Find a Mentor
In this module, you will learn how to…
- Find a Technovation mentor on my.technovationchallenge.org
- Recruit a Technovation mentor in person
- Get started on Team Building
Mentors can make a big difference in your Technovation experience. We have a lot of mentors who can't wait to meet and work with you and your team. Each mentor is a teacher, parent, or professional in science, engineering, technology, business, or academia who can guide your team to help you complete the online Technovation curriculum. Technovation mentors have diverse backgrounds and experiences for you to learn from, and are passionate about empowering teams like yours to do great things.
Depending on the mentors available in your area, you can meet with them online, via Skype or Google Hangouts, or in person at your school or a local cafe.
Why is it important to find a mentor?
- They can help you work through tough problems.
- They can use their expertise to provide your team with support and guidance.
- They can help teach you new things.
- They can help you understand what a career in tech is really like.
- They may be able to introduce you to other tech professionals and mentors.
There are so many benefits of having a mentor, we truly hope your team takes advantage of the opportunity to work with one this season.
It can be a bit intimidating to reach out to a mentor, but all of them have signed up for the program specifically to help you! That’s pretty amazing. You can help them feel special too, by reaching out and asking for their help. Here’s how…
Find a Technovation Mentor
Here are some steps to find the best Technovation mentor for your team on my.technovationchallenge.org:
- Log onto my.technovationchallenge.org. Your screen should look like this:
- Click the "Find a Mentor" tab at the top of the page. You'll be brought to a page that look like this:
- Browse mentors in your area.
- You can use the “Filter Options” on the left-hand side of the screen to filter the mentors based on the expertise your team is looking for.
- Click on their names to read their profiles and learn about their skillsets to decide which mentor might be the best fit for your team.
- → The website will automatically populate mentors closest to you at the top of the list (within 50 miles)!
- → If there aren't any mentors in your area, update the filter on the lefthand side to show you mentors in other cities who you might request to support your team virtually.
- Once you find the mentor you think will be the best fit for your team, click the "View Full Profile" button to open their profile page, then click the green button at the bottom of the page that says “Invite [Mentor Name] to Mentor your Team”. The mentor will have the option to view your team page and accept or decline the request.
- If they decline, don’t worry! There are plenty of other mentors out there. It probably means that they have already connected with another team. You can repeat the steps above to find another mentor.
- → Make sure your Team Page is complete with a photo and detailed description of your team, including who you are looking for in a mentor. Mentors can search and request teams as well!
- Once the mentor accepts or declines your request, everyone on the team will receive an email. If they accept, you can login to your team page on my.technovationchallenge.org and you will see your mentor’s email address. You can send them an email to set up your first meeting! Your email could look something like this:
|Dear [Mentor Name],
Thank you for accepting our request to be our Technovation mentor. We can’t wait to start working with you to build our mobile app and business through Technovation! Our team typically meets on [day of the week] from [time] to [time] at [location where you meet]. We hope you can join us at our next meeting, or we can find a new time that works for you as well!
Looking forward to it!
Sincerely,[Your Team Name]
- → If you don't hear back, be persistent. Email them again or move on to a new mentor until you find a match.
“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.”
—Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company
Recruit a Local Mentor
If you couldn’t find a mentor through my.technovationchallenge.org don’t worry!
Mentors can be any adult who can support your team in developing your mobile app and business through Technovation. The most important thing is that the mentor can be available on a regular basis and they can help support you through the curriculum. They don’t need to have all the skills needed to build a tech business, but they must be willing to learn alongside you and your team.
Here are some steps you can take to find a mentor in your community:
Contact local business groups.
Do some internet searches and check to see if there are any tech women-focused interest groups. Search on meetup.com or social media sites to find groups of women who are already interested in the subject. Universities and professional women in technology or engineering groups often have local chapters, too. A few to begin researching are SWE (The Society of Women Engineers), IEEE Women in Engineering, and CWSEM (The Committee for Women in Science Engineering and Math), and Girls in Tech.
Research the companies in your area.
Are there any large companies in your area? Many companies have outreach or employee engagement departments that are often looking for opportunities for their employees to volunteer. Try using the e-mail template (below) or write your own and reach out. Remember, mentors can come from a diverse background of expertise, from marketing and finance to software and mobile app development.
Check out the startup scene in your community.
Emerging companies are also a great way to find mentors. Some cities even have maps or lists that track new companies. There might be tech incubators in your area, which are offices spaces that host and provide resources to rising tech companies. You might also research whether there are any youth hackathons or startup weekend events in your area where you might find a mentor.
Post on social media.
Let everyone know you are looking! Many teams have had success by simply posting online that they are looking for tech mentors.
Think about other places you may be able to find mentors to support you, such as:
- Community Centers
Now you should have a really awesome list of people and groups to contact about being your mentor!
Just like when you recruited other girls to join your team, you can use these resources to recruit a mentor:
- Inspiration Video The full CodeGirl documentary is available on Netflix
- Recruitment Flyer: English or editable (edit in free Adobe Reader)
- Technovation Information Booklet
- A personal story about why you decided to join Technovation. Share your inspiration!
Keep in mind:
- Make sure you collect contact information (name and email) so you can follow-up with more information and the link to register: my.technovationchallenge.org
- Show your excitement!
Outreach Email Template
You can also use this email template to reach out to local businesses or organizations who can connect you to potential mentors. Be sure to customize it before sending!
|Dear [Mentor Name],
Hello! I'm a student at [School Name] and I’m reaching out to tell you about a nonprofit education program called Technovation, which is dedicated to inspiring women in technology and entrepreneurship. I am starting a Technovation club at my school, and I am looking for professionals in technology to volunteer as mentors in the program. I thought I would reach out to your company to see if I could recruit some of your employees to volunteer.
In Technovation, girls work in teams to develop mobile apps, conduct market research, write business plans, and create a “pitch” for funding. Each team works with a mentor/role model from the technology industry. The course culminates in a Technovation World Pitch Summit, where teams compete for $20k in funding to launch their company and take their app to market.
The goal of Technovation is to inspire girls to see themselves not just as users of technology, but as inventors, designers, builders and entrepreneurs. So far, Technovation has reached over 7,500 girls across the globe, and hopes to continue growing!
Can you direct me to the right person in your office that handles community affairs? Thank you very much for your time!
Sincerely,[Your Name] [optional: Your LinkedIn Profile]
Get to Know Your Team
You and your team should start some team building! Team building can involve anything from going on a walk, playing a get-to-know-you-game, or having a serious discussion. It’s important for the team to build relationships beyond developing your app and company. There may be times you find it’s difficult to communicate with one another. It’s important to set a strong foundation so that you know how to work with each other in difficult situations.
This is a great resource for finding team building games for you team to get to know one another. Here’s how you might get started:
- Start with a name game if you don’t know everyone’s name yet.
- Try a warm-up activity to get to know one another a little better.
- Then, dive into some deeper communication and team building activities to help develop strategies that will bring the team together when problems may arise.
- You could even try a fun hands-on problem solving activity, like this!
There are a lot of activities available in the resources above. Perhaps you could nominate one team member to lead a team building or warm-up activity to start off each team meeting. That way you can continue your development as a team throughout the Technovation season!
At this point, if you are still unable to find a mentor, do not feel discouraged. There are many teams who are successful working through the Technovation curriculum on their own (some of them have even made it to the finals at World Pitch!).
Ready to move on?
You’re ready for the next step in the process - Ideation!