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Using mentors as a student entrepreneur

For UIC students, entrepreneurial resources are available in the form of workshops, programming, events, webinars and event monetary support. But what about mentorship? Mentors are seasoned professionals who can serve as invaluable guides.

Why is mentorship so critical for aspiring student entrepreneurs?

1. Knowledge you don't get in textbooks:

Entrepreneurship is as much about relationships as it is about the business model canvas or financial models. Mentors can help you with relationship building, offer practical wisdom and share advice based on their real-world experience.

2. A sounding board for your big (and not-so-big) ideas:

Every entrepreneur knows the thrill of a budding idea.  Mentors act as your personal sounding board, listening to your ideas, poking holes in them (constructively, of course!), and helping you refine them into polished gems.

3. Access to an invaluable network:

Building a successful business is often about who you know, not just what you know. Mentors open doors to their extensive networks, connecting you with investors, potential partners, and other industry players. This network becomes your launchpad, propelling you into the heart of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

4. Learning from failures (without the sting):

We all make mistakes, but learning from them is crucial for growth. Mentors, having stumbled and soared themselves, can share their failures without you having to experience them first-hand. They help you turn setbacks into stepping stones, ensuring you learn from every bump on the road.

Finding your mentor: Take advantage of the UIC Innovation Mentors program. We're here to connect you with the resources you need to turn your ideas into reality!  Remember that mentorship is not a one-off meeting - cultivate the relationship, be open to feedback, and demonstrate your commitment to learning. Remember, with a mentor by your side, your entrepreneurial journey becomes a shared adventure.