笔者最近与纳威•贾因一起用餐。贾因创办过月球运输与数据服务公司Moon Express、信息服务公司inome和InfoSpace。作为X PRIZE基金会和奇点大学（Singularity University）的理事，贾因一直处在所谓“创业慈善事业”的前沿。从3D打印到高级遗传学，短短一个小时内，贾因就让我了解到许多令人惊奇的技术。但像这样的信息不应该成为少数人的特权。
尽管一对一导师制很有价值，但仅仅依赖面对面的、企业对企业的关系并不现实。因此，许多机构，如国际青年成就组织（Junior Achievement，简称JA）和全球创业指导基金会（Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship，简称NFTE）等正在逐步向数字模式转变。例如，笔者所在的机构便与花旗集团（Citi）合作推出了一个名为#StartupLab的项目，除了现有机构（包括JA与NFTE）外，我们还可以在社交网络平台上为创业者提供指导。
When it comes to mentoring the next generation of business owners and startup founders, leaders of entrepreneurship organizations have made a huge mistake. We have simplified a complex term -- "mentorship" -- into a generic synonym for dishing out advice.
I'm guilty of it myself. It's all too easy to say to young people, "Oh, you want to succeed? Get a mentor." We mean well, and offering advice is a vital aspect of mentorship, but it is not a zero-sum game, and its benefits are not guaranteed (and often not measured at all).
Frankly, we can't keep touting mentorship as a means to spur business and job creation without understanding what it should look like. Mentorship is about taking the wisdom and brainpower of others and imparting it to those who need it most. Solid mentors are part sounding board and part guide. They are the critical background players in many a success story.
But if we really want mentorship to prepare American workers for an increasingly complex economy, then it must undergo a shift from a generic concept to a highly individualized experience that can be scaled to serve tens of millions of people. Here are five ways we can do exactly that:
1. Connect those who know with those who do
I sat down for dinner recently with Naveen Jain, who founded startups Moon Express, inome, and InfoSpace. As a trustee at the X PRIZE Foundation and Singularity University, he's at the forefront of what's being called "entrepreneurial philanthropy." From 3D printing to advanced genetics, what I learned in that hour with Jain was extraordinary. Information like this shouldn't be a privilege of the few.
Yet entrepreneurs are rarely exposed to scientific innovation at this level. Instead, many are only encouraged to get mentorship from other entrepreneurs, enticed by a brand of tech entrepreneurship characterized by short-term wins and big payouts.
We need to start connecting those with knowledge -- scientists, researchers, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) professionals, and philanthropists -- to aspiring and active entrepreneurs.
2. Think globally, but enhance indirect mentorship locally
The rising cost of living and other macroeconomic forces are shifting many entrepreneurs' focus to local communities. Vocational schools and community colleges can help connect mentees to the local community. But we must also teach entrepreneurship with public-private partnerships. We need the next generation of entrepreneurs to create jobs in their hometowns. Entrepreneurship programs, educators, government organizations, and developers will need to band together to attract and keep talented workers. The nonprofit Idea Village has done this with great success in New Orleans.
Programs like General Assembly connect a broad spectrum of disconnected groups -- city governments, entrepreneurs, hackers -- to provide indirect mentorship through exposure and collaboration.
3. Recognize the value of peer relationships
A fantastic mentor doesn't necessarily have to be older than their mentee. Indeed, peer-to-peer learning is one of the most effective tools we have for leadership development. So why aren't we making a bigger effort to use it in all of our mentorship initiatives?
4. Personalize pairings, measure outcomes, and increase access
While one-on-one mentorship is valuable, relying on in-person, business-to-business relationships alone is not realistic. As a result, many organizations, like Junior Achievement and Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), are shifting to an increasingly digital model. Likewise, my organization launched a program called #StartupLab with Citi so we could build a social layer on top of existing organizations (including JA and NFTE).