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Meet Your Mentor How to find a trusted advisor to help you jump-start your ambition

A good mentor is as valuable for a startup as a good coach is for a rookie. They want you to succeed, are quick with advice, honest in their critiques and generous with their networks.

"A mentor that's very experienced can direct the mentee in terms of things they need to think about, who they need to connect with and give them a heads up about questions they wouldn't even think to ask," says Steven Mednick, an assistant professor and graduate coordinator at the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business, where he teaches MBA and EMBA programs and mentors more than 50 startups.

Here's how to link up with a mentor who's a match for you: