21 May, 2011 - 22:10 By News Desk

Day 18 - Great Mentors are Stronger than Coffee

It took more than caffeine to keep everyone going today.

As expected it was not a lively morning around the office, with sympathetic 'I know how you feel' glances exchanged in all directions. The cafe was hard at work keeping up with our coffee orders, but the strongest energiser was a terrific group of mentors including Billy Boyle, Elizabeth Varley, Mihai Mafteianu, Nic Brisbourne, Simon Cross, Geoff Hughes, Simon Carter, and Douglas Squirrel. Catching everyone on a Friday, they did not have an easy job.

By mid-day teams were transformed to their usual bubbly selves, reporting their best conversations and meeting highlights. For example, one founder had been following Nic Brisbourne's blog for years while working in Estonia, so he was stoked for the chance to get Nic's input. Others mentioned some great introductions that were offered, design feedback, and help in clarifying pitches.

On the mentor side, a few mentioned they wish they could see more prototypes, but they're excited to return for Demo Day to see how far everyone has progressed by the end of July. In the meantime, they mentioned there were some teams they could help more than others, and we'll begin speed mentoring Round 2 next week for more in-depth conversations. I think everyone will be relieved Round 2 is a little less speedy, with mentors returning to follow up with 3-4 teams instead of racing through the whole bunch. Considering what they've just survived, it should be a piece of cake!

With so much happening in Springboard land, it's easy to forget anyone has a life externally. Congratulations go to Mike, who actually just got married (in spite of his co-founders' suggestions he cancel the wedding, ha), and also to Kaila, who just ran a brilliant TEDx event in Christchurch, New Zealand. I know their teams will be thankful to have them back, but we are certainly very happy for both.

The office was half-empty by 5pm, perhaps for some fresh air or perhaps some overdue pillow time. I think after a brief nap though, those laptops will be getting a lot of attention this weekend.


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