By mentoring a Dirigo Labs startup, you will serve as a trusted advisor and guide to a founder who might not otherwise have access to your level of expertise. Mentors like you are critical to the survival and growth of startups, and the need for a strong mentor network is amplified in central Maine, where specific tech or industry expertise and connections can sometimes be limited.
You can commit as much or as little time as you want. For our local mentors, attending our in-person sessions with our accelerator cohort, approximately 2 hours per week, provides the most impactful experience for them. We will always check in with you before making any introductions and would never match you with a startup you didn’t have the bandwidth and space in your schedule to support. Additionally, you may have one-on-one meetings with your mentee, and if you are not local, you will have the opportunity to participate in virtual mentoring sessions, pitch feedback sessions, and pitch events.
We will contact you when a startup enters our program that we think would be a good fit based on the information you both provide. You may be contacted as early as a few days from submission.
If public health conditions allow us to host learning sessions in-person then, yes. Your in-person participation benefits not only the team you’re assigned to, but the cohort as a whole. If you’re located further away, we welcome your participation virtually.
We make introductions for the sole purpose of mentorship and aim to work only with mentors who are in it because they love to work with entrepreneurs and give back. Therefore, during the period that your mentee is an active participant in our accelerator cohort, any fee-for-service or investment in their company or any participating companies, would be a violation of our ethical guidelines and not allowed. Once the entrepreneur leaves the accelerator, mentors are free to discuss additional opportunities to support the startup with the founders as they see fit.
Involvement in our mentor network is a volunteer activity (for which we are so grateful!), so we do not provide financial compensation to mentors. One of the goals of this network is to foster mutually beneficial and valuable relationships and connections, and we hope that mentors see the value in giving back and getting to know and support the next generation of tech entrepreneurs in central Maine.
We believe there is no single definition or profile of a great mentor, and we select mentors from a vast range of professional and industry expertise. Current mentors in our network have experience across industries and verticals including software, manufacturing, biotech, artificial intelligence, digital media, investment, sales, and more.
The mentor relationship will begin through a process curated by the Dirigo Labs team. In order to make efficient and effective introductions, we will check in with mentors by email to confirm they are interested in an introduction prior to connecting them with a startup. Once introduced, the mentor and founder are encouraged to arrange an initial call or meeting in which they get to know each other, determine if they’d like to work together, and if so, the goals and cadence of their mentoring calls.