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Looking for a Mentor for your Start Up

Updated: May 21, 2023

Many college students and aspiring entrepreneurs have a strong desire to start their own ventures, but often find themselves unsure of their current stage and where to begin. This confusion can make it challenging for mentors or incubators to provide effective guidance.

To address this issue, I have compiled a set of steps based on my own experiences. These steps aim to help you progress based on your specific stage. Approach a mentor, investor, or expert when you have reached Stage 5. This will enhance your chances of getting a positive and timely response.

Stage 1: You want to do a startup, but do not have any idea yet

  • Remain open and observant for potential ideas. Continuously explore your surroundings and engage in activities that inspire creativity.

  • In the meantime, gain practical experience by working with existing startups to learn the intricacies of running a business.

  • Find a co-founder, you always need a partner in crime.

Stage 2: You have a Startup Idea, but do not know your Customer

  • Determine your ideal customer persona (ICP) by conducting market research and analysis.

  • Define the characteristics, needs, and preferences of your target audience before proceeding with product development.

  • It's crucial to know whom to sell to and how to effectively reach them.

Stage 3: You know your Customer, but have not spoken to them yet

  • Initiate conversations with at least 100 potential customers to gain valuable insights and feedback.

  • Before investing in product development, attempt to sell the idea or concept to your ICP, and if feasible, request partial payment in advance to invest in product.

  • Aim for at least 50% of your potential customers to resonate with your idea and express a willingness to pay for it.

Stage 4: Your Idea is Validated, but you are yet to build the MVP

  • Consider building a minimum viable product (MVP) only if necessary. The MVP should be a concise representation of your envisioned concept.

  • Minimize both time and cost invested at this stage, avoiding the pursuit of perfection.

  • Focus on demonstrating the core value proposition and gauging customer response.

Stage 5: You got the MVP, start reaching out

  • Leverage the information and insights you have gathered thus far to approach incubators, industry experts, mentors, or angel investors.

  • Present them with a comprehensive overview of your startup, including the validated idea and the progress made with the MVP.

  • Seek their guidance, support, and potential funding opportunities to further develop your venture.

Remember that these steps are general guidelines, and your specific situation may require adjustments. Continuously reassess your progress and adapt your approach accordingly.

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