I regularly get introduced to a career corporate execs that has an interest in mentoring or advising startups. Oftentimes, it is because the executive recently retired or is planning to retire soon and is thinking about what they should do with their available time. After exchanging small talk to get to know each other, I often ask “Do you feel like you can be helpful to startup founders?” At a minimum, the question causes a puzzled look, and sometimes an indignant response like “What do you mean? I’m the (insert big title) for (insert big corporation). I am responsible for (insert something really big) and (insert major accomplishment). For sure I can help startup founders.”
I’m sorry, but they are naive in this regard and that doesn’t mean they can’t be helpful in some way. In this article, I will share my thoughts and experiences related to corporate execs advising startups.
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