“This is the most gratifying thing I do all year.” Dennis Rekker, GSBI mentor, told a group of 16 social entrepreneurs representing 10 startups from 9 countries in Africa and Southeast Asia on Friday, Oct 18th.
During October, ten tech startups DEMO 2012 Award Winners from Africa and Southeast Asia traveled to the Silicon Valley on an innovation Tour to meet with industry leaders, incubators, and other entrepreneurs before pitching their ideas at the DEMO Global Showcase in front of investors and tech innovators.
The congregation of entrepreneurs listened intently as Program Director, Cassandra Staff led the group through the workings of the GSBI Online program, targeting early stage social enterprises, as well as GSBI Accelerator, the program designed around gap analysis to eliminate obstacles that prevent organizations from achieving scale and investment.
Mike Looney Director of the GSBI Mentor Network then discussed the roles of mentors in GSBI. He opened by asking how many of the entrepreneurs in the room had a mentor. One hand stood in the air. GSBI mentors are similar to sports coaches, previous players who know their position very well and now teach others how to play the entire field. Our mentors specialize in building business that scale and bring that insight into the program to help the entrepreneurs grow. GSBI veteran mentor Brad Mattson talked about the full extent of the relationship formed during GSBI and how often mentors and mentees stay in contact past the program. Participants can relate to the mentors who know what they are going through and who provide push-back and honest feedback to help them succeed.
GSBI provides an experience where mentors and mentees can share with the entire group their insights and experiences. Upon asking those assembled, "how many of you plan to find a mentor?" all sixteen hands shot up.
They don’t know each other, but for six months beginning in October, 15 social entrepreneurs from around the world will be virtual classmates in a program designed to help them in their quest to build viable ventures that help solve some of the most persistent problems of poverty.
Apply for the GSBI
The Tech Awards