Mentoring Entrepreneurs To Be Market Ready

The Secret Sauce of Startup Success.

learn more about Siddharth Shahani

By Siddharth Shahani

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India is now the world's fastest growing major economy. To sustain this pace, startups and entrepreneurs both have a crucial role to play. When entrepreneurs thrive, they create new value, hire people and can contribute exponentially to economic growth.

For an entrepreneur, there is no better place than India, with the current macroeconomic policy, demographic demand and economies of extreme scale fueling a startup nation. However, the process from ideation to implementation is often an arduous journey and being part of the right network or having access to the right mentors can make all the difference.

New venture accelerators are the classrooms of the future where young entrepreneurs can be mentored and nurtured to be the business leaders of tomorrow.

As part of our vision to create bigger startups faster, we run a Creative Acceleration program at the school to search out young entrepreneurial design-led businesses and guide them in their pursuits.

The Secret Sauce of Startup Success –Mentors Matter

Although the success of a startup is predicated by a multitude of factors, new venture accelerators must ensure each startup is provided with appropriate mentorship which prepares them for the myriad challenges they will face as their businesses grow. Some areas which require special focus include:

Setting Ambition & Scale

Very often startups have an idea of the problem they would like to solve, but do not think of scale. It is vital that each entrepreneur is stretched in setting a highly ambitious goal since the efforts in setting up a business which is valued at $1 million vs. $1 billion are the same!

Bending Reality & Building Confidence

Entrepreneurs are often extraordinary people who need the right push to approach new experiences as opportunities given constraint resources and capabilities. A blend of positivity and an illusion of reality can go a long way in defining the value proposition of a startup. Building confidence is essential because it weakens the phenomena of "startup fear" and enhances risk appetite of the founders.

Managing People

From selecting the right team to retaining the best talent, people management skills are key to the success of an enterprise. Often, founders are idealistic in their approach and are focused on the end goal or product launch, it is extremely important to inculcate a strong people focused ethos, since highly motivated teams are often the deference between success and mediocrity.

Prioritize the Core

Accelerators must also support founders in focusing on building the core value proposition of their enterprise and customer acquisition, although regular statutory and business functions are critical for business functioning many of these can be outsourced to people who are more efficient in solving these challenges.

Speed and Persistence

The probability of a startup becoming a unicorn is highest in the first 18 months of their journey and therefore the need for speed is absolutely critical in value creation.

None the less mentors must build tenacity and persistence in new founders as one never knows when opportunity may strike and the venture succeeds.

Here's to great mentors and Start Up India! May the tribe of startups grow successfully and go from strength to strength.

Siddharth Shahani

Executive Director, ISDI

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