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Leading Cities Finalists

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Apply To Become A Venture Mentoring Team Powered Startup

Leading Cities has partnered with the VMT to mentor Leading Cities finalist companies. The VMT is here to help you achieve your goals.

Please complete the startup application located below.  This application will introduce your company to the VMT Certified Mentors in our national network. Our mentors will review your information and express their interest in learning more about your startup. If there is mentor interest, we will hold an introductory Zoom meeting in 2-3 weeks, called a “pitch scrub”, where you will have an opportunity to meet with interested mentors and tell them more about your company. After the pitch scrub, interested mentors will volunteer to join your mentor team.

Your team of mentors will continue to meet with you regularly and help you with your entrepreneurship journey.

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.

Startup Application

60-Second Video Submission Guidance

Overview

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.

Video Prompts

  • 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.”

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