ACE Mentorship Programme
Learning from the best
Sanjeev Menon, Founder of StitchMob, shares his experience as a mentee in the ACE Mentorship Programme and how he has benefited from the generous sharing of others.
A year ago, Sanjeev Menon started building StitchMob, an online custom apparel marketplace where anyone with a design idea can create, share and pre-sell their clothes to customers. A month ago, the platform went live. And now, as a next step, the entrepreneur has set his sights on regional expansion. He was shopping for advice when he chanced upon the ACE Mentorship Programme.
“I signed up for the programme in February this year. To be honest, I went in with little expectations. Since StitchMob operates in a rather unconventional space, unlike more mainstream infocomm or F&B startups, I didn’t expect to meet a perfect match — but I did,” he shared.
“My mentor was Eddy Lee of Coffee Ventures. Having spent 15 years in Silicon Valley and having had invested in numerous e-commerce apparel ventures across Southeast Asia, he had so much experience and so much to share.”
But learning for Sanjeev isn’t a one-way street.
“I think you need be willing to learn about anything but don’t just take your mentor’s advice wholesale. Bring questions, ideas and theories to the table and start debating with your mentor. That’s when the real learning happens,” he said.
While the ACE Mentorship Programme pairs mentors and mentees on a one-on-one basis, mentees also have plenty of opportunities to interact with other participants. Sanjeev hit it off with a consultant, for example, whose critical insights into operations continue to give him much food for thought. They still meet up regularly to swop ideas today.
“I think Singapore has a very vibrant startup community and I would love to see ACE at the heart of it. Initiatives like the ACE Mentorship Programme are definitely giving young startups a leg up. In my opinion, however, startups need a variety of mentors — people who can share their experiences at different stages of growth and development. To encourage more mentors to give back to the startup community, I think they need to be supported. This will help assure them that their time is well spent and that they are genuinely helping others,” suggested Sanjeev, who doesn’t rule out the possibility of becoming a mentor himself one day.
“After receiving so much help from others, it’s only right that I pay it forward.”
You can benefit from the ACE Mentorship Programme too! Sign up as a mentee for our next session. We also welcome experienced entrepreneurs to volunteer as mentors.