British serial entrepreneur, pioneer in social media analysis with a background in web journalism, mobile commerce, text analytics, network analysis. Co-founder of BBC Online, Amazon Anywhere, Market Sentinel, Leadfindr.
I have had a lot of experience of being mentored and mentoring. I think you should separate the search for a mentor from the search for an investor. A mentor should be a disinterested guide to life and business. An investor is going to look at you and your business as a way of buying a retirement condo! They want different things. A mentor wants to feel valued, to feel that they are helping to build something of value, to feel appreciated. You find such a person by looking for people whose expertise you think is useful (in Meetups, or conferences, or via LinkedIn) and politely approaching them to ask their advice. You will need to talk to a lot of people this way. Once you find someone with whom you "click" then you can see if the relationship develops from there. Investors are a whole different ball game. They want to see evidence of competence, capital, talent, cashflow forecasts. They don't want to hear that you are struggling, that you have dilemmas, that you need advice. Don't mix the two! Feel free to ask me more :-)