Announcing New Mentors at TU Incubator
Bavin, Holtz, Onsi, Venedam newest additions to robust Mentor Network with edtech emphasis
An abundance of quality, engaged mentors in any entrepreneurship ecosystem is only second in importance to the entrepreneurs who stand up and grow new companies and solutions. Brad Feld, reputed Boulder-based venture capitalist, defines mentors in his book Startup Communities as “experienced entrepreneurs or investors who actively contribute time, energy, and wisdom to startups…”
This general definition can be further defined below as a truncated part of the Techstars mentor manifesto:
- Be Socratic. (However, expect nothing in return.)
- Be authentic.
- Be direct. (Tell the truth, however hard. But, listen closely, too.)
- Be responsive.
- Adopt at least one company a year.
- +10 other bullets from the Wiley 2012 hardback edition, pages 42–43.
Mentoring, then, is meant for givers and is both science and art. You do it because you can, because you love what you do (or have done), and want to share hard fought wisdom so that the next recipient will do the same. You do it because that’s how entrepreneurship ecosystems are built.
We at TU Incubator have, perhaps, been too humble about the group of mentors that we have assembled who volunteer their time to support a list of over 45 companies. These amazingly talented and experienced professionals give back to the ecosystem that has served them well. This mentor network is listed here. The latest additions are listed below, alphabetically by surname and functional expertise.
- Bill Bavin — finance, operations, funding, BD
- Karin Holtz — sales, marketing, team, BD
- Bob Onsi — product, marketing, operations, finance, BD
- Dan Venedam — sales, marketing, distribution, BD
Overall, startup success is driven by many factors (see IdeaLab study or a previous post on the subject); what you find is that most of the upside comes down to people — those in the business and those outside — who are able to add value to the business. If you speak to successful entrepreneurs, those with wins and losses, they will tell you that a patterned approach to advice and feedback from varied and dynamic concentric rings of networks was critical to their success but might have had little to do with failure. At TU Incubator, we’ve done just that. We’ve found the right mix of mentors that can make all the difference for our member companies as they build their enterprises.
Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this article, please hit the 👏🏼 button below so other prospective readers can see it, too.
I am a contrarian educator working at the nexus of impact, efficacy, and economic upside. From Baltimore, as Towson University’s Director of Venture Creation, I help support Maryland’s largest cluster of edtech companies via TU Incubator and associated programs.