Startup Competition

Mentoring

State Coordinator
Greg Sheek
Director, Launchpad Programs
Economic Development Partnership of Alabama
205.943.4724
gsheek@edpa.org

Auburn Region
Contact Greg Sheek for more information

Birmingham Region
Victor Brown
Vice President, Small Business Development
Birmingham Business Alliance
205.241.8109
vbrown@birminghambusinessalliance.com
Mobile Region
Steve Russell
Director of Business Retention and Expansion
Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce
251.431.8654
srussell@mobilechamber.comTuscaloosa Region
Whitney Hough
Venture Development Associate
University of Alabama – Office of Technology Transfer
205.348.6821
wlhough@ua.edu

Huntsville Region
David Kingsbury
Biztech
256.704.6000

What is Mentoring?

64pdiOPK3e2nXa5uE8oKJoqFSAIDvITBy99xP56qLioAspiring entrepreneurs developing a company from scratch have to learn new business functions. The mentor should fast-track the learning curve for the mentee by providing situation-specific advice and guidance.  Whether it is market development, sales strategies, operations, business planning or insider industry knowledge, the information comes from people who have “been there and done that”. They know the predictable pitfalls, have access to higher level resources and professional services.

To the best of our ability we select mentors based on specific needs of each participating team.

What is Expected of a Mentor?

As a mentor you are expected to promptly contact the Launchpad team leader assigned to you and initiate the relationship.  You will begin by reviewing the latest version of the team’s plan, and will then meet face-to-face with the team to offer your guidance.  Follow up, including phone calls, emails and meetings will be necessary as the team moves forward.  Geography and schedules may make this difficult at times.  The teams face inflexible deadlines.  A call is always better than a cancelled meeting.  At the very least, we expect two, one-hour discussions with your team, with at least one meeting.

In turn, Launchpad has set expectations of its teams. We expect them to respond to your calls, actively seek your guidance, respect your time, and to travel to meetings if needed.

The mentor’s job is not to manage, lead, delegate, or do.  Rather, it is to advise and guide. Recognize that not all of your counsel will be well received, and the team may ignore some or all of it.

Indemnification

The team has agreed to indemnify and hold harmless Alabama Launchpad and its individual mentors from any claim, action, liability, or suit arising from actions taken by the team as a result of mentoring provided by you.

Confidentiality

Mentors will use their best efforts to maintain confidentiality of the team’s proprietary information.  The team will use its best efforts to keep mentors advised of information they consider proprietary.  Keep in mind that, in many cases, the objective is to provide additional information to the mentee about things outside their field, which should require little disclosure of proprietary information to the mentor.

Mentor-Company Relationship

  1. Alabama Launchpad maintains a high standard of ethics with respect to its teams, and expects the same from its volunteer mentors.
  2. A mentor will receive no cash payments, nor negotiate for future payments, for his/her mentoring services.

Interested in becoming a mentor? Contact:
Greg Sheek: 205.943.4724 | gsheek@edpa.org