One of the secret weapons of any successful startup is a great mentor. By sharing their knowledge and experience, a mentor not only sets their team up for success but also contributes to the development of the entire startup ecosystem.
The US Startup Mentor Training Program is open to any startup founder, corporate executive or expert who is ready to share their knowledge as a mentor. The aim of the program is to equip mentors with the know-how, tools and best practices necessary to guide startup teams towards sustainable growth.
The program is organized by CEU iLab in cooperation with the US Embassy in Budapest.
Entrepreneurship is a practical discipline where role models, best practices, success stories but even stories of failure serve as great sources of inspiration. On the flip side, there is a widespread perception in Hungary that the lack of knowledge sharing is an important hindering factor of entrepreneurial success. This program enables you to act as a catalyst for change by becoming a better startup mentor!
All participants completing the five sessions will receive a virtual „Equipped Startup Mentor Badge” from CEU iLab, that they will be entitled to use across their social media profiles and websites.
During the five interactive sessions, you will participate in lectures and workshops delivered by US experts. The range of topics will be as wide as possible, allowing you to gain insight into startup mentoring best practices, case studies and mentoring frameworks.
At the last session, participants will draft a joint Mentor Manifesto that can serve as a point of reference for any startup mentor in Hungary in the future.
During the online and offline sessions you will have the opportunity to meet and network with the speakers and other participants from a wide range of backgrounds: startup founders, university faculty, corporate executives etc. This way you can widen your horizon and build your local and international network.
Build a strong, resilient startup ecosystem based on trust, knowledge sharing and collaboration across companies and institutions. As a mentor you can serve as a multiplier, creating a wide economic and social value.
The program creates a dynamic community that supports entrepreneurial partnerships. We would like to keep this community alive even after the end of the program so that members can continue to share their knowledge and experience in startup mentoring.
Nathan Furr (INSEAD)
19 May 2021, 4 pm - 7 pm (CET)
This session will explore in an interactive format the differences between the entrepreneurial and the corporate management and mindset. Through practical activities you will understand how to build bridges between your experience and startups.
Patrick Riley (CEO of GAN)
30 September 2021, 5 pm - 9 pm (CET)
CEU Budapest campus, Auditorium & online
What kind of support do startups need the most? How to help them access the human and financial capital they need to build powerful businesses and to make a meaningful impact? What does the data from 100 global accelerators and 12.000 mentors say about how mentors can do their job most efficiently? What kind of mentorship models can pave the way for startup success?
GAN was originally launched by Techstars with the aim to align the accelerator industry around globally accepted best practices and to create a standardized model for their success. Since 2014, GAN is an independent organization, a natural third-party in the startup world, able to identify, address, and support all members equally, running programs in 120+ cities all over the world, which have supported more than 10,000 startups. Patrick is going to share his enormous first-hand expertise about how to best support startup teams so that they become powerful and sustainable global businesses.
5 pm – 6:30 pm: talk by Patrick Riley (delivered online)
6:30 pm – 7:00 pm: reception for program participants
7:00 pm – 8:15 pm: networking and team-building facilitated by Momentan Tarsulat
8:15 pm: buffet dinner
John Hill (Techstars)
Katja Wald (MIT Enterprise Forum Cambridge)
10 June 2021, 4 pm - 7 pm (CET)
hybrid (online and Groupama Arena)
During this session experts from two of the most well-known US accelerator programs will walk you through their best practices of startup mentoring. The session will be preceded by a panel discussion with Hungarian founders who will share their experience about US and international accelerator programs they participated in and their own mentoring experience.
Panel discussion on the significance of startup mentoring and international best practices from the YCombinator, Techstars and ProVeg acceleration programs
Akos Deliaga (founder, Talk-a-Bot)
Peter Csillag (founder, Starschema)
Csaba Hetenyi (founder, Plantcraft)
Tamas Gorbe (co-founder, Menten AI)
Andrea Kozma (director, CEU iLab)
Nora Wagner-Varady (project manager, CEU iLab)
The role of startup mentors in the growth of a startup – a practical approach
Katja Wald (Executive Director, MIT Enterprise Forum Cambridge)
“Power the Network”, “Dream Big” and “Give First” - Insights from Techstars, one of the World’s Most Iconic Incubators
John Hill (VP of Network, Techstars)
Register for the event series.Register
Bill Aulet (Managing Director, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship)
24 November 2021, 5 pm - 9 pm (CET)
CEU Budapest campus, Auditorium & online
In this session, Bill Aulet will give participants an insight into the Disciplined Entrepreneurship method he developed, without doubt the most well-known systematic framework for building innovative products in the world. Bill will talk about what discipline in entrepreneurship means and why it is important, how startup mentors should approach this framework, when it should and when it should not be used and which steps definitely should not be missed.
5 pm – 7:30 pm: talk by Bill Aulet (delivered online)
7:30 pm – 9:00 pm: reception for program participants
The language of the sessions will be English. Participants should have advanced-level written and oral English skills.
We expect participants to have some experience in business development either from a business or academic angle. Any industry and any company size counts. We typically expect startup founders, executives, SME managers, advisors and researchers/faculty from entrepreneurship-related university programs or departments to apply.
The aim of the project is to train startup mentors who will then go on and share their experience with startup teams. Please only apply if you are ready for this. There is no benchmark however - it does not matter how much time you can invest in mentoring. A single hour on a monthly basis can have a huge impact on an early-stage startup.
We expect participants to cover all sessions of the program. As an absolute minimum, attending 4 sessions out of the 5 is required.
Patrick Riley is the CEO of GAN which is a highly-curated community of independent accelerators, corporates, and investors. GAN connects startups to the human and financial resources they need. He's also Managing Partner of GAN Ventures, the VC fund associated with GAN. Earlier in his career Patrick worked for the American Red Cross and later he oversaw the sales and operations for a venture-backed healthcare technology company that had a recent exit. Following his passion to support start-up companies around the world, Patrick joined Techstars, a well known tech accelerator, and oversaw its growth which included the development of GAN. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two girls, bike riding, traveling, and skiing around Colorado
Bill Aulet is changing the way entrepreneurship is understood, taught and practiced around the world. He is an award-winning educator and author whose current work is built off the foundation of his 25-year successful business career first at IBM and then as a three-time serial entrepreneur. Since 2009, he has been responsible for leading the development of entrepreneurship education across MIT at the Trust Center. His first book, Disciplined Entrepreneurship, released in August 2013, has been translated into over 20 languages. In 2021, Bill was recognized by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) as the 2021 Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year.
Katja is the executive director of the MIT Enterprise Forum Cambridge, one of the oldest entrepreneurial support organizations in the world. She is a driving force of innovation, connecting the most promising startups with mentors, educators, investors and customers.
Nathan Furr is a professor of strategy and innovation at INSEAD in Paris. He earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University. His bestselling books include The Innovator’s Method and Leading Transformation (Harvard Business School Press). Nathan works with leading companies such as Google, Microsoft, Citi, ING, Philips and Solvay.
"Mentoring is about inspiring. It is very rewarding to share my several years of startup support experience with young teams and see how this accumulated learning can help them grow."
"Mentoring is a possibility to help future entrepreneurs reach their goals more quickly based on our earlier experience. This process benefits all participants so we do it with pleasure.."
"Mentoring startups with truly disruptive ideas helps me think outside of the box. We cannot go back and use the best practices because there aren't any. Innovation needs to be part of our culture. We’re in trouble if we can’t catch up with the constantly transforming world. Mentoring keeps me fit for the customers."
Managing Director, WSI Origin Consulting
CEU Innovations Lab (iLab) is the startup incubator and accelerator of Central European University.
In the past 5 years, iLab has incubated 65 early-stage projects with success stories such as that of Brokerchooser, Talk-a-bot and Salarify . iLab teams raised altogether funds worth 8 million Euros and created more than 235 jobs. CEU iLab is industry-agnostic, taking projects from any industry, however, there is a prevalence of teams in fintech, food and health.
What makes CEU iLab unique is the synergy it creates between academia and business.
CEU iLab takes startup teams into its one-year incubation program twice a year. The next cohort starts in September 2021.