It’s no secret that a mentor is one of the most valuable resources an entrepreneur can tap into. That’s why local tech alliance PACT and capital provider Ben Franklin Tech Partners have teamed up to bring Philly entrepreneurs in their membership networks a new and non-traditional mentorship experience.
The two partners officially launched Mentor Connect on Tuesday, a network that brings startup leaders, not just one mentor, but an entire team of mentors that’s dedicated to providing advice based on years of experience.
The new program borrows from MIT’s Venture Mentoring Service Model that was developed almost 20 years ago. The model requires that groups of three to four mentors be paired with one entrepreneur. The teams then participate in sessions where mentors offer practical professional coaching with the purpose of helping mentees grow and develop their businesses. Most notably, mentors pledge to adhere to a code of ethics that emphasizes impartial advice.
“When an entrepreneur with a good idea is matched with a team of mentors with proven skills and experience, their venture is more likely to succeed,” PACT President and CEO Dean Miller said in a statement.
PACT and Ben Franklin soft launched the program starting in Spring 2016 to PACT’s 300 members and Ben Franklin’s 200 portfolio companies. Since then, Mentor Connect has grown to include 40 mentors (find the star-studded list of mentors here) and 27 mentees. They’ve already facilitated nearly 60 mentoring sessions. You can check out some meeting agenda’s here. PACT marketing and program specialist Amanda Nardi told Philadelphia magazine that the program hopes to double the number of mentors by year’s end and boost diversity across the board.
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