What Do Startup Mentors Do? Founders’ Perspective on Entrepreneurial Mentoring Functions

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review


Although formal mentoring relationships become increasingly popular and are crucial to new venture performance, the composition and configurations of mentoring functions received by the founding teams are relatively unexplored. In this study, we introduce an inventory of mentoring roles that goes beyond their traditional understanding, and clarify their importance for the new venture founders. Building on fieldwork in 37 new venture teams seeking to establish formal mentoring relationships in an acceleration program, we uncover a function of new venture support that is prioritized by the founders over psychosocial support and role modelling. Surprisingly, we uncover that founders expect their mentors to assume the investor role in the long-term, therefore, we also discuss the implications of mentor-investor role duality for developing and sustaining formal mentoring relations. Overall, we add insights to the mentoring and entrepreneurship literatures on what team-level mentoring functions, especially in the context of uncertainty and complexity, shape subsequent entrepreneurial mentoring relations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademy of Management Proceedings 2018
EditorsSonia Taneja
PublisherAcademy of Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018
Event78th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2018: Improving Lives - Chicago, United States
Duration: 10 Aug 201814 Aug 2018
https://aom.org/events/annual-meeting/past-annual-meetings/2018-improving-lives (Conference website)
https://journals.aom.org/toc/amproc/2018/1 (Conference proceedings)

Publication series

NameAcademy of Management Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0065-0668
ISSN (Electronic)2151-6561


Conference78th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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