Image source: Starwars.com
I have been a mentor and I have mentors, this is one of the high leverage activities that you can do as a founder. Surround yourself with experienced, smart and diverse group of people and get their help and insight on things that you have not done before. The perspective and advice that you get from this group could be incredibly valuable. I started Startup Iceland because I wanted to create a platform for Entrepreneurs and Founders to connect with mentors. This activity has paved the way for exponential value creation for myself and for those who have participated in the event and who took advantage of this. I don’t know of any event that allows and facilitates anyone who participates in the event to schedule a one-on-one-first-come-first-served access to all the speakers and mentors of the event. Startup Iceland is probably the only one that allows anyone who has a ticket to get connected with mentors. I believe in this model so much that we invested in Expertrons to scale this model. Our hypothesis was right and my intuition was right, Expertrons is one of the fastest growing startups in India. There is a market for aspirants who want to up-skill and move their careers forward, this is not a Indian phenomena it is a global phenomena.
Icelanders traditionally never had to do any of these things because everyone knows everybody in Iceland. In the startup founding journey knowing people in Iceland is a necessary but not a sufficient condition. If you are building a global business you need mentors who are global. Startup Iceland has brought global mentors to the event and enabled founders in Iceland to connect, share and build a relationship. It is also one of the main reasons we did not do an online event or a hybrid event during COVID. We wanted to ensure the people to people connections happen in person. Maybe I am old fashioned that way, relationships are built when people see each other in person, shake hands, break bread together and talk. This is what we enable during Startup Iceland. It is also to inspire and educate.
If you are an investor in Iceland, I encourage you to participate in Startup Iceland. There are amazing founders working on incredible things. It is not what they are working on that is exciting, it is the founder, the people behind the ideas and companies. You will never get to know them better than in Startup Iceland. A number of investors started their career and journey based on contacts that they made in Startup Iceland.