Over the years, Coleman Oglesbee has built a phenomenal career across a variety of roles inside large, well-known companies — including Kraft Foods, Bell South, AT&T, and Comcast. Though you might think someone with this kind of corporate experience wouldn’t be the best mentor for a startup founder, think again.
Good Mentoring Is Tactical
What many founders discover is that mentoring is about more than inspirational words from a rockstar CEO or been-there, done-that suggestions from a successful fellow entrepreneur. In fact, some of the best mentoring comes in the form of tactical advice: how-to input about building products, managing people, navigating decisionmaking, and prioritizing efforts. This is where a mentor like Coleman shines.
A Mentor Who Knows Mentoring
Coleman is Vice President of Customer Experience at Comcast and a graduate of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and the Executive Leadership Development Program at UCLA Anderson School of Management. He’s also a member of NAMIC — the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications — which seeks to increase diversity in the communications industry. Coleman participated in NAMIC’s L. Patrick Mellon Mentorship Program as both a mentor and mentee, so he understands the mechanics and benefits of mentoring for both sides. Read on to learn why he’s so enthusiastic about The Farm’s program.
Why do you mentor for The FARM?
First, I believe it’s important to give back and help others whenever you can and mentoring at The Farm is a fantastic way to do that. I also enjoy innovation and learning about new ways to solve complex problems. The company founders at The Farm are developing creative solutions for real-world issues. I think that’s exciting!
What has surprised you most about mentoring?
The flexibility of the mentoring options at The Farm have been a pleasant surprise. You can participate as a lead mentor or a strategic mentor, and contribute to discussions during Walk-off Wednesdays. Flexible options allow mentors to contribute in a way that fits with their schedule but also provides value to the startup companies.
What excites you about the company you’re mentoring or the companies you’ve interacted with?
What excites me most is the quality of the ideas and the passion that each founder has for their respective companies. It’s evident in every presentation and discussion. These entrepreneurs are uniquely gifted and committed to making the world a better place.
Learn More at Demo Day
Have we whetted your appetite to become a mentor or a mentee at The Farm? Come on down to Demo Day to learn more about our accelerator program and meet our founders and mentors. Or if you’re ready to kick your business into high gear, apply now to The Farm’s startup accelerator program.