The Best Firms Have Mentoring Programs for Creative Business Leaders

Developing Rewarding Relationships with Seasoned Business Leaders

Gone are the days when professional mentoring relationships were just for senior level corporate employees. Startup America Partnership, a new program created in January by the government, helps newer creative business leaders receive advice and support from seasoned business owners.

Mentoring Programs Picture by Manujoy at


Although Startup America Partnership is designed to support the growth of new small businesses, you don’t have to be in the early stages of creating your company to participate in the program. In fact, if you’re at one of the below stages you may be able to participate in the small business program: 

  • Idea creation stage – you’ve just come upon an idea that you’d like to explore and possibly turn into a creative business
  • Recently started new creative business – you’re either in the process of filing local, state and federal tax identification forms or you’ve recently registered your business with licensing, revenue and other required local, state and federal business departments
  • Rampup – you’re company has been in operation for awhile and is not starting to grow and you’d like help with the growth process (e.g. hiring employees, expanding products and services)
  • Speedup – your creative business is growing rapidly. You feel you can benefit from receiving guidance from experienced business owners around employment laws, marketing, public relations, international laws, etc.  

Successful Organizations Affiliated with Startup America Partnership

Organizations affiliated with Startup America Partnership may provide you with free memberships for one to three months so you can access their services free of charge. For example, Biz2Credit offers new Startup America Partnership members a free three-month premium membership. You can also get discounts on Equifax credit reports. 

 Through programs like the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute you can enroll in free online learning seminars to find out what it takes to be a successful creative business leader. Google matches $1,000 for every $1,000 new Startup America Partnership members spend with the company through June 1, 2012. Additionally, creative business leaders like you can receive discounts on computer supplies through manufacturers like Hewlett Packard.  

Five key areas the program focuses on are: 

  • Talent
  • Services
  • Expertise
  • Customers
  • Capital 

Information Required of Companies Participating in the Program

As a startup your business must be founded in 2006 or later. To receive support as a rampup or speedup you can have started your creative business in 2001 or later. Information you need to register to participate in the program includes your employer identification number and the number of employees the firm started with (startups must have at least two employees; rampups must have a minimum of six employees). Revenue data (e.g. profits, losses), LinkedIn URL (company and personal URLs) and your creative business website URL are also required.  

Offline events are also held for companies participating in the program, giving you another chance to meet and connect with other business leaders in your industry and across other industries. The resource cost savings alone can make this new venture worthwhile. Pair up with a top notch seasoned creative business leader and you might receive the insights and tools to move your company forward at a faster pace than you previously were. 

Get into Spiral online at:

Check out Long Walk Up online at: 

Sources: (Bloomberg Business Week: When Mentors Matter More Than Money) (Startup America Partnership) 

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