Name: Travis James Mathers
Job function: Director of Business Development & Co-founder at Airflight ApS; and Assistant Professor at UCN
What startup have you been mentoring for: Lunel Vintage
1. Why did you choose to become an entrepreneur mentor for a startup at AAU?
I love entrepreneurship and I love coaching, so becoming a mentor was an obvious choice for me. I believe that it is important to give back to others in life, and I've decided to combine that with my passion for entrepreneurship. In my own entrepreneurial journey, my mentors have really accelerated my personal and business growth and I want to do the same for others now.
2. What’s the best thing about being an entrepreneur mentor for a startup?
I'm addicted to the energy, passion, and vision of new entrepreneurs and start-ups. It gives me a lot of energy for my own projects. It also reinforces my own skills each time I use them to help my mentees and students.
3. What is the biggest challenge of being an entrepreneur mentor for a startup?
I honestly haven't experienced any challenges with this program so far, but as a mentor in general, it is challenging to leave all of the work to the mentees. I tend to want to get too involved, or become disappointed if the mentee does not perform. I've had to learn to let go a little bit in this regard.
4. Would you recommend the role of entrepreneur mentor to others?
Justify. Definitely! If you have the slightest interest, then you should approach it in the same way that you should approach everything as an entrepreneur - JUST TEST IT! :-) Test it out and see if it is for you. I experience mentorship as a very energizing and fulfilling activity.
5. What advice would you give to a new entrepreneur mentor?
No one knows everything, just focus on using your strengths to help your mentees and refer them to other people in your network to help them in areas where you are weaker.
6. If you have to come up with advice for new entrepreneurs in general, what should it be?
Get a mentor ASAP. As an entrepreneur, continuously learning new things is an essential ingredient for success, and there are endless benefits from getting some of that learning, knowledge, and wisdom from those who have already done it in their careers. It is an amazing way to avoid making frustrating and costly "newbie errors".