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Training - Guidance - Networking
The Venture Mentoring Team

Working with startups and small businesses to refine their business models.

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How VMT Works

About The Venture Mentoring Team

The Venture Mentoring Team (The VMT) is a nonprofit educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to fostering the startup community by training and credentialing VMT Mentors and then connecting them with the best and brightest entrepreneurs to help startups and small businesses reach their full potential.

We are experienced executives and entrepreneurs in corporate, legal, academic, profit and not for profit organizations that donate our time and talent. Our service is completely FREE, and we do not require any fees or equity. Your success is our priority, and we're here to support you every step of the way without any financial obligations. Our goal is to help the startups and small businesses gain sustainability and traction.

The VMT helps STARTUPS refine their pitch decks, determine product-market fit, design a minimum viable product, and address any needs toward launching a profitable business.

We work with SMALL BUSINESSES to help owners set goals, prioritize, and accomplish their most important objectives in order to scale and reach new heights.

Our MENTORS are successful executives and entrepreneurs with experience in corporate, legal, academic, profit, and not-for-profit organizations who donate time and talent.

We act as a connecting tissue with many COMMUNITY PARTNERS bringing together organizations, educational institutions, incubators, accelerators programs, investors, and more.

Over 100 SPEAKERS have presented to our mentors since 2017. These include business leaders, attorneys, educators, and heads of various programs.

Our Mentors

All our mentors are volunteers who offer their time and talent to help startups and small businesses. They have been fully vetted and trained in our mentoring process.

Why Startups & Small Businesses Work with Us

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“Jim Ryan, Bob Nelson and Tom Mersch with The Venture Mentoring Team have helped me tremendously in the early stages of starting ShipMonk, and still help me today. They continue to provide valuable insight into the ShipMonk operation. It’s hard to imagine not having someone like them in the early stages to bounce ideas off of and helping me get focused to implement only the best ideas and in spending funds only on those initiatives that really positively affected my business. They are more than mentors, they are friends and I likely wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for them.”

-Jan Bednar, Founder & CEO

Our Sponsors

Florida Atlantic University

The path taken by entrepreneurs is never a straight line and is full of twists and turns that often require expertise and guidance from professionals outside of the organization. We at 2nd Vault could not be more grateful and appreciative of the time and knowledge provided to us by the Venture Mentoring Team. Every minute spent with our mentoring team is time well spent and invested. The VMT mentoring team is a perfectly crafted group of professionals that all have meaningful direction and insights to provide. The VMT mentors keep us focused on what is in front of us systematically, helping to lead our company to scale. We feel so fortunate to have been selected as mentees of the VMT and hope to pay it forward in the future.  Thank you for all you do and the impact you have on start-up founders, as there is no price one could ever assign to the value we have received.

Kevin C. Cox, phD, MSE

Senior Instructor and Assistant Director

Elevate Together

Office Depot initiated the Elevate Together program in 2021 partnering with The Venture Mentoring Team, the National Urban League and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to deliver impactful, measurable and scalable support services that foster business creation and growth opportunities for Black and Hispanic businesses.

It has been an honor to partner with the Venture Mentoring Team during Elevate Together’s launch and early stages. Their mentoring methodology and training set a high bar, and their mentors have been invaluable to our Elevate Together grant recipients.

We look forward to the VMT’s continued work with Urban League affiliates, Hispanic Chambers and other community partners to provide mentoring services to minority-owned small businesses as they grow and expand their mentoring services.

Sharu Goodwyn

National Manager, Community Investment, Elevate Together

Alex Price

National Director, Community Investment / Co-Leader, Diversity Council