This article was originally published by The Croydon Citizen on 04/04/2016
Introducing the Croydon Tech City mentorship scheme for South London entrepreneurs
#Croydon #TechCity co-founder Jonny Rose issues a call to arms
Are you a tech entrepreneur who needs help with one particular area of your business? Are you an expert with experience of working in tech that wants to ‘give back’?
Well, you’re in luck. Croydon Tech City is starting a mentorship scheme for South London tech entrepreneurs that are looking for regular support and coaching to achieve their startup and scale-up goals.
Why mentoring is important
Mentors are one of the most valuable resources an entrepreneur should tap into.
The idea of launching or scaling a business in Croydon should no longer be a scary or daunting experience, riddled with unknowns. It should be a collaborative experience accumulating the learnings of the hundreds of local entrepreneurs in the Croydon Tech City community who have already built successful businesses, and can help you move faster and avoid known pitfalls based on their years of experience, as entrepreneurs themselves.
What does mentoring in Croydon Tech City entail?
Once you have signed up to be a mentor or mentee, Croydon Tech City will pair a mentor up with one local tech startup founder at a particular stage of their tech startup maturity (building the idea, minimum viable product/startup, or a working business that is scaling) and is in need of the particular skill that the mentor have to offer (tech, business, product, strategy, marketing, etc).
The mentoring sessions will happen at least once a month for 2hrs, at a public venue in Croydon,for 6-12 months.
Ideally, mentors will be advising mentees around their particular skill, but also being intentional: checking up on the mentee outside of the monthly meeting, setting soft progress goals for the next meeting, showing an interest in their efforts outside of their immediate skillset, etc. You both get to define the nature of the relationship – but the ideal is that this is both ‘professional’ and social.
Who should get involved as a mentee?
This scheme is for South London tech entrepreneurs who are in the process of building a tech product or service, or have a new tech business that has launched, or have had a tech ‘scale-up’ business for some time but still need advice in a certain area.
This is not for people that simply have a vague ‘idea’ in their head: you can either attend our free monthly CTC Community classes or attend these various instructive tech events that occur around the borough, if you need assistance.
This is for entrepreneurs that are serious, have made some headway, and are looking for experts to take their business to the next step.
Who should get involved as a mentor?
Croydon Tech City mentors can come in all shapes and sizes, what really matters is expertise.
Mentors will most likely have a broad range of skills, but will need to do at least one of the followingvery well: business strategy, digital marketing, finance & fundraising advice, marketing messaging & sales strategy, product development, or technical & software engineering. Ideally, the above skills will have been honed in a tech company environment.
Also, please be reasonably sociable and self-aware. Let’s be honest: no-one wants to be trapped with an expert who knows their stuff on paper but is painfully awkward or hard work to engage with in person.
Please also make sure you have attended at least two Croydon Tech City events, and introduced yourself to the Croydon Tech City team. We will not partner local tech entrepreneurs with mentors that we haven’t met and cannot ‘vouch’ for.
To sign-up as a mentor or a mentee, please visit the Croydon Tech City ‘Support’ page.
By Jonny Rose