By Joanne Wong
IEEE Entrepreneurship provides aspiring and existing entrepreneurs with invaluable access to global mentors who are investors, experienced entrepreneurs, specific technology-knowledge or market-knowledge experts, etc.
The process of accessing mentors is quite easy – Entrepreneurs apply online to the IEEE Entrepreneurship Founder Office Hours Program and within a few days, the entrepreneur is matched with a mentor that meets their needs. The mentor will then contact the entrepreneur to set up the initial 30 to 60-minute call, at no cost. The mentors are there to listen to the entrepreneurs and provide thoughts/comments that would help their company grow. After the call, the entrepreneur completes an online survey which provides us with invaluable information so that we can continuously improve the Program.
As an IEEE Volunteer Program Lead and mentor, I see multiple requests from companies around the world that are at various stages from ideation to commercialization. Our pool of mentors come from varied backgrounds so that we can successfully match the entrepreneur with the mentor.
For example, being a mentor myself, I help those who need help with investment and market development.
I am a General Partner of a US-based VC and having had to develop markets for my own company and for large IT corporations, I have shared with entrepreneurs of an investor purview and of go-to-market strategies.
As mentors, we look at how best to help the entrepreneurs advance their companies to the next level. Sometimes, the entrepreneurs are already doing quite well and the mentors are there to listen and serve as a seasoned ear to which they can share their ideas.
The IEEE Entrepreneurship Founder Office Hours Program provides mentors to help entrepreneurs succeed….an excellent IEEE global resource for all entrepreneurs.