You will find yourself in the position of becoming a mentor in an international startup-mentoring program! You will gain new experience and seek for opportunities for yourself, and for the organization, you are working in.

What is the Startup-mentoring program by is a NGO founded in August 2013 with the aim to strengthening economic relations between young entrepreneurs from the startup scenes of the Middle East, Africa and Europe. (, 2018). The 8-month program starts with a 5-days intensive Bootcamp in Germany and continues on virtual bases until November in which everybody meets up again, this time in Africa (Nairobi-Kenya) and continues with a second meet up again in Africa.



Who is responsible for my invitation, and why there is no chance of declining it?

The responsible person for my invitation is Erik Kristiansen (Founder of BRAINS), which I met during the *ship disruption camp in 2017 and the i2i program in the same year, at Cranfield University in the UK. So now, this year I was invited to be part of this amazing 8-month program as a startup mentor was and at the same time to represent our organization.

Everything started with a very intensive week in Berlin, Germany, where we all met the startups and the people behind the ideas. The participants known as fellows mostly came from West Africa (Kenya), all with different ideas and business, the most inspiring impression I got during the week, was the willingness to give back and to make a social impact. Some of them had the possibility to study abroad and after their study time, moved back to Africa and started their own venture. All together around 40 startups/scale-ups joined the week in Berlin.

Every mentor got three fellows, which fit to your experience you offered beforehand. With those fellows, you will experience the roller coaster ride of entrepreneurship. Each of them are on different level, some of them early-stage some of them can be seen as scale-ups, your task as mentor is to switch to each of their needs and provide them with excellent coaching.



Stage 1 – Bootcamp Berlin/Bad Belzig

The camp in Berlin was tight and packed when it comes on the schedule, no time to get lazy. It was a real pleasure to talk to each and (almost) every fellow, listen to their stories and support them. It was an emotional experience, some of the stories are for us hard to believe and understand (probably), and you might feel supersaturated and spoiled. In particular, when you hear that € 2 for a simple tool to learn sign language is for some people in e.g. Tanzania too much, you might re-think the value of what you have and get each month. When you dive into a world in which not everything is for granted, all the time you spend with those fellows are golden and can be seen as a win-win situation.


end of part 1


Sabine Suorsa

Project Manager – Projektipäällikkö
R&D Creative Industry – Tki Luovat alat
International Coordinator – Kv-koordinaattori
XAMK international affairs