The startup scene has always been an exciting one. With seemingly unlimited scope for new and innovative ideas to be implemented, startups are the perfect place for aspiring business men and women to start out. The most important part of being in a startup is finding the right people and make the right connections.

“When you’re looking for investors, advisors, introductions, and insight, you can get that information by attending conferences and cocktail parties, and hoping randomly that you find someone who’s pertinent. This can suck up huge amounts of your scarcest resource, time. Or, you can go straight to the source. Professional expert networks allow you to efficiently convert your financial capital into relationship capital.” It’s all about who you know. And that’s where Global Super Elite — Social (G.S.E. SOCIAL) comes in the picture.
Most accelerators and incubators, including 500 Startups, Y Combinator and Techstars, offer a modest initial seed investment, along with vital concept-to-launch resources such as mentoring, networking, training and media exposure. They also take a certain percentage of equity stake which only preferred by early stage startups. What the G.S.E. SOCIAL program instead does is it connects participating startups with is a dedicated advisor from its network of some experts, which include strategy consultants and operating executives from Fortune 500 companies. The advisors span a wide spectrum of industries including technology, telecom, healthcare, finance, energy and mining. Several doctors, scientists, academics, and policy, legal and regulatory leaders are also taking part.

Once a startup or accelerator registers with G.S.E. SOCIAL they work with a research manager to decide which expert is the best for them to consult with. They are welcome to ask their mentor whatever questions they have, with no limit to the number they can throw at them. We caught up with Rohit Shah, head of G.S.E. SOCIAL, for more details on the pioneering program. Here’s what he told us today:

Question: In a simple terms, how does G.S.E. SOCIAL work?

Rohit Shah: So basically what we do is get new and upcoming companies in need of guidance the right help to develop their company. We help them tackle their biggest strategic and operational challenges — whether they concern market sizing, product design, pricing and sales strategy, operational improvement, or almost literally any other matter.

Question: Can you share some tips for boosting one’s chance of acceptance into the program?

Rohit Shah: G.S.E. SOCIAL’s mission is to transform the way top professionals — including those in the startup world — share expertise, learn, and make decisions. So we are looking for curious and thoughtful founders who are pursuing disruptive ideas in big addressable markets.

Question: Why should startups opt for G.S.E. SOCIAL over popular incubators and accelerators such as 500 Startups and TechStars?

Rohit Shah: I don’t think it’s an either-or — both can add a lot of value to startups. Incubators are great for mentorship and venture financing. But founders have tons of really specific business challenges every day that they can’t solve on their own or through their networks. G.S.E. SOCIAL connects them with professionals — throughout the world — who’ve actually solved these challenges, helping the founders increase their chances of getting to the right answer and accelerating growth.

Question: Are mentors within G.S.E. SOCIAL’s expert pool compensated for sharing their time and expertise?

Rohit Shah: Our experts love to learn about and work with innovative startups pursuing disruptive ideas. In some instances these council members continue to work with these startups as full time advisors, board members, customer, and even team members.

Question: What overall impact do you think G.S.E. SOCIAL will have on the startup community?

Rohit Shah: Founders have really hard jobs. They are faced with impossible-to-predict business challenges and questions every day, and have very little time to dedicate to learning. With G.S.E. SOCIAL, startups can get on-demand help from other professionals who have solved precisely those challenges and answered precisely those questions. This allows founders to execute more efficiently and more confidently to accelerate growth.

Ques: Once the best-fit G.S.E SOCIAL research manager is selected, how will the G.S.E client interact with their assigned expert?

Rohit Shah: Each G.S.E SOCIAL member is assigned a dedicated research manager, who becomes in effect, an extension of their team. That research manager is charged with understanding the company’s biggest challenges and needs and then facilitating as many connections to the G.S.E SOCIAL network as needed. The research manager will interact with the G.S.E SOCIAL member however the member prefers.

Entrepreneur: What are some common challenges that G.S.E SOCIAL experts can really help startups tackle most

Rohit Shah: We can help an entrepreneur answer virtually any question. But, since launch, we’ve seen G.S.E SOCIAL members face problems such as product design, customer acquisition, market entry (especially internationally), pricing, and regulatory challenges. We, more than anybody else understand the problems that other startups face. G.S.E SOCIAL was once a startup, so we know what that experience is like. Including the importance of managing cash flow. With G.S.E SOCIAL, we have made the first two months of membership risk free. Accepted members can cancel any time in the first two months at no cost. Our goal is for startups to know that there is value in G.S.E SOCIAL before they pay us anything.