Techstars NYC Week 2 - Sales & Mentor Madness

Sales & Mentor Madness

After determining that growth and product were going to be our two main points of focus in Week 1, we got prepared for Mentor Madness in Week 2.

I mentioned last week that one observation at Techstars Boston was that larger teams were less affected by activities like Mentor Madness, because employees could continue work when their CEO or cofounders were slammed with meetings.


As a team of two, we decided ahead of the program we were going need to delegate tasks to each other, and split things up to effectively make progress.

As a result, I decided I wasn’t going to attend many of the Mentor Madness meetings, instead leaving them to Sebastien, while I focused on prospecting and reaching out to new leads.

Now, Mentor Madness is a unique opportunity to expand your network, get great feedback, and find ongoing mentors for your business, so I was disappointed not attending all the meetings.  But reminding myself that the discipline required to split tasks was necessary paid off. 

I got more sales work done during the week than I had in many of the previous; knowing I was missing some great meetings got me in the zone quickly, and made work extremely effective. 

If you do split, don’t forget to debrief each other – Sebastien and I always had a chat after the meetings were finished on who he felt were the best mentors of each day, what had been learned or what questions were asked.  Keeping each other in the loop on what you’re working on is a must.

Don't Forget the Focus

The other major factor in this decision was focusing on the thing we had decided was most important for us during Techstars – growth.  Focusing on a singular goal when you’re two people is difficult – there’s always marketing, strategy, positioning, competitor and market research, and a million other things to do.  But to make meaningful progress, you must pick one.

Mentor Madness meetings themselves are a bit of an art and science, which I’ve talked about before, so I won’t here.

Despite not participating fully in Mentor Madness, both Sebastien and I were still exhausted at the end of the week. 

Keeping focused on the important things, and splitting tasks effectively is key to making the most of this week.

Quick Tips

In summary:

  • As a small team, you must split tasks, even if you’d both like to do all things.
  • When you do this, you must make a conscious decision to keep the communication clear about progress on your tasks.
  • You should each have a singular focus throughout the program, and it’s necessary to be ruthless in cutting out lower-impact activities, as important as they may seem.

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