Mentor Madness

Sep 15, 2021

By Ben McDougal - Ecosystem Development

Mentors help entrepreneurs succeed without asking for anything in return. Why? Most mentors have been in the shoes of those they serve and success leaves clues. Mentors have learned, earned, and are eager to give back.

Mentor Madness connects these #GiveFirst champions into a collection of short meetings toward the beginning of a Techstars accelerator program. This provides a gauntlet of honest and supportive feedback for each company. The experience can feel overwhelming, but founders come prepared to appreciate every discussion as they’re building their business, questioning assumptions, clarifying the value proposition and working towards product-market fit. In fact, when you ask founders and mentors about their Techstars experience, almost every one mentions Mentor Madness...

“Mentor Madness was a whirlwind of thought-provoking feedback. Techstars did an amazing job recruiting a diverse group of mentors. After the experience, our team felt we could easily get the answer to any question we could possibly dream up.” -Grafton

"Mentor Madness was intense, but the impact has helped us avoid pitfalls and guided our entire team toward a more profitable business." -Angela

“I love working with Techstars startups, as it’s critically important to provide the teams valuable connections as they build real, impactful businesses in Iowa and beyond.” -Diana

“Our team met with extremely intelligent and helpful entrepreneurs, operators, and investors curated by Techstars. We’ve been receiving valuable insight and establishing deeper relationships with mentors whose unique knowledge will help us scale.” -Lauren

“Mentor Madness helped us understand how to use conversation to clarify our story and better translate our value proposition.” -Ramon

“As a startup community builder, I’m inspired by how the community comes together through the Mentor Madness experience.” -Nancy

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without my mentors. From day one, they have supported me, challenged me, and kept me on track.” -Saba

Let's peek inside Techstars Iowa as the 2021 class met with 60 strategic mentors in just six days!

Along with positively impacting each startup and the meaningful moments for mentors, this collaboration evolves the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

As a diverse, equitable, and inclusive mentor pool is united by a shared mission to help entrepreneurs succeed, new and existing actors within the startup community are encouraged to cooperate through a positive-sum mindset. As collaborative energy is recycled over the years, founders, companies, mentors, investors, and community builders are more easily able to explore everlasting opportunities for the overall entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Mentor Madness may only be a moment, but the experience is everlasting. Interested in mentorship? The Techstars mentor network is fascinating and we are all invited to unlock the unmatched energy of accelerating fellow founders.

Find an accelerator, check out the Techstars Mentor Manifesto, and join us for the madness by visiting