Teaching Skills Is Easy; Inspiring Future Mentors, Less So

The number of entrepreneurship programs offered by colleges in the US quintupled from 1975 to 2006, and the number of classes on entrepreneurship offered increased twenty-fold in the same period. While some contend that entrepreneurship can’t be taught, John Warner of Inside Higher Ed argues the opposite.

Regardless, any startup founder knows that mentorship is incredibly helpful, if not necessary, in the quest for success. Incubators, for example, are increasingly in demand in part because of the support networks they provide.

Many of Switchboard’s most active users are in the tech community, and that’s a good thing because the communities we serve are heavily interested in tech and startups in particular. These communities use Switchboard because it connects mentors to mentees in a public and inspiring way. Tools like incubators, if they can be loosely defined as tools, and Meetup and Switchboard help communities foster cultures of mentorship.

Changing curricula to meet demand—that’s easy. Inspiring people to help others—that’s hard[er]. But it’s exactly what we aspire to do.