(KCPW News) You’ve heard of speed dating. But what about speed mentoring? The Community Foundation of Utah hosted an event this morning that brought together entrepreneurs and non-profits at Salt Lake Community College’s Miller Campus in Sandy. Executive Director Fraser Nelson says the foundation wanted to find a way to harness the smarts and expertise of entrepreneurs to help nonprofits.
“So we came up with the idea of speed mentoring. As far as we know, it’s the first time anyone has done anything like this in the country. And we’re jokingly saying, it’s like the shark tank meets the philanthropist,” Nelson says.
The event, “Enlightened Entrepreneurs,” paired 70 mentors from various industries with 70 nonprofit leaders for five minutes mentoring sessions.
Janet Frasier, director of marketing for the Utah Museum of Natural History, met with about 24 different entrepreneurs and says she appreciated their fresh perspective on how to create a successful marketing plan for the new museum campus. And she says this is especially valuable right now, when funding is so tight and nonprofits are trying to innovate.
“The economy, in a way, has been freeing for all of us. No longer can we say, well we’ve always done it this way,” Frasier says. “We are really, as a culture, as an institution, as a community are out of necessity having to create new ways of doing things.”
Nelson says the event helped overcome some misconceptions about what entrepreneurs and nonprofits have to offer. She says both groups share a common goal of improving the community.