The Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership has launched a business mentorship program it says will connect owners of small- and medium-sized businesses with successful entrepreneurs to share their expertise and support the growth of emerging companies.
Protégés are being sought for the Circles of Seven (C7) mentorship experience, through which seven established business leaders will each meet monthly with six protégés over the next nine months.
Mentors will offer knowledge gained from their experiences in growing their own businesses, while protégés will have an outlet to discuss business challenges, both with mentors and business owners who may be facing similar obstacles, the economic development organization said.
Up-and-coming entrepreneurs will also benefit from the relationships they build with others in their peer groups, the ability to share new ideas and insights, and the potential to explore mutual collaborations.
“The Saratoga Partnership is committed to leading the development of a supportive business environment where small- and medium-sized companies can grow and succeed,” said Marty Vanags, president of the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership. “C7 connects emerging entrepreneurs with proven business leaders to greatly increase their chances of success. This program supports our mission of creating jobs and capital investment by engaging existing business owners, fostering the growth of early-stage companies, and providing resources for new start-up ventures in Saratoga County.”
The initial group of C7 mentors includes Theresa Agresta, partner, Allegory Studios; Ken Evans, partner and director of finance, Rewire Energy; Bob Mason, founder and managing director, Planetarium; Bob Manasier, entrepreneur in residence and new ventures manager, Innovate 518; Bruce Toyoma, vice president, product development, BessTech; Shaun Wiggins, president and CEO, Soteryx; and Phil Wilton, managing director, Strategic Global Group.
There are 42 positions open for protégés from small- and medium-sized businesses, which must be in business for at least a year and have fewer than 20 full-time employees.
Participation is open to anyone who owns or has controlling interest in a Saratoga County-based business and is the primary person responsible for its success. Businesses from a variety of industries, from technology and retail to the manufacturing and service sectors, are eligible to take part.
Groups will be assembled based upon diversity of type and sector of business, and will include no direct competitors. Groups may meet at the mentor’s place of business or in other locations, at dates and times selected by its members, and monthly meetings will last about 90 minutes.
Interested protégés must apply in advance. For more information and a protégé application,visit saratogapartnership.org/home/news-events/circlesofseven.