Like the start of most relationships, developing a meaningful connection with a mentee or advisee is not something that happens overnight. To start, you’ll first need to get to know each other (at least a little) and then, if it’s a good fit, you can create a longer commitment. So, to keep things light at first, we recommend setting up an “Intro Meeting.”
What’s an Intro Meeting?
An “Intro Meeting” is just what it sounds like—a chance for two people to introduce themselves to each other. Within the context of the Skysthelimit program, this is the first meeting you should set up with an entrepreneur so that each of you has a chance to learn about the other person’s skills, experiences and objectives before deciding if it makes sense to collaborate further. In our book, an Intro Meeting is:
Low-stakes: It is a low-commitment way for you and an entrepreneur to get to know each other.
Short: It should lasts 30 minutes or less and can be conducted via phone, video chat, or face-to-face.
Fun! It gives you a chance to interact with young entrepreneurs and hear about their business ideas.
Open-ended and Face-saving: You should each have a chance to think about the meeting before committing to anything further. You may both end up wasting valuable time if either party feels social pressure to continue with a bad fit. We encourage entrepreneurs to meet with multiple volunteers to find the right support team for their business.
So, now that you know our definition of an Intro meeting, lob back in at skysthelimit.org and click on “Explore Community” to browse our entrepreneur community and find a couple of people you’d like to connect with. Intro meetings can be initiated by volunteers or entrepreneurs, so if someone’s profile is intriguing, don’t be shy. Send a message! (But please don’t send more than you can keep up with. Ghosting will not win you any points in life or in our community!)
First Message Example:
Preparing for an Intro Meeting
Now that you’ve booked your first Intro Meeting, what are you going to do to prepare? Oh, did you think that just because it’s short and “low-stakes,” you could just show up an wing it? Well, you could do that, but if you are trying to use the time wisely, we recommend that you think about a few things prior to the meeting. You should be prepared to:
Introduce yourself - Be prepared to share a brief background. Where are you from? What are you passionate about? And what about your personal history has made you who you are today?
Describe your business experience - If you do not have entrepreneurial or startup experience, that’s okay. But entrepreneurs will want to know what areas you are particularly skilled in and how that might tie to their business-building process.
Agree to Skysthelimit.org’s Community Guidelines - Be familiar with these so you don’t unintentionally break any of them. If any are particularly important to you (like, confidentiality, for instance), the Intro Meeting may be a good time to mention that.
Explain the type of support your are able to provide - Think about whether you prefer to provide short-term help in a specific area or more general, long-term mentoring. You might also be open to both! Find out if they are too.
You don’t need to follow this list step-by-step in your meeting. You should make room for organic, authentic conversation and connections. But, having these answers readily available and making sure you hit on the main points will help you both walk away from a short meeting with the information you need to take the next step.