So what’s the deal with lunch mentorship at our conferences? Our CEO explains the magic of breaking bread (GF bread if you prefer!) together.
By Shaherose Charania (Co-founder & CEO, Women 2.0)
Never eat alone they say. Lunch is a social thing, that's why we created lunch mentorship. It’s a way to meet like-minded founders, investors and other people in technology so they can help each other and build community. Communities are powerful - find support, find inspiration, find your next business partner, find your next funder - innovation happens in communities, innovation happens through connected people.
Open scene: The Women 2.0 conference - a targeted conference for everyone in tech. You learn something amazing from an icon on stage, brush shoulders with someone interesting on break, but how do you really make deep connections at a conference? Personally I find that a bit hard to navigate sometimes. Besides, making small talk isn’t really fun or useful. I want to meet people who are going to rock my professional world! I know they are at this conference, but making that happen in an open conference floor can be tough.
Solution: The unique offering of Lunch Mentorship which Women 2.0 began at it’s earlier conferences years ago.
How does it work? Once you’ve bought your ticket to the conference, let us know that you're interested in mentoring, and we’ll do our best to match you up with people we think you'd want to meet with. When you come in for mentoring, you sit at a round table where you’ll meet a few other individuals at the conference and one or two mentors, and then lunch begins!
How Many Mentees?
The magic of lunch membership isn’t just in the age-old ritual of breaking bread together as a way to start and seal a relationship, it’s also in the intimate size of the group gathered around the table. It’s just you, and 8-10 others with the high-powered tech industry star, whom those newer to technology, are dying to meet. At lunch mentorship, the leading lights of startups and some of the world’s best known tech companies aren’t half a crowded room away. They’re eye to eye with you -- and the limited group size means they really have the time to give you their full attention, get to know you, and dig into your questions in some depth.
Our mentors moderate the conversation, ask you questions, get to know you, give you as much insight they can based on their experiences. In the end, we hope everyone who participates gets some new insights, information and inspiration.
Who Are the Mentors?
Kick-ass people who are friends of Women 2.0, including founders of companies, executives and investors, all of whom have come to our conferences to give back and all of whom believe in the mission of Women 2.0 -- and believe in all of you, the attendees, as the next generation of leaders in technology! We’ve got the founder and CEO of TaskRabbit Leah Busque, founder of KISS Metrics, Hinten Shah, the CEO of Playmatics Margaret Wallace and investors, Mike Rothenberg from Rothenberg Ventures, Josh Elman from Greylock, and head of BBC Labs, Jenny Fielding just to name a few. See who else is participating here.
When we ask for feedback after each event, Lunch Mentorship is the first thing we hear about. Every year everyone tells us they make the deepest connections over lunch. Sharing a meal is a beautiful way to connect with someone new, and we’re excited to be doing mentorship again this year at our conference. So if you haven't signed up yet, get your ticket and be sure to check that you're interested in lunch mentorship!
Speaking of, I’M HUNGRY!
Photo by Elvina Beck.
Have you participated in Lunch Mentorship before? Tell us what you thought.
Shaherose is currently the President and CEO of Women 2.0. At heart she is a mobile and telephony junkie. She’s led new consumer products at Ribbit (BT). Previously, she was Director of Product Management at Talenthouse and JAJAH (sold to Telefonica/O2). Follow her on Twitter at @shaherose.