. The event is currently available only at AKA Vesterport, Copenhagen. Signup here
Why should I become a mentee?
A mentor can give you tangible guidance on how to achieve results and will help you tackle your challenges more effectively. Mentors can also give you access to their consolidated network and help you unlock business opportunities. Finally, a mentor can motivate you and teach you skills that will make you a better entrepreneur.
How much time will this take as a mentee?
Effective mentorships generally require 4-8h/month invested in meeting with your mentor (+ working on the things discussed in between the meetings). It’s really up to what you as a mentee want to get out of the program, and how available your mentor is. Please understand that our mentors are working professionals so make sure to book meetings with a clear timeframe, item agenda and provide regular follow-ups.
What are my responsibilities as a mentee?
The program is designed to work best when the mentee shows a proactive attitude. It’s not hard, just remember to submit your deliverables on time and be prepared before meeting your mentor. In general, you need to take the initiative with seeking-out meetings with your mentor. We know that startups are busy business too, that’s why we try to make the program as smooth as we can for you.
How is the mentorship structured?
Once your application is approved, we will match you with a potential mentor. During your 1st meeting with him/her you decide whether you agree to start the 6-months mentorship together. The mentorship starts when you send us the Mentorship Kickoff form. You are free to structure the 6 months as you prefer. Approx. every second month our MentorBot will ping you to check how is it going. At the end of the mentorship you must submit a Mentorship Wrap Up and a satisfaction survey.
Do I get a certificate at the end of the mentorship?
We will evaluate your Mentorship Kickoff, the MentorBot logs and your Mentorship WrapUp at the end of the 6th month to assess your progress and whether you have had an active relationship with your mentor. You will then be awarded a completion certificate.
Is my idea too early stage for the program?
Having a too early stage startup does not mean we cannot help you develop the idea further. Venture Cup offers idea validation workshops for these startups showing them how to get from idea stage to active stage and find a mentor afterwards. When assessing whether your startup is early-stage or not ask yourself if the idea has been validated yet. Idea validation is the process of testing and validating your idea prior to launching your business name, tagline, product, service or website. This is the way to make sure that there is an actual demand for your product/service and expose your idea to the marketplace.
Why should I become a mentor?
Being a mentor can help you grow both on a personal and professional level. You can improve your communication skills and become a better employee, colleague or leader. It is also a great way to expand your network and discover new business opportunities. Being in contact with young startups also keeps you updated on the newest technologies and new ways of thinking. Many mentors highlight the positive feeling of sharing their experience with younger ambitious entrepreneurs and thereby helping them to achieve their goals.
How much time will this take as a mentor?
It really depends on the amount of mentorships and extra activities you want to be involved in. There is no set requirement. Generally, an effective 6-months mentorship requires meeting your mentee twice a month. If your schedule is tight, you can still experience mentoring with options like Flash Mentoring and Group Mentoring events which are hosted on a one-time basis.
What are my responsibilities as a mentor?
There is no specific responsibility other than following a professional conduct with your mentee. During a 6-months mentorship, your duty as a mentor is to support the startup according to the terms agreed before starting. In order to offer you a better service, we encourage proactiveness when receiving communications/questions from the Mentor Program staff.