Mentor Hours: Startups’ chance to learn from the best

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Matthew Taylor
Two participants of Web Summit's Mentor Hours are seated and listening, facing other participants.

Mentor Hours is your chance to utilize Web Summit Rio’s contact book and meet our high-level business attendees, including the founders and CEOs of major tech companies in your industry.

This May, tech industry professionals from all over the world will converge on Rio for the inaugural Web Summit Rio. Many of these industry leaders got their start as entrepreneurs in startups, and emerging companies at the event will be able to learn from their experience during our Mentor Hours sessions.

These pre-scheduled, 45-minute interactive meetings pair you with a suitable business expert. Our data science team uses custom-built algorithms to specifically match our mentors to your industry, location and chosen content track. Your mentor will lead a meeting in the Mentor Hours area located on the exhibition floor, with time allocated for you to ask questions and share the challenges you face as a startup.

Applications are now open for members of our startup program.

What are the Mentor Hours’ tracks?

Mentor Hours is divided into four distinct areas:

  • Lead: This track focuses on leadership, strategic planning and entrepreneurship.
  • Engage: Here you can learn the ins and outs of marketing, social engagement and PR.
  • Build: Discover more about UI and UX, hardware and software development, or front- and back-end development.
  • Grow: These discussions center around raising capital and general financial guidance.

Each track features different business leaders who will draw on their insights – and the collective experiences of the attending startups – to discuss the issues important with you.

What are the benefits of Mentor Hours?

Advice specific to you

Obtaining the wise words of a business mentor is a privilege not every startup experiences, so having this guidance tailored to your industry, market and location is priceless. Mentor Hours is all about pairing you with a business leader who matches your startup – not just whoever is available. This means you can get a firm idea about how to tackle the issues facing your business and how to get ahead of the competition.

Star-power mentors

Our past mentors represented the best-known figures in the tech and investments sectors, including Crunchbase, Nokia Solutions and Networks, Cavalry Ventures, Branch, and Sony. These business leaders got to where they are because they understand the challenges that all young entrepreneurs face. Practice makes perfect, and you won’t find any professionals with more experience in the business world than our Mentor Hours hosts.

Global expertise

Web Summit Rio will bring together tech enthusiasts and heads of companies from around the world. There aren’t many other resources that offer access to business mentors with a broad understanding of a range of markets. That means you can benefit from an outside perspective on regional issues facing your startup, even while this advice is still tailored to your industry.

How can startups join Mentor Hours?

Companies that are part of Web Summit Rio’s ALPHA and BETA startup program can apply to be part of Mentor Hours. Startups can only submit one application to join Mentor Hours. Multiple applications will not be accepted.

If your application is successful, you must rank the four tracks in your order of preference to determine which mentor you are paired with. Our data science team will then do its best to ensure that as many startups as possible are matched appropriately.

From there, we’ll provide your mentor with your contact details so that the conversation can get underway even before the conference begins. You’ll be contacted by the middle of October with the details of your mentor and the time of your meeting.

Ensure you apply to join the Web Summit Rio startup program before you register for Mentor Hours. If you already have, you can apply for Mentor Hours here.

Main image of Mentor Hours session at Web Summit 2021 in Lisbon: Web Summit (CC BY 2.0)

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