The Tech Stars Mentor Manifesto is great advice for investors as well as mentors
A few days ago David Cohen published the Tech Stars Mentor Manifesto. I think it is great and as he says, the list speaks for itself. Not surprisingly, it also describes the behavior of the best investors.
When mentors (investors) do these things, relationships blossom and companies flourish. When they don’t, it’s often a struggle.
So, here’s what entrepreneurs can and should demand from their mentors (investors). And here’s what mentors (investors) should consider if they want to build effective relationships with the entrepreneurs they’re working with.
Be socratic (collaborative).
Expect nothing in return (Be transparent about your expectations) (you’ll be delighted with what you do get back).
Be authentic / practice what you preach.
Be direct. Tell the truth, however hard.
The best mentor (investor) relationships eventually become two-way.
Adopt (Invest) in at least one company every single year. Experience counts.
Clearly separate opinion from fact.
Hold information in confidence.
Clearly commit to mentor (invest) or do not. Either is fine.
Know what you don’t know. Say I don’t know when you don’t know. “I don’t know” is preferable to bravado.
Guide, don’t control. Teams must make their own decisions. Guide but never tell them what to do. Understand that it’s their company, not yours.
Accept and communicate with other mentors (investors) that get involved.
Provide specific actionable advice, don’t be vague.
Be challenging/robust but never destructive.
Have empathy. Remember that startups are hard.
I love it.
I try to live it both as a mentor and as an investor.
Thanks to David for writing it up.