I like mentoring. It’s my chance to give back. My opportunity to pay it forward.
When I first started out, I had no mentors, and it was hard-going, lonely and scary. I was a lone wolf during the tough times. I wish I had someone I could have gone to for support and ideas but that was not available to me back then since I did not grow up with family connections or social circles that had any entrepreneurs.
For this very reason, I am interested in helping the next generation of entrepreneurs. I hope VentureCamp can grow and become a model for the world’s budding entrepreneurs everywhere. VentureCamp will provide entrepreneurs with Mentors and sources of capital. If we can do that we would leave a legacy I would be proud to be associated with.
When Chad Folkening (Founder of VentureCamp and Global Ventures, LLC) and I started to discuss the idea that would become VentureCamp, it was always planned as a place where entrepreneurs could get together in an atmosphere of cooperation and competition to move their ideas past the tipping point.
In my opinion, most startup’s take money too early in their startup phase, and as a result they basically lose control of their dream somewhere in round 2 of the financing cycle. Giving startup’s the ability to get to a critical mass in their business gives them the ability to keep more of the company for longer periods of time, which is a key objective of VentureCamp.
Having been exposed to many different types of start up support systems for entrepreneurs I never felt comfortable enough with the process to join in. I think most incubators, angel groups and institutional investors seemed to me to be more like proverbial chicken hawks swooping in to grab the helpless hatchling before they could grow.
That was until VentureCamp came along. Here is a place where budding entrepreneurs can develop their business idea with successful mentors without the fear of being lead astray by private or institutional investors whose sole focus is what you can do for them. VentureCamp’s focus is different.
It’s about giving the entrepreneur a safe place to grow and access to some talented business professionals. That’s different than anything out there and that’s why I agreed to become a mentor for the first camp this summer’s VentureCamp finalists.