Building PocketScience: The Role of Mentors & External Support [Part II]

Building PocketScience: The Role of Mentors & External Support [Part II]


VineeshVineesh
Vineesh is a dreamer, visionary and passionate about education. He is co-founder of mobile learning startup PocketScience.

Walking on startup path is extremely adventurous but not at all safe. We, startup founders need hand holding of experts who can guide us through out our journey. 

We should find mentors as early as possible, preferably who have prior experience of entrepreneurship. Don’t get a mentor for showing his picture on your website. 

Keep looking for external support provided by companies and government. There are many support systems to boost entrepreneurship. It can be in form of money, network access or perks like credits to use development & marketing tools. 

The Morpheus Accelerator

morpheus accelerator

We, at PocketScience, are lucky to be part of The Morpheus accelerator. Do you remember? How Morpheus of The Matrix movie believed in Neo and helped him in not just coming out of The Matrix, but also reaching his potential and being “The One”.. Same way, Sameer and Nandini, founders ofThe Morpheus gang are helping us exploring ourselves as entrepreneurs. 

We are a part of the Morpheus Gang since September 2013, their involvement is not less than transformational for our thought process. Most of accelerator and incubator groups get involved till Demo day but Morpheus is as helpful and accessible today as they were last year. 

They invested INR 5,00,000 in our company in exchange of some equity but real value lies in their support and mentorship. 

Also Read: Building PocketScience: The Journey So Far

Without Mentorship

In our previous venture,

  • There were times when the going was tough and I didn’t really know what to do. At those moments, there was this yearning to be able to talk to someone who would understand. 
  • There were decisions and situations that were inexplicably hard to fathom. I could only wish that someone could guide me about the choices I had.
  • There were instances where I had gone long periods without speaking to anyone about the struggles, the successes, the pains and the gains. These often left me quite emotionally empty and added to the efforts of entrepreneurship.

Key benefits we are reaping with mentorship 

  1. Mentor(s) bring with them their experience, their insights, their connections. In Morpheus we found a lot more. It wasn’t just about the mentors but about a network of like-minded founders called the“Morpheus Gang” which adds a value unknown before.
  2. Feedback on product, marketing, growth strategies, anything related to entrepreneurial journey
  3. If you believe in the Wisdom of the crowds, this is where you get to see it live. Additionally, the rich experience Sameer and Nandini have with watching so many startups succeed and struggle gives them a unique perspective and their advice is fundamentally different.
  4. The emotional support that one gets from Mentors massively outweighs all other perks, but yes the perks are awesome too! AWS credits, Google Cloud credits, Microsoft Azure credits, Advertising credits, Parse credits. 
  5. Just like many other possible validations, being accepted by an Accelerator is a micro-validation in its own form. This brings with itself access to a wide plethora of people like angel investors, VCs, influential people in industry.

10,000 Startups by NASSCOM

We were shortlisted by NASSCOM for their program, 10,000 startups which is a unique effort to give startups more exposure to everything that’s available in the startup ecosystem. 

10000 startups

This is not an accelerator program but 10,000 startups team is working hard on creating a community of startups and catalyzing multiple events to bring them together.

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As a bonus, you get access to entrepreneurship events, opportunities to pitch to VCs, meet probable mentors and even have a co-working space in Bangalore.

Facebook Fbstart

fbstart

Recently we have been selected by facebook for their programFbstart which is designed to help early stage mobile companies. Fbstart provide bouquet of perks from Facebook and it’s partners like Parse, Adobe, SurveyMonkey, Proto, Appurify and Hootsuite. They also provide mentorship and access to worldwide mobile events but we have not utilized yet.

Check the program details at fbstart.com

Google Startup Launch

Google also have support program for startups, details are available at Startup Launch

startup launchpad

We applied for this long back and this month received their Welcome Email. Google provide $100K worth credits which can be used for their cloud services. Apart from credits they provide training and support to build and launch application. 

Must Read: The Top 15 Startup Accelerators In India

We are still figuring out how to get most out of this program. We are hoping this program to be useful for awesome design and development of our app PocketScience

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