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In the News


News from August, 2000

Me and My Mentor

Tuesday, August 1st, 2000

When youth starts a business, it needs someone to trust.

There was a time when, if you started anything in your late teens or early 20s, it was a band. And you wanted grown-ups as far away as possible, preferably in another solar system – unless they happened to represent a major record label. These days garages have gone quiet. Instead of picking up instruments, kids are hunched over computers polishing business plans. If they want to pick up anything these days, its probably a round of venture funding as they guide their own companies through the startup minefield.
And they’re looking for grown-up guidance.

With a maturity that does not belie their years, many of these young CEOs turn to mentors to keep them on course. They are parents, teachers, colleagues. Or the people investing in their ideas. What mentors bring is experience, something no garage CEO can really claim.

BIG SKY VENTURE CAPITAL – There are a huge number of people for whom Charles Schwab, 63, has been a mentor when it came to investing, but they didn’t start hitching rides to work with him when they were 12 years old. Michaels Schwab, 24, did. The younger Schwab says he absorbed the lessons of long-term investing championed by his father. He also tries to emulate his father’s management style when running his own venture fund. Big Sky Venture Capital, and performing his duties at Creditland. ‘Every time my father tells me about a company, he talks about the people; that’s what you are investing in – that’s the key,’ Michael says. ‘He has taught me how to treat people.’