This post originally appeared on the Louisiana Technology Park blog.
Despite being more connected than ever by social media, meaningful relationships tend to get lost in the code. Kasra Khalili and Scott Knight recognized the rift between connections and relationships and developed Mintor to fill the gap. Mintor helps entrepreneurs build a core group of people who can support you and your startup’s growth.
Khalili’s family emigrated from Iran when he was five. His parents were serial business owners, so running a business has been a constant in his life. But as he explored his own interests in college, Khalili discovered that meaningful business connections can be hard to come by. “You go to networking events but leave each one carrying a stack of business cards and feeling disappointed,” he says.
As a first-generation college student, Knight experienced the same lack of connection. “I had to learn how to connect with people and build that community around myself,” he says. Knight and Khalili both became president of their respective fraternities and were tasked with connecting people on a much larger scale. They set out to solve the networking problem, and Mintor was born.
Here’s how they are changing networking for small businesses.
Making Networking Achievable
Traditional networking opportunities can be limited by geographic or financial barriers. Many startups are prevented from finding the right communities and mentors because they can’t afford to travel to conferences or other in-person networking venues. And even those who do muster up the funds to travel can’t always pinpoint the person who would provide the best support for their growth.
Mintor aims to bypass these difficulties by bringing the right network directly to an entrepreneur’s smartphone. “We’re trying to create an environment where entrepreneurs can connect with people in a deeper, more meaningful way,” Knight says. “We want to help people build those communities around themselves.” Khalili and Knight are hoping to fill a niche need in social media and help entrepreneurs identify the support they need to turn their dreams into reality.