Would you rather have a mentor, or a dedicated co-pilot?
If we were to point out a few extreme situations to demonstrate it, it would be these:
- You'll see your mentor once a month, the co-pilot is in touch with you daily.
- A mentor talks about what the startup has done. A co-pilot talks about what the startup should and will do.
- The main reward for a mentor might be gaining deeper knowledge of the startup environment with its enthusiasm and energy. A co-pilot is more profit-oriented. When the startup thrives and profits, so does he.
- If something goes wrong, a mentor can say: I told them! A co-pilot, on the other hand, might say: This is also my fault.
How does the co-pilot concept work at UP21?
At the very beginning of an incubation process, every startup gets their own co-pilot. We choose the co-pilot based their on past experience, skillset, and main field of expertise, which should overlap with the incubated startup's weaker sides and help fix them. A personal fit is also a big deal for us. The cooperation can only work when the founder and the co-pilot get on well with each other from day one.