CED, the Southeast's largest entrepreneurial support network, received the "Steward" Award at the Full Steam Ahead Awards presented by WRAL Tech Wire on Thursday evening. The Steward Award honors the individual or organization that serves as the best mentor or advisor to startups in the Research Triangle region.
Accepting the award on behalf of CED, Joan Siefert Rose acknowledged the importance of mentoring relationships to the many startups in our region, noting that "mentors or a mentoring team often help entrepreneurs and their companies focus on their core mission, helping them streamline their businesses for maximum success."
Here at CED, we recommend mentoring relationships for those entrepreneurs who are ready to listen, ask questions, raise concerns, and test or implement new ideas. Our Venture Mentoring Service supports innovation and entrepreneurial activity by matching entrepreneurs with skilled volunteer mentors. The program uses a team mentoring approach with groups of three or four mentors sitting with entrepreneurs in sessions that provide practical, day-to-day professional advice, coaching and action plans.
"I credit the CED Venture Mentoring Service as the critical factor in our steady growth over the last fiscal year," says Nathan Shackles, founder and CEO of Applicant Stack. "Our Mentor Team of experienced entrepreneurs provided extremely relevant recommendations, and VMS gives us a platform for us to refine and manage our company strategies on an ongoing basis."
The program, implemented by CED in early 2011, has expanded to include 50 companies in the Triangle region. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis at www.cednc.org/vms.
Many CED members received other Full Steam Awards. A full list of winners and a brief summary of the event can be found at WRAL Tech Wire.