Entrepreneurs’ primary mission is for their companies to grow and succeed. One of the best ways to wade through the crazy ups and downs of being an entrepreneur is to partner with someone who’s done it before. That’s why we have ATV Mentors and Advisors.
Our Mentors are amazing, experienced professionals and successful entrepreneurs. Each of our Mentors commits to mentoring at least one of our entrepreneurs in the Village. Mentoring in this case means a deep, one-on-one relationship that delves into the personal and professional aspects of mentees’ lives. We think of the Mentor/Mentee relationships kind of like dating. It starts with the initial meeting: A little awkward, a little surface-level, but there’s just enough good content to pique one another’s interest. Of course, to start a relationship, they need to get along on a personal level. If both people agree that they like each other and think a good relationship could develop, they’ll meet again. And again. And as they continue to meet, a relationship forms, and mentoring begins.
Mentors get the opportunity to walk closely alongside members as they grow their startups and in their personal lives.
The Advisor Program is full of super smart lawyers, marketers, accountants, salespeople, and techies. These subject matter experts commit to being at the Village at least one Friday a month, but most of them are here every week. Advisors sit in the most popular community area of the building (yes, that is where the beer tap is), and they answer any subject-matter questions our members throw at them. Advisors can touch base once with a member once or 10 times; it depends on what the member needs.
Villagers should walk away from meeting with Advisors with small, practical next steps for their startups.
Then, they can come back the next week and say, “I did what you told me, and I saw amazing results. What’s the next step?”
This year, we have added a new category of Advisors called Technical Experts. Technical Experts are specialized developers/technical aficionados willing to answer questions and take meetings with our members for free. While they won’t hold office hours like Advisors, they are required to respond to all Villagers’ emails within 48 hours and be willing to have a more varied schedule.
The Mentor and Advisor Programs weave nicely into our core value of Paying It Forward. All of our ATV Mentors and Advisors sign on for a 1-year commitment to serving our members for free – not to sell their products or services, but simply to pay it forward to the startup community. And you know what? It’s not just this small group of people that wants to pay it forward. I get at least 3 requests a week to join one of these esteemed programs. Here at the Village, we are so thankful for the abundance of Atlantans who want to give back. Add that to the long list of reasons we have city pride.
Once a year, all of the applications we’ve received over the past year go up for review before a Board, and what comes out of it is a highly curated list of the Best of the Best. The official group of Mentors and Advisors for the next year has been decided, and November 1 marked their first day of this exciting, year-long journey.
We have an incredibly diverse and successful group of Mentors and Advisors – from a Techstars Director to entrepreneurs with multiple exits to a sales expert who’s sold over $10 billion in jet fighters.
Not only are these people incredibly accomplished, but they’re also just really awesome people. They get our culture, they’re easily approachable, they have great senses of humor, and they subscribe to our core values.
We’re excited to see how these Mentors and Advisors change and shape the tech startup scene in Atlanta over the next year.
Members can reach out to our ATV Mentors and Advisors directly through the Members Only portal of our website. Interested in learning more about this crew? Be sure to check out their bios.
Check out our list of the 2017 ATV Mentors and Advisors.