How Mentorship Helped Angelos Georgakis Make Connections in Tech

3 min read


As an outsider to the startup ecosystem, how did hiring a mentor help you break in?

Right. Well, I think this happens with every community, every space that you're trying to break into. People ask the simple question: “Why should we pay attention to you? What do you want from us? We're so busy building our companies, we're so busy executing.” And in the process, you have to build that empathy for these people. Yes, we understand that they are busy building their companies. How can you craft your message? What can you help them with?

My mentors helped me with a few things. Number one was patience—proving myself as a founder coach, taking steps one by one. They also gave me a lot of insight about the startup ecosystem and how founders think and work. Top information, an insider's view of life in the startup ecosystem, all these things.

Any examples of specific advice from your mentors you were able to apply in the real world?

I remember one of our first sessions, Chris Yeh said to me, "Hey, you can't just break into an inner circle by reaching out to the most important person in it. They're busy, they get hundreds of messages like yours. So how do you maximize and improve your chances of breaking into that circle? You have to start with the least famous member of that community. And then that person can connect you with another person in that circle and so on. This is how you can get to that most famous person, the one you really want to get connected with." That was one lesson.

Nico Bonatsos, another one of my mentors, said to me, "You are a founder coach, but what type of founders do you coach? What industries?" Because it's amazing how founders in all these specific industries like Biotech or FinTech know each other and talk to each other. And the network effects work in your favor if you really have a focus on a niche, if you coach a specific type of founder. When they talk to each other, you become more well-known in their circles. That's another one.

What was your favorite thing about your mentors?

I've read all these books about startups and about investing, about operations and execution, all these things. But I think the most useful thing my mentors did was believe in me. It wasn't sharing a secret that I couldn't find somewhere else. No, it was believing in me. It's about the relationship and confidence we built, that mentor/mentee relationship.

I've been a coach for six years and I'm hitting walls trying to break into the startup world? What's going on? Why are they not listening? Why do they not want to talk to me? And this is why my mentors were crucial. They believed in me. They believed in who I am, my vision, my genuine intention to add value and help all these visionary founders changing lives around the world.

How has Mentorcam impacted your career?

Over the last year I've coached more than 120 founders, including coaching more than 50 founders of YC. Before working with Chris, I had worked with some founders. But transitioning to becoming a founder coach and now having coached more than 100 founders, it all started when Chris and I started working together at Mentorcam.

How would you describe Mentorcam to someone who's considering using us?

Have you not signed up yet? All the mentors are good people first. I don't know if I'm biased, but guys have very good people there. 

They don't only give to you as mentors. No, they receive from that relationship and when they receive, they want to give you even more. They want to help you even more. If you have a clear vision that you really care about, these people are going to boost you. They're going to do anything they can to help you achieve your goals, period.

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Daniel A. Chen

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Daniel Chen is the Head of Business Development at Brightside, a financial care solution that helps working families improve their financial health. He started his career as a Senior Auditor at KPMG Canada, then moved on to work as an Assistant Controller at eBay before embarking on his entrepreneurial journey with Lightside Games and Levanto Financial. Prior to joining Brightside, Daniel served as Quicken's Head of Business Development, where he oversaw partnerships and launched new businesses. In addition to this, he has an MBA from Wharton Business School and is a certified public accountant.

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