What is Mentor for Hope?
The COVID-19 crisis has left many worse off than before. For early stage entrepreneurs and founders, we understand that it is even more difficult to keep afloat during this period.
This is why we started Mentor for Hope, a mentoring programme where over 250 leading Asia investors and corporate leaders have come together to pledge their time to mentor entrepreneurs in need. We hope to provide support and guidance to entrepreneurs and founders during this challenging period.
Mentor for Hope also raised funds to help Singaporeans in need.
Between 18 May 2020 and 16 June 2020, we fundraised S$43,000 for Beyond Social Services and Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen. Temasek Trust also partnered us by matching part of the donations raised dollar-for-dollar through its oscar@sg fund (https://www.temasektrust.org.sg/Oscar). The partnership allows eligible startups* to receive free mentoring sessions.
During the one month period, 300 startup founders participated in our one-on-one mentoring sessions by industry leaders, group mentoring by managing partners of top VC firms as well as insightful masterclasses.
“We were encouraged that #MentorForHope came forward to apply for the oscar@sg grant as this initiative allows this group of young professionals to take speedy action for our startup community who are affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic. The mentoring programme not only benefits startups during this challenging business climate, but also directly assists the beneficiary organisations. We are glad that our matching funding mechanism can help them double the pace of delivering quality mentoring to startups while also helping local communities through the act of donating the mentoring proceeds.” Cheo Hock Kuan, Chief Executive Officer of Temasek Trust, remarked.
*Applies to businesses that are registered in Singapore and affected by COVID-19.
How it works
Founders, students or anyone with entrepreneurial ambitions in Asia are eligible to apply. We will match you to a suitable mentor based on your needs. The mentor will be from the same/relevant industry and market, as well as possess suitable skillsets and expertise so that he/she can provide valuable advice and resources.
We will be relaunching season 2 of the programme in late November 2020. The sign up link will be up soon, stay tuned!
Over 250 investment professionals and industry leaders across South East Asia, Europe and Australia have pledged at least 1 hour of their time monthly to provide mentorship. Join us to pay it forward and help businesses tide over the pandemic!
Our criteria for mentors is as follows:
1. Investment professionals who are investing early stage to late stage startups (eg, venture capital, other institutionals, syndicates, impact ventures)
2. Corporate leaders (C-suite or head of function) of large companies
3. Professionals (lawyers, auditors, accountants supporting startups) and Subject experts (tech, marketing etc.)
4. Have at least 3 years of work experience in a particular specialisation
We will be opening up the registration for mentors in late Nov 2020 followed by a curation process.
Join us to build this community and benefit more founders.
Hear our story
Mentor for Hope evolved from the Gratitude-COVID mentoring initiative started by Elise Tan Yee Ling in Singapore when her role at a venture firm was made redundant in end March 2020. Elise shares her motivation: “I might have lost my job but I thought that with the time I had on hand, I can help others keep theirs.” She was later joined by Sharon Yeo Mei Ching and Gwen Sim, both final-year students at National University of Singapore.
Over 120 introductions have been made between founders and mentors since 1 April 2020. One of the participants, Benjamin Gabriel, had to postpone all live events in March which his company, Orgeva, was supporting due to the pandemic. He feared the worst for his company and its survival. That was when he signed up for the mentoring initiative via Linkedin and was matched to Jeffrey Paine, Managing Partner of Golden Gate Ventures. In spite of his busy schedule, Jeffrey provided him with useful, actionable advice.
Another startup which benefited is Intellect.Co, a digital health company building a new form of digital therapy that is radically more affordable and accessible to the masses. Theodoric Chew, cofounder of the firm, was matched to Janet Neo, a mentor with vast experience in sustainability and mental health startups.
“We benefited tremendously from the insights and expertise she generously shared over a few calls. She helped push us to think in a much bolder and exciting manner. She also plans to provide us with introductions in the space.”
Theodoric Chew, CEO, Intellect.co
- Link to Business Times article
- Link to Strait Times article
- Link to e27 article
- Link to A-Magazine article.
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