Mentorship is at the core of The Gratitude Network offering to entrepreneurs
2014 Gratitude Award winner, Alejandro Gac-Artigas (Springboard Collaborative) with Ed Catmull, Super-Mentor (President of Disney and Pixar Animation Studios
In essence, we view the entrepreneurial / start-up process as a series of Problems to be Solved (PTS) at each stage of the company’s life-cycle. Very early companies typically have a PTS related to product/market fit, team-building and product development . Mid-stage start-ups have a PTS of getting to the right business model and go-to-market strategy . Later stage companies have a PTS of partnering, scaling, and getting to profitability and ultimately exit.
The focus for the Gratitude Network is largely companies that have received some early funding, have completed their first product, have some customers ….and are now scaling outside their initial community, school system, or market, the PTS’s that we are often solving for include:
The Gratitude approach to mentorship attempts to help our portfolio companies understand their PTS, and get help in these specific areas above.
Starting in 2015-6 season, to address the PTS’s of each company we work with, we introduce a Strategic Coach to work with with the company. Strategic Coaches have been trained to recognize the unique PTS’s of each company we work with . They develop a rapport with the company, they take time to get to know each unique business and they come up with the HIGH VALUE AREAS that The Gratitude Network can offer assistance with. As one of our 2014 Award Winners said:
“Having the Gratitude Network work with us is like having an additional Chairman of the Board to bounce ideas off and help navigate the overall business”
Once a Strategic Coach has agreed with the founder/entrepreneur on core issues and where the most assistance is needed, the Strategic Coach taps into our extensive Mentor Database to make personal introductions. Our database is comprised of mentors that our team has worked with over time, who represent knowledge in these areas:
To date, we have identified approximately 75 mentors to lead this effort.
The Gratitude Mentor Network is in the process of developing a deeper Mentor Network and we are always looking for experienced people to join our network. Being a mentor means you will have access to special activities we do with our mentors,
Our network currently consists of ~50 serial entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, venture capitalists, social/impact and geographic specialists.