Morning Mentoring℠, a long-standing program of HCDC’s Business Center, celebrated its 250th session on September 30th. Morning Mentoring evolved from a program known as Sounding Board back in 2004. Jim Cunningham, a lifelong mentor, and friend of HCDC had the vision to make the program more personal and wanted to leverage the Queen City Angels in order to do more good things for our entrepreneur community. From his vision, Sounding Board became Morning Mentoring, a more hands-on experience with connectivity to QCA members. Scott Jacobs, Jim’s eventual successor as Executive Director of QCA said, “Morning Mentoring provided me with my first exposure to both QCA and HCDC long before I became its Executive Director.”

Today Morning Mentoring is an entrepreneurial coaching program that matches startups and young companies with experienced entrepreneurs and other successful business professionals in the fields of finance, operations, marketing, etc. The goal of the program is to grow the mentee’s business by removing barriers and creating solutions in a confidential and learning environment. “Morning Mentoring was one of the first collaborative tools in Greater Cincinnati that really moved the needle in a positive way for local entrepreneurs.  It’s been a bedrock program for so many companies throughout the years, and we believe the mentoring, feedback and next step processes are second to none in the USA,” said Pat Longo, President of HCDC.

This unique program allows entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas and concepts in a low-pressure environment. This program continues to work in partnership with Queen City Angels, allowing entrepreneurs access to many QCA members. “I was really impressed with how many individual QCA members were there to lend their support and expertise,” said Alec Cheung, Joot Co-Founder, and past  Morning Mentoring participant.

As Morning Mentoring celebrates this milestone we are excited to continue offering this program to make a positive impact on the startup ecosystem. “One of the key learnings from many years of listening to Morning Mentoring pitches is that many startups have a lack of focus and lack of clarity in defining their value proposition, ” said Dennis Reinersman, HCDC Sr. Business Coach. Morning Mentoring will continue to help add clarity through direct feedback from our participating mentors. For more information on this program please visit hcdc.com/incubation/morning-mentoring/.  

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