Top tech execs to mentor early stage e-commerce startups

Start-ups in the e-commerce space will receive support and advice from experienced entrepreneurs

A new mentorship scheme for e-commerce start-ups has been launched in London, offering entrepreneurs in the sector support from seasoned executives and experts.

Forward Partners' scheme, FP50 Mentors, will feature a total of 50 entrepreneurs from companies including Google and Facebook, who will offer advice, insight and guidance to the early stage start-ups. Businesses will be matched with the mentors from which they can benefit most.

Nic Brisbourne, managing partner at Forward Partners, said: "As an entrepreneur, being able to talk with someone that has been through what you're going through can be incredibly helpful. Experienced entrepreneurs know this and want to give something back. In setting up the FP50 Mentor Network we aim to help build those relationships to support the founders that we've backed."

Last year, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt praised the UK as a "hotbed" for e-commerce and said he wished to see the next billion-pound start-up launched in Britain.

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He said: "You have the right regulatory environment. You've got the right role within [the] continent. Look at the e-commerce plays and service plays that are now happening in London. Europe is pushing on a European digital single market and in the timeframe of you building a small start-up, the Europeans will figure out a way of building a single digital market for your products."

Companies will decide between them how much contact they have throughout the process, and mentors will have the opportunity to become a formal advisor to the start-ups and even invest at a later date.

"The mentor relationship that we had with Romain was invaluable," said Matt Fox, CEO of Snaptrip. "Not only did he help us think through our tech strategy, he also provided really helpful feedback on our overall strategy as we developed our business model."

Romain Eude, CEO of Utelly, technical mentor to Snaptrip and founding FP50 member, added: "I developed a strong relationship with Matt and his co-founder, Dan. They took on board my advice we saw amazing progress, so much so that I decided to invest in the company at their next funding road."

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