Earlier this week over Waffle House grits and hashbrowns, an Atlanta Startup CEO and I began talking about our startup community. I asked him, “What’s the most value a startup community can add to you and your business?”
He simply and brilliantly responded, “I don’t know who to go to when I get stuck.” One of Brad Feld’s core ingredients to a thriving startup community is mentors. Mentors solve the problem of getting stuck.
At TechStars, they solve the “getting stuck” problem in three ways:
1) Every week, the Managing Director, Nicole Glaros, sends us an email asking us “what’s holding us?” or “where are you stuck?” Her number one priority is remove whatever’s getting us stuck.
2) During the first month of the accelerator program, we meet approximately 80-100 TechStars Mentors. These people have been vetted by TechStars as helpful, influential, and effective.
3) Every Wednesday night, the entire TechStars class, 50+ people, meet at 10:10 p.m. We go around the room and tell everyone our “biggest rock” of the week. In other words, what’s the most important item for each person to accomplish the upcoming week. If you accomplish your big rock, expensive tequila for you, if your big rock isn’t accomplished, Pitch and Putt’s finest bottom shelf tequila shots instead. Besides the tequila shots, the social pressure and group mentorships helps identify and push through your moments of being stuck.
How do you and your business get past the moment of being stuck?