Biz Assembly: Modeling Peer-to-Peer Mentoring | OCE Blog | University of Economics


February 19, 2021

Mentoring refers to the guidance of a mentor, especially an experienced person in a company or educational institution. There are many different types of care available, depending on the needs of the person, team or company seeking advice. Peer mentoring is carried out between people who are in similar phases, where one person has more experience than the other in a particular area and can provide support and knowledge and skills transfer.

Biz Assembly is a not-for-profit company dedicated to educating and facilitating business creation and growth. Biz Assembly’s (BA) mission is to empower the local economy by working to create a community of entrepreneurs and guide them through brainstorming, business creation, customer discovery, customer validation and growth on their entrepreneurial journeys.

Many organizations provide information about the business, but few offer the focused support and process knowledge of Biz Assembly. The “Entrepreneur’s Success Guide” available to BA participants provides information on BA and related practices. The guideline shows a systematic path to the start and success of the startup. It is designed as a roadmap for progressive steps, from self-assessment of entrepreneurial skills and abilities to completing a business plan and starting a business. Related content provides guidance on identifying and selecting mentors, identifying target markets, identifying legal considerations, branding, forecasting sales, and organizing and planning efforts.

Originally founded as Startup Growth Strategies (SGS) in 2010, BA has grown from its original roots as “Founders Helping Founders” to offer a solid collection of training and support materials. In its tenth year of existence, the organization has helped hundreds of budding founders and entrepreneurs guide their entrepreneurial journey. The organization continues to develop its resources and key principles in support of entrepreneurial mindsets. As the primary person in charge of local entrepreneurial ecosystems, the organization has worked diligently to support early-stage startups, provide resources for emerging businesses, create networking opportunities to interact with like-minded people, and fuel success by helping to create real businesses contributes. BA is inherently designed to support high impact efforts and seed opportunities. Local chapters help make Northern Nevada a recognized center of entrepreneurship.

The Biz Assembly Roundtables feature regularly scheduled events for entrepreneurs to gather and explore innovative ideas and opportunities for entrepreneurship. Roundtables facilitate the creation and growth of businesses using peer-to-peer mentoring principles based on presentations, workshops and discussions in small groups with experienced mentors / moderators. Roundtables offer support for an integrated and systematic way to successfully set up a company.

Platinum is a newer derivative of the original organization. The idea behind Platinum is to evaluate the market potential of emerging technologies in collaboration with universities, economic development organizations such as GOED and EDAWN, as well as global partners such as the SGH Warsaw School of Economics, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and Power to Create Wealth in Zambia. Platinum helps identify the potential of technology transfer ideas by identifying and evaluating commercial market opportunities. These global partnerships have the potential to make a significant impact by creating synergies for economic development, identifying complementary opportunities, bringing like-minded entrepreneurs together, and bringing otherwise localized solutions to the global stage.

BA holds regular roundtable meetings to support entrepreneurs and start-ups. Learn more about Biz Assembly.

Contributed by:
David T. Croasdell, PhD
Charles and Ruth Hopping Professor of Entrepreneurship &
Associate Professor of Information Systems, College of Business, University of Nevada, Reno
Director of the Sontag Entrepreneurship Competition 2012-2016

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