Philly Entrepreneurs Should Tap Into This New Mentorship Network

PACT and Ben Franklin have officially launched Mentor Connect, a new collaboration that assigns an entire group of seasoned biz experts to one mentee.

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It’s no secret that a mentor is one of the most valuable resources an entrepreneur can tap into. That’s why local tech alliance PACT and capital provider Ben Franklin Tech Partners have teamed up to bring Philly entrepreneurs in their membership networks a new and non-traditional mentorship experience.

The two partners officially launched Mentor Connect on Tuesday, a network that brings startup leaders, not just one mentor, but an entire team of mentors that’s dedicated to providing advice based on years of experience.

The new program borrows from MIT’s Venture Mentoring Service Model that was developed almost 20 years ago. The model requires that groups of three to four mentors be paired with one entrepreneur. The teams then participate in sessions where mentors offer practical professional coaching with the purpose of helping mentees grow and develop their businesses. Most notably, mentors pledge to adhere to a code of ethics that emphasizes impartial advice.

“When an entrepreneur with a good idea is matched with a team of mentors with proven skills and experience, their venture is more likely to succeed,” PACT President and CEO Dean Miller said in a statement.

PACT and Ben Franklin soft launched the program starting in Spring 2016 to PACT’s 300 members and Ben Franklin’s 200 portfolio companies. Since then, Mentor Connect has grown to include 40 mentors (find the star-studded list of mentors here) and 27 mentees. They’ve already facilitated nearly 60 mentoring sessions. You can check out some meeting agenda’s here. PACT marketing and program specialist Amanda Nardi told Philadelphia magazine that the program hopes to double the number of mentors by year’s end and boost diversity across the board.

“Ben Franklin’s focus is on the entrepreneur. We want to help the CEO to achieve his or her vision while building a growing enterprise that creates value for our region,” Ben Franklin CEO RoseAnn B. Rosenthal said in a statement. “[Mentor Connect] re-engages, as mentors, some of our most successful entrepreneurs, men and women who are now on their second or third businesses and who are ready to give back by sharing their real experiences with new, first time entrepreneurs.”

To learn more about the program or apply to be a mentor or mentee, visit Mentor Connect’s website here.

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