Equitech Tuesday #144: Thank You, Trailblazers!

Baltimore Tech Community,

When successful people talk about their journeys, you’re guaranteed to hear about the people who showed them the way because they walked a similar path before them. These people are our mentors, people who reach back to pull you along because someone else did that for them when they were in your shoes. ProtentusNick Culbertson’s unforgettable analogy – “entrepreneurship is like running through the woods backwards and naked” – underscores the importance of mentors who tell you what to look out for and who help you to see ahead!

This #Equitech Tuesday, we celebrate our mentors. At our offices, we’ve seen countless mentors come by over the course of the last few weeks to spend time with the current cohort of Techstars Equitech. It has been inspiring to see the wealth of knowledge showing up ready to dig into tough challenges alongside the founders. Ted Olsen, affectionately known as a “super-mentor,” has impacted so many founders in our ecosystem and continues to say yes because, “entrepreneurs learn many lessons from the school of hard knocks. If my experiences can help a founder move faster, save resources, and get their product to market faster, I’m happy to help. Coaches and mentors have played a big part in my career. Mentoring… is an opportunity to give back to the entrepreneurship ecosystem.”

Ted was one of the dozens of Techstars mentors activated for Mentor Magic last week. To the many mentors involved formally and informally, a message from Techstars Equitech Accelerator Managing Director Adam Phillips:

Happy (almost) Spring all and I’m so excited to get the chance to welcome a whole bunch of Mentors to Equitech Tuesday on April 9th for our Mentor Appreciation Day! The Techstars Equitech Accelerator 2024 Class has started and (as always) Techstars leverages a host of volunteer mentors that add their expertise to our portfolio companies while they are in the Accelerator. This year has been no exception, and we are joined by a phenomenal core of mentors from all over the country that have signed-on to be a resource for our founders right here in Baltimore! Whether they are working with Techstars founders or not, mentors bring critical professional insights/perspective, and, as-importantly, their individual and corporate experiences to bear in a way that sheds light on the often-difficult path that founders have to walk during the early days while they build their companies. We are INCREDIBLY grateful for that and want to make sure to say a very public and loud THANK YOU!

And we want to extend that opportunity to thank and appreciate mentors from across our ecosystem! If you have a mentor, invite them. If you are a mentor, please come and allow us to appreciate you. First drink free for all mentors! Courtesy of our partners in gratitude, Techstars.

Whether you make it or not, we’d love to hear from our community the notes, stories, anecdotes of your mentors and the impact they’ve had on your journey. Send us a message.

See you at #Equitech Tuesday… where the tech community gathers.

Robbin Lee

Upsurge Baltimore, Director of Partnerships & Mobilization