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Founders in the Founder Institute program are encouraged to contact Mentors and to develop relationships with Mentors outside of the program. The Founder Institute wants each Founder to take the initiative to set these relationships up on their own. Create relationships with the Mentors who have a background in your business. Look for Mentors where there is also some personal chemistry.
Each week, Mentors come into the session, and this is the best opportunity to forge an initial relationship with them that can lead to support and advice outside of the program. Here are a few recommended strategies:
- Before the session, read the background of the Mentors coming into the program before the session by looking at their Linkedin profile and bio on the Course Detail page
- During the session, focus on the content and prepare questions from the talks that specifically address comments made by the Mentors
- After the session, ask to follow-up with Mentor offline and invite them to the bar for further conversation about your business
Here are a few ways to open a conversation right after the session about following-up:
- Background: I see that you have a background in ___. I would love to get your opinion on my idea, which is in a similar space.
- Help: You had some very interesting ideas on ___, and I was wondering if you could help me with my approach to that issue.
- Respect: I respect what you have built and accomplished, and I would like to discuss my own ideas with you.
- Interest: I am really interested in hearing your ideas on my project. Do you have time to chat about what I am up to?
Ideally, a Mentor will agree to follow-up with you during the session by grabbing a coffee or taking a short meeting. Make sure to get their card or email address.
Once a Mentor has agreed to meet you outside of the session, you should follow-up with them by writing a short email, such as (please customize):
Subject: Founder Institute Follow-up... Hello, It was great to briefly meet you at the Founder Institute session. I am working on the ___ project. We discussed grabbing a coffee, and I was wondering if you have time on ___ or ___. Please let me know. Thank you!
If the Mentor does not respond after one week, you can reply to the original email and follow-up. If they do not reply, then the Mentor may be too busy to help you at this moment. Running a startup is hard, and priorities shift from day to day. Do not take it personally if a Mentor does not respond.See more for