One of the many perks of being an entrepreneur in the North Forge Startup Program is having access to knowledgable and experienced mentors during the Build and Validate stages.
North Forge has a rich collection of mentors, one of them being Christian Dandeneau, Cheif Executive Officer at ID Fusion Software. We caught up with Christian to ask him a few questions about being a mentor at North Forge.
What does being a mentor for the North Forge Startup Program entail?
Being a mentor typically involves meeting with Startup entrepreneurs on a consistent basis discussing issues and challenges they are facing. Sometimes urgent issues come up, and we try to help them get through those issues by being available evenings and weekends. It’s nice to be around the energy that a startup entrepreneur has, life is fast-paced and full of new opportunities and challenges for them.
How long have you been mentoring?
I’ve been mentoring for North Forge and formerly Eureka for 4 years, since June 2015.
What makes you qualified to mentor new entrepreneurs?
I’m not sure what makes me qualified to mentor entrepreneurs, but I’ve been running my own business since 1994 when I started my first startup. Over the years, I’ve had to overcome many challenges. My motivation for being an entrepreneur comes from the fact that I wish I had someone tell me what not to do when trying to start and run a successful business. I’ve also learned from so many people who have been generous with their time and knowledge. Finally, I’ve read many business books and I have started to see the key repeating patterns emerging, which for me indicates that some of those theories have merit.
What do you like about mentoring?
I like mentoring because it allows me to see new business ideas and help the entrepreneur navigate through the difficult challenge of executing a plan after it hits the reality of the market. There’s a lot of problem-solving and looking at things in different situations when you start a business and mentoring allows me to be part of that.
To learn more about the North Forge Startup Program and information on how to get involved, visit us at, http://northforge.ca/what-we-offer/start-up-program/