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Mentorship

Entrepreneurial mentorship that focuses on you, not just your idea. 

 

As an innovator and entrepreneur, one of your most valuable resources are the people around you. That is why the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has multiple ways for you to access mentorship and coaching from our staff, entrepreneurial alumni and your peers. 

"Mentors are honoured to be asked and will also benefit from the relationship. I can’t begin to tell you how much I’ve learned from the relationships I’ve formed with young entrepreneurs. It’s not simply a use of my time, but rather an investment of my time. And if you think you are too good to need a mentor, then you’re better than Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Richard Branson who all had influential mentors." - Ray DePaul

 

Ready to access mentorship?

On-campus mentorship

Be matched with an alumni founder

Connect with peers

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Let's Have Coffee!

Our team is eager to get to know you, whether you have an idea for a venture, you are already running a business or you don't have an idea but are interested in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Book a coffee with Jenn MacDonald if:

  • You have an idea
  • You have already launched a venture

Book a coffee with Emily Knight if:

  • You don't have an idea but want to get involved
  • You have a couple of ideas and don't know how to get started on one
  • To talk about social innovation, systems thinking or social enterprise
  • You have questions about the ENTR course

Book a coffee with Alexandra Swiston if:

  • You want to talk about research, including your area(s) of interest
  • You are interested in Research Assistant (RA) opportunities
  • You need Directed Reading support or your area(s) of interest

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LaunchPad Alumni Mentorship Program

The LaunchPad Alumni Mentorship Program leverages the experience and success of graduates in the entrepreneurship program to mentor current student entrepreneurs at various stages of development. By providing student entrepreneurs with consistent access to experienced entrepreneurs who have recently gone through a similar program, we can not only build the entrepreneurship capacity at our University, but also the mentorship capacity of Alberta. This innovative approach supplements the existing use of more senior volunteer mentors. Recent entrepreneurship graduates have a rare combination of experience and empathy for the early stage student entrepreneurs, which can be difficult for seasoned entrepreneurs.

While we strive to have great companies founded, we should never lose site of our educational mission to graduate the most entrepreneurial minds in Canada.

This program focuses on providing an entrepreneurial education experience for both the mentor and the mentee. This experience will benefit the individuals regardless of the success of the student startup. The ultimate goal of the Alumni Mentorship Program is to provide students with an opportunity to learn through experiencing entrepreneurship beyond what a classroom can provide. While we strive to have great companies founded, this program focuses on mentoring the individual rather than advising the company. The Mentorship Program will maximize opportunities for participants to learn necessary skills and access valuable entrepreneur support in a practical, experience-based learning environment. 

Becoming a Mentee

 Program Requirements

  • The primary goal of joining the LaunchPad Alumni Mentorship Program is to be inspired to keep working on your idea using lean startup and customer development methodology.
  • You must take initiative. It is your job to reach out, ask question, seek advice on next steps, explore possible introductions, and above else, work on your venture.
  • As a mentee, you should strive to build a relationship with the mentor so that the you feel comfortable coming back to the mentor as you build your idea.
  • Consistant contact is critical to moving your venture forward. Seek advice in preparing for grant opportunities and pitch competitions, both internally and externally.
  • Mentees are to commit 3 to 6 hours per month to their mentors. You will be assigned to one primary mentor. You are required to engage with your mentor at least once a month, in addition to attending at least one Founders Circle Meetup every two months.

If taken seriously, this could be one of the most valuable relationships you develop at University.   

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Peer-Peer Mentorship

We have identified that the connections you make along your university, entrepreneurial and career journey are what make individuals, startups, and founders the strongest and most successful. These are the people who will be there for you when things get tough, when you need answers, or a boost of inspiration. These informal connections are what make you stand out among your fellow entrepreneurial thinkers.

Your classmates, the barista at Barrow and recent alumni are all people who may be able to support your venture, make an introduction, or give you feedback. Start connecting with them now.

 

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