Effective Mentoring Practices for Entrepreneurship Education
Mentoring student teams is critical to entrepreneurship education, but the nature of that mentoring is often poorly defined, with little robust understanding of effective practices. To bridge the gap, this study presents a qualitative study of mentoring practices in an entrepreneurship startup class supported by a grant from NCIIA. By combining classroom observations with semi-structured interviews from mentors and students, the data provide a complete view of mentoring behaviors and their salience within an entrepreneurship learning environment. Two frameworks guided data collection: problem-based learning and mentoring in capstone design courses. Interviews with mentors showed that coaching and protection were critical for developing and maintaining productive relationships, while students highlighted the perceived value of building rapport with their mentors. Observational data served to confirm and triangulate the findings from the interviews. The results of this study describe effective mentoring practices and explore how students value and respond to those practices.