elizabeth ziph Mentor
How I can help
My professional background
I started up three companies, led & managed them, brought them to a successful exit. One is a technology services company. The other two are software products (one company had two patents). Received the NEF Entrepreneur of the Year award for 2015. The entrepreneur/innovator has to do-the-research; continuously identify the target customers, validate the business concept. follow up with a pivot. Then, and most importantly, execute and deliver, as the customer input dictates. This means that you don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it. This motto applies not only to entrepreneurs but to on-going businesses too. Having held senior executive positions in medium to large organizations, managing over 130 people, I found that it is critical to know what one’s constituency needs in terms of services and technology, deliver it, verify that it made a difference, and correct, as needed. Effective & efficient means do the right things and do them right.
How to work with me
What I can offer
I like to lead. I like to participate in solving strategy, operations, management problems. Entrepreneurs feel like they have to solve all the problems themselves; sometimes it's true; but not always. Problems can be solved by consulting with your team or with external experts; problems can be brainstormed and a solution arrived at by consensus, and some problems can be simply delegated. I like to help teams figure out how to go about solving problems, e.g., brainstorm to frame problems, arrive at the root cause of problems, identify possible solutions, build processes to pick a solution, plan a solution, execute on the plan, and back to assessing the value of the results. Receiving an ISO 9001:2000 certification was a mark of my commitment to and focus on offering our customers high-quality service. The processes we developed, and follow, are effective and reusable. So, is my experience in presentations, budget planning, fundraising, sales, operations, and project management.
My expectations for a successful mentoring relationship
I expect that the relationship will yield a successful start or will prevent the entrepreneur from wasting time and money
How entrepreneurs can prepare before we start
Tell me about 1. Timing why is this the right time to go forward with the idea 2. Team why this is the best team to execute the idea 3. Idea - what is the idea & who is the competition 4. Operations plan - how do you propose to go about implementing the idea 5. Funding - what kind of funding is required and for what purposes