Mentorship program launches for budding entrepreneurs on Lake Tahoe’s South Shore |

Mentorship program launches for budding entrepreneurs on Lake Tahoe’s South Shore

Claire Cudahy

A rising tide lifts all boats — that’s the idea behind a new business mentorship program that strives to provide advice to budding entrepreneurs on the South Shore.

Ink is the latest initiative to come out of the business incubator and coworking space Tahoe Mountain Lab.

“It’s an entrepreneurial roundtable where we’re bringing experienced mentors and entrepreneurs together,” explained Tahoe Mountain Lab cofounder David Orr.

“Everybody gets a certain amount of time allotted to talk about their business, where they’re at, and what the next hurdles are for them. There will be mentors within that group that can help push them forward and offer advice.”

Orr, who has a background in Silicon Valley startups, will be one of the mentors, as well as other business veterans like Aaron Darke of Darke Marketing and Shawn Kernes, former chief technology officer at StubHub.

“The idea is that business moves very fast — as it should — and so each month you should have an entirely different problem that you are trying to tackle,” added Orr.

Ink will meet on the third Tuesday of every month at the Tahoe Mountain Lab. The first meeting will take place on Tuesday, April 18, from 6 – 8 p.m. Participation is free.

“Anybody is welcome to come as long as you have a real business idea you’re working on,” added Orr.

Many business owners will attest: The South Shore is a land of opportunity right now.

“I think there’s a benefit to not having a lot of those things figured out or coalesced, like venture capital and funding. It’s kind of like the Oakland of mountain towns, but that’s a good thing in many ways,” said Orr. “Affordability compared to the Bay Area and the attractiveness of being able to have a nice lifestyle are paramount in today’s world of attracting talent.”

Diversifying the South Shore’s tourism-dominated economy and creating more high-paying, full-time jobs not contingent on the seasons are the end goals.

“We are hoping to build an ecosystem around entrepreneurship through this program,” said Orr.

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