Peer to Peer mentoring : the new mantra for start-ups

New dynamics in the entrepreneurial eco-system is evolving and visible change is the peer to peer mentoring. Turning to seniors for advise is a passé as young entrepreneurs  today are more into exchanging of notes on areas where they have synergies. The normal practice followed whenever an entrepreneur needs advice is to look for someone older and wiser and approach him/her for advice. Today this is appearing as a seemingly default option.

Start-ups often need advice for developing a strategy on  issues concerning legal problems, HR, marketing, branding etc. No doubt an older experienced mentor has greater level of experience but a peer has a better level of understanding .Frequent discussions amongst peers also helps them to share resources in areas of common concern. Between them ,they often have areas of core competencies which become a source of learning for others. In fact Silicon Valley has become what it is today because of communities of interest developed and entrepreneurs connected with each other not on common strengths but common weaknesses as well.

There are often difficult issues relating to hiring technology, intern transfers and the like where emerging entrepreneurs share synergies and feed off each others ideas. A major trend emerging is that co-founders are sharing technology resources in order to be able to sustain themselves in the long run. Moreover, in a start-up world things change very quickly and time is the essence,so peer learning helps in learning from mistakes of others. Entrepreneurial forums are also becoming a great place for networking and bringing people with common interests together. Even wattsapp groups amongst entrepreneurs are  becoming an important tool for candid chats about challenges within the eco-system and navigating opportunities.

Often peer to peer mentoring is preferred more because of its informal nature.This is emerging as a strong support system where people give and get back. The regular channels of mentoring are more structured. In a region like Northeast, where the start-up ecosystem is yet to evolve and there is a lot of vacuum in the mentoring space, peer to peer learning through forums like Start-up Assam can play a major role facilitating entrepreneurship. There is no doubt a considerable interest emerging amongst the youth to look at entrepreneurship as a career option but there is a big gap in support available for validating their business ideas and helping them come up with a  business plan. Similarly there is need to guide young entrepreneurs to  pitch their business  ideas. It is in this context that entrepreneurial  forums can network amongst various stakeholders like industry associations, academicians, professionals and government representatives etc and entrepreneurial eco-system can eventually evolve.

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