COVID 19 can’t Stop STARTER Mentor Feedback Carousel
Mentor Feedback Carousel, which should take place today (26.03.2020) at the University of Tartu Delta Center, is already running in a virtual environment due to COVID 19. Although we greatly value face-to-face meetings, the new reality has made us all push boundaries and go virtual.
The Mentor feedback event has always been the highlight of STARTERtartu programme. It provides the first meetings' excitement and curiosity for both mentors and teams. This spring the excitement is still there, only the environment is virtual. There is nothing unfamiliar with the virtual environment as we have been often using it. But taking the 1st step and contacting a mentor could be a challenge for many.
"Virtual Mentor Feedback Carousel" is not a one-evening event but it is more of a one-week event that started already last week when our teams contacted mentors. Each team received 2-4 mentor contacts to set up a virtual meeting for feedback and guidance. In total, 18 mentors from different fields of expertise and 18 teams are participating in the event. It links mentors and teams resulting in about 50 virtual mentoring sessions. The chance to talk to various mentors gives early-stage teams experience in refining their ideas.
Mentoring is considered a critical foundational component for building a successful startup. Great product or service that provides solutions for pain points is good, but a great mentor who helps to keep a startup on the right track is equally important. That's why we have organized a Virtual Mentor Feedback Carousel where STARTERtartu and Smart-Up Lab (healthcare solutions) teams can get professional feedback on their idea from 18 entrepreneurs and field experts.
Since we are running virtual mentoring sessions for the first time ever we are keeping in touch with all teams and mentors and can't wait to find out the reflections and impressions. Oliver from team MindLift has already told us that their online conversation with mentor Kadri Haljas was very useful and helped the team to set a better vision and action plan to get there. “I was happy to help them”, commented mentor Kadri.
3 things that startups gain from mentoring sessions.
- Mentors simply know things that you don't (yet). A mentor from the same industry helps you to understand the nuances of the business.
- Entrepreneurship is not always easy and someone who has walked that path knows the challenges and guides you appropriately.
- Mentor has the potential to open multiple doors for you.
What do participants think about previous Mentor Feedback Carousels?
- We got advice from different perspectives and confidence to move on. Mentors pointed out critical aspects and warned about mistakes that should not be made.
- It gave tremendous motivation and confidence to keep working with the idea.
- "I really enjoyed participating in the event and was impressed by the variety and ambition of the ideas. Overall, the event was an excellent way for those who have business ideas to get direct feedback from mentors with experience in various different aspects of the business. I look forward to hearing about the teams' progress as they develop their ideas further and go on to achieve great things", said mentor Chris Thompson.
The new STARTER season has started at UT sTARTUp Lab!
On February 18, the first online Idea Hackathon took place in sTARTUp Lab. The 5 hour Hackathon was on Zoom and participants could listen to an interesting seminar, present their ideas, and find teammates.
STARTER alumni reflections: Merili from PillBox
STARTER alumni Merili looks back to the lessons learned and gives advice for newcomers.