Mentorship Program In Philly Is Working To Make The Entrepreneurial Journey Less Lonely

Behind a successful entrepreneur is often another seasoned entrepreneur that has served as a guide. In Philadelphia, industry leaders are putting this into practice through a mentorship program for the city’s founder ecosystem.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners and Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT) have joined forces to create Mentor Connect, a program that partners entrepreneurs with teams of three to five mentors who provide advice and guidance.

“We knew there are so many programs out there, but we wanted something more sustainable, scalable and really catered to the needs of our entrepreneurs,” Jennifer Cohen, the director of Mentor Connect, told The Plug.

The program, which started with a handful of mentees, is now entering its seventh year and serves over 200 entrepreneurs in the Philadelphia area. Mentees range from college students to seasoned executives starting their first startup.

Mentors are required to be experienced CEOs or founders with expertise in leadership, sales and marketing, business development, operations and investment. They volunteer and commit one or two days per month to meet with their mentee. There are about 130 mentors in the program with four new companies joining the network each month, Cohen explained.

Mentor Connect was developed using the MIT Venture Mentoring Service as a framework, an initiative for entrepreneurs in the MIT community. PACT was impressed by the curriculum and the number of organizations they trained, so they traveled to Massachusetts to receive the training and implement the program in Philadelphia.

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