Mentor Profile: Mentor In Residence Jim Jindrick

Jan. 13, 2017

The hands-on mentoring process that guides student new venture teams along the path from early-stage idea to launch-ready venture is an integral part of the McGuire Experience.

The McGuire Entrepreneurship Program is a yearlong, team-based, experiential program in which University of Arizona students from all fields of study team up to build a new venture from the ground up under the guidance of our full-time Entrepreneurship Mentors in Residence. Our experienced and successful Mentors in Residence teach our capstone Venture Development classes, but their roles extends far beyond the classroom. Early in the Fall semester, each student new venture team is matched with a Mentor in Residence who they will meet with weekly throughout the year to receive individual coaching as they advance their new venture. 

In honor of National Mentoring Month, we will highlight a McGuire Program mentor each week. This week, meet Jim Jindrick who has more than 30 years of experience in corporate entrepreneurship, spin-off companies and independent start-ups, and has mentored more than 150 teams in the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program since 1989.

Q. What is your background in entrepreneurship and innovation?

A. My professional experience includes high-tech research and development, real-time multitasking software system design, product engineering, manufacturing operations, international marketing and sales, and new business development. I've launched internal corporate ventures, spin-off companies, and independent start-ups. Products and ventures my teams created have generated over $1 billion lifetime revenue. I've received 35 U.S. and international patents.

Q. Why were you interested in mentoring student new venture teams in the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program?

A. I've been fortunate to have some exceptional mentors in my career. They helped me better understand venture planning, launching, and early-stage management. Good mentors helped my co-founders and me grow our company in Tucson from start-up to stable with over $20 million annual revenue in a few short years. I wanted to "pay it forward" by helping other innovators and entrepreneurs grow their ventures. I found a way to do so in the McGuire Program. 

Q. What sets you apart as a mentor?

A. It has been a pleasure working with more than a thousand brilliant students in the McGuire Program. They bring in "bricks" of knowledge they've acquired in other classes ... my colleagues and I supply the "mortar" they'll need to cement those bricks together building a solid venture plan. I use the "SLATE" mentoring process: Suspend judgment, Listen and Learn, Assess and Analyze, Test ideas and Teach with Tools, set Expectations and Encourage the team to build their dream.

Q. What impact can mentoring have on startup success?

A. The primary mission of a venture startup team is to create an organization that will earn a profit solving customer problems with something new and better than the competition. While this recipe for success seems straight-forward, it's not so easy to execute. Experienced mentors can help innovators and entrepreneurs effectively and efficiently move their venture concept ahead, avoiding many of the rabbit holes and booby traps that can hinder success.