Covid-19 fundraising campaign links startup founders to mentors

SEVERAL members of South-east Asia's startup community are participating in a month-long fundraising campaign that will see mentors offering their time to guide founders affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

Through the Mentor for Hope initiative, founders can make a request for the mentors they wish to meet, in exchange for a donation of at least S$50. They will then receive a package worth S$500 that comprises a one-hour mentoring session, virtual coaching group classes, and a two-month access to venture investment database VentureCap Insights.

The fundraising campaign, which also accepts donations from members of the public, will last from May 18 to June 16. Founders facing financial difficulties may apply to reduce or waive the donation recommendation.

Participating organisations include Vertex Ventures, Sequoia India, Big Idea Ventures, Saison Capital, Qualgro, e27, Golden Gate Ventures, SGInnovate, BLOCK71 by NUS Enterprise and the Asia Institute of Mentoring.

All donations will go to Beyond Social Services, which serves over 3,000 families from low-income backgrounds, and Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen, which provides meals to the needy in Singapore.

"What we have created in a short time is a mini accelerator programme for founders across all stages to receive one-on-one mentoring with industry leaders, group mentoring with senior investors and masterclasses organised by experts, with a purpose to give back as well," said Elise Tan, one of the main organisers of the campaign.

Interested founders can sign up via FutureLab's e-mentorship platform.