Apply To Become A Venture Mentoring Team Powered Startup
The NSF I-Corps Mid-South Hub partners with the VMT to mentor I-Corp startup companies. We are here to help you with your I-Corps applications, through your customer discovery, your I-Corps objectives, and the launching of your startup.
Please complete the startup application located below. The VMT will introduce your company to VMT certified mentors in our national network. The mentors will review your information and express their interest in learning more about your startup. In about 2-3 weeks, we will hold an introductory Zoom meeting, called a “pitch scrub”, where you will have an opportunity to meet with interested mentors and tell them more about your startup. After the pitch scrub, interested mentors will volunteer to join your mentor team.
This team of mentors will continue to meet with you regularly and help you with your entrepreneurship journey. When applying to the National I-Corps program, one or more of your mentors may volunteer to be the Industry Mentor on your I-Corps team.
Let’s get started!
You start the application (below) by giving us some basic information and providing a web link to your pitch deck or description of your business and a one-minute video.
When you click “Continue Application,” you’ll be taken to a form where you’ll tell us more about your company, goals, needs, and what you’d like to see from a mentoring relationship.
The VMT Pay It Forward Pledge
Once accepted into the VMT, we ask our entrepreneurs if they would like to sign our Pay It Forward Pledge. We suggest that when the company’s founders feel comfortable doing so, they will pay forward the altruism they have received by volunteering through a worthy organization that supports startups or small businesses. Many of the entrepreneurs we’ve mentored have later become mentors, creating positive results that extend far into the future.
60-Second Video Submission Guidance
We ask all startup founders to submit a 60-second video introducing their business to prospective mentors. Here are some tips to help you get started.
- Introduce your business – What problem are you solving? What service do you provide?
- Introduce yourself – Who are you? Why are you the best person to solve this problem?
- How do you make money – Who are your customers?
- What have you done so far to validate your solution?
- What skills are you looking for in mentoring? (Customer validation, marketing, financial, hiring?)
- Recap? Leave your audience with a tagline to remember you.
Why Submit a Video?
Sharing your story through video allows our VMT Mentors to better understand your personality and passion for your business.
Follow These Best Practices
- Your video must be 60-Seconds or less in length.
- Speak clearly and directly into the camera while answering the video prompts.
- The video can be recorded on a camera, phone, or computer camera.
- We recommend uploading the video to Google Drive, Dropbox, or YouTube, then provide a shareable access to anyone with the link.
- Don’t record any information you deem to be confidential.
Begin your application in the form below. We want to share the links you provide below with our mentors. Please ensure that anyone on the Internet can access your links without having to authenticate for access.
In Google Drive: If google drive indicates that “only people added can open with this link” please click on the down carrot and select “anyone on the internet with this link can view it.”
In Dropbox: Please indicate that “anyone with the link can view the file.”