TiE Pune Nurture Mentoring Program Completes 11th Version

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Pune 10 July 2023 : The recently concluded Nurture Accelerator 11.0 saw 32 mentee companies graduate – essentially achieve the goals they set for their companies at the start of this program. The program is undertaken by The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Pune, a not-for-profit venture fostering entrepreneurship through mentoring, networking, education, funding, and incubation.

This graduation will enable the mentee companies to increase their chances of success and growth. The reason for this phenomenal success is that mentoring advice is given by people who have themselves been successful in running their businesses.

The Nurture Accelerator Program has been specially created by successful business founders to specifically help start-ups. It is a six-month rigorous process-led program for mentoring entrepreneurs that creates positive changes in all areas of their business. This is done by a set of seasoned entrepreneurs who run successful businesses themselves and guide the mentee in various aspects related to entrepreneurship. As a mentee company, you will not only learn how to create a sharply differentiated business strategy, but also be coached in several aspects including team composition and leadership, business ethics, planning processes, competition mapping, networking, and fund-raising. This is supplemented with classroom-based sessions where experts share practical knowledge on vital business areas.

What started 11 years ago in the office of TiE Pune Charter Member Ajay Bhagwat as an initiative to help start-ups with just eight companies and seven mentors now has 173 companies graduating and 74 mentors. “We use our experience to teach, we help start-ups with what we have learnt from our mistakes and success,” says Ajay Bhagwat.

Statistics show that over 90% of start-ups fail and investors invest in less than 5% of the proposals they receive. Says Kiran Deshpande, TiE Global Trustee, and a mentor to more than 50 start-ups, “entrepreneurs at times miss core things such as sharp focus on customers and users, even sharper focus on early-stage markets, (not too early, not too late), hiring a CEO or their own boss if needed and many more.

Says Advait Kurlekar Chairperson, TiE Pune’s Nurture Accelerator 11.0, “this year we received 148 applications to join Nurture but we accepted only 54. This is because many of these companies are either at too early a stage, perhaps still at ideation where they do not need Nurture but a validation program, or do not have a POC ready or simply are not focused enough.

“A start-up must be ‘mentorable’ to join the Nurture program. Often, we see that a founder is married to the solution rather than the problem. There might be several ways by which a problem can be solved and a founder must be ready to accept this,” added Nikhil Karkare, co-chair, Nurture Accelerator

Given that TiE has been mentoring companies for decades, this takes on a deeper meaning. Says Kiran, “mentoring as getting under the skin of the founder and the business to transform both. It subsumes advisory, guidance, coaching and must be done not with just the head but also the heart. It requires sustained effort and can be exhausting, but brings tremendous joy.”