One of the most salient pieces of advice offered at yesterday’s lady CEO panel at Internet Week is to find a mentor you trust who can help guide you through the turbulent ecosystem of Startupland. NYC Tech Mobilizer, a lightweight summer program for developers, wants to help you find that mentor. The program, which is in its second year, links up prospective mentees with talented mentors from some of New York’s hottest startups, including Foursquare, Gilt Groupe, Birchbox and Meetup.
NYC Tech Mobilizer is the brainchild of Fondu CTO Mike Lewis, who moved to New York a little over two years ago with a masters in computer engineering, ready to dive into the startup sector.
“I got here with absolutely no network, no connections,” Mr. Lewis told Betabeat by phone. The premise for the program, he said, is that it’s “the program that I wished I’d had when I first moved here with no connections and wanted to break into startups.”
NYC Tech Mobilizer extremely lightweight. Mentees are expected to meet with their mentors at least once a month for June, July and August, as well as attend networking happy hours. It’s designed for the professional developer, or, as Mr. Lewis put it, “Developers that are just out of school and have been working doing dev for a few years and they’re really interested in startups. Either they’re looking to join a startup as a developer or they’re working to found their own company. People who are just smart, highly driven and who are in love with the rapid growth of startups.”
“It’s win win for everybody,” Mr. Lewis said of the program. “It’s a chance for all the mentors to get to know each other and a way for them to get to know up and coming developers. For developers, it’s a way for them to get themselves tapped into the current ecosystem.”
The program is free, and open only to professional developers. Mr. Lewis said he felt there were many programs for entrepreneurs, but a dearth of those focused on devs. “I feel like there’s a real lack of stuff out there for taking developers and helping them develop their leadership skills,” he admitted.
NYC Tech Mobilizer is only admitting 15 applicants, so if you’re considering applying, you better do so before the May 25th deadline.