What to Look for in a Startup Mentor?

What to Look for in a Startup Mentor?
This article is contributed by multiple Startup founders from different fields.

The journey of entrepreneurship is long and tiring, somehow or the other you may find a need to look for a mentor, who can play a vital role in the success of your business. They will help you in facing the different challenges, that will come forward in the entire process.  There are many successful entrepreneurs who actually mentor aspiring entrepreneurs but not everyone can be your mentor. So while looking for one, entrepreneurs must understand what they actually need.

In this article, we will find out what to look for in a startup mentor. Some of the successful entrepreneurs shared their views on this topic. Let's take a look.

Manav Shah  | Founder, Eduvacancy

I would personally tell everyone who is looking for a mentor to network. Keep networking and building your connections. On the contrary, I would recommend young individuals to start building their connections from a very early age. The thing with networking is that you never really know who you would end up meeting. I would advise all young entrepreneurs to keep exploring and meeting different people from all walks of life. Not necessary you will find your mentor from the same industry or similar surroundings.

Besides networking entrepreneurs should look for individuals who love taking up challenging tasks and overcoming those challenges. When you are picking your mentor also try evaluating what leadership skills you want to set in your organization. Accordingly, find a mentor who has been successful in creating a similar leadership skill set in their lives. Another suggestion I would like to give is to find a mentor who helps you build your network. Therefore in all when someone is looking for a mentor they need to evaluate how the mentor will advance their overall career.

Kunal Ahirwar | CEO & Co-Founder, Earnvestt Technologies

The most important quality in any mentor is availability and desire to help. I would recommend that anyone looking for mentorship needs to find people that invest in their growth journey both personally and professionally.

Utkarsh Gupta | Managing Director, Ramagya Mart

A mentor is not someone who has experiences and degrees medaled on their profile, or how much engagement or following they have on social media. For me, a mentor is someone that I can speak to for direction and decision-making when fear, uncertainty, and doubt looms.
If you are looking for a mentor, do not start by keeping the cost of engagement in mind because ‘the best from the rest' does not come cheap. What you should look for are:

  • How well your mentor understands your need and how well he summarizes it; it means they heard you well.
  • Look for energy, positivity, and the spark that clicks a chord with you. These are effects that bring positivity to an equation.
  • Pick a mentor who shares your values and ethics of business and a similar understanding of business success.

Neha Indoria | Co-Founder, Boingg!

You need to ask 4 questions when looking at someone to be your mentor :

  • Do you trust this person?
  • Will they be accessible to you?
  • Do they bring a new perspective to the table?
  • Are they addressing a specific gap with their knowledge?

Pallavi Utagi | Founder & Mom-in Chief, SuperBottoms

  • Have mentors across age groups and walks of life.
  • Communicate clearly that you are seeking mentorship. Sometimes people
    tend to idolise someone from a distance and don’t muster the courage to let
    the person knows that they are seeking mentorship.
  • Have a professional mentor, who is outside of your organisation for
    complete objectivity.

Ritesh Ujjwal | CEO & Co-Founder, Kofluence

I feel, in the Indian context, mentorship is still largely under leveraged which may be due to cultural reasons. I would strongly recommend for everyone to seek mentors from their immediate circle or extended circle, to begin with if you’ve not yet got one. Once, you’ve been nurtured by the initial set of mentors during the initial part of your career, then you should up the game by seeking mentors who have gone through the journey earlier.


While looking for the ideal mentor for you and your business, you need to first decipher what you qualities you actually need in your mentor, then only you can find the perfect one for yourself. Amidst thousands of people, they will not only help you in developing your skills but also provide the support and confidence, when you need some.

Must have tools for startups - Recommended by StartupTalky

Read more