I’ve been a Startup Weekend mentor for over two years and it’s something I always look forward to. Every time I commit to being a mentor, I try explaining to my lovely wife why I will be gone for the whole weekend, but never succeed in expressing how addicting Startup Weekend actually is. Well, here you go darling…the five reasons I love being a Startup Weekend mentor.
1. The chance to give back
In the startup world, where uncertainties are high, help from others makes a big difference. I’ve been fortunate enough to connect with mentors throughout my career and, I believe, the best way to thank my role models is to pass their knowledge on to other entrepreneurs, creating a beautiful, virtuous circle.
2. The amazing networking opportunity
For anyone who is interested in joining your local startup community, Startup Weekend provides an incredible opportunity to meet interesting and talented people. I met everyone from Brazil’s startup community, created lasting friendships and secured mentors for life! I was looking for a contact in one of the top 3 online retailers in Brazil for a long time and I received an intro from a guy I mentored in the Startup weekend Brasilia. Awesome!
3. A weekend with friends
Imagine spending the entire weekend with your entrepreneur friends from other cities that you don’t get to see very often. You get to talk about entrepreneurship, eat amazing food and build something innovative. Sounds to good to be true, right? But becoming a mentor and traveling around the country or the world to help other event organizers, gives you this amazing possibility.
4. Learn what is trending
Startup Weekend is a good place to discover what the market needs or what is trending around the globe. We always see pitches for problems that are not solved or for copy-cats of a new trending startup that people want to benchmark. I have to say, it was the first time I heard about Lulu and a week later it became a fever in Brazil.
5. A place to find co-founders
Startup Weekend is an incredible place for recruitment. You will find loads of people with different skills, that want to create or be a part of successful startups. If you have a startup or an idea, go to the next Startup Weekend and connect with people. It was the connection I made during one of my first Startup Weekends that lead me to partner with the great co-founder I have at my startup.
Any other cool reasons to become a mentor? I would love to hear them!