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Partner Testimonials

Target Forward Founders

Tahaji Felder

Senior Program Manager, Target Accelerators

Elevate Together

Sharu Goodwyn & Alex Price

Manager & Director, Community Investment, Elevate Together​


Kevin C. Cox, phD, MSE

Senior Instructor and Assistant Director

Kate Sackman headshot

Kate Sackman

Director of Venture Programs

Startup FIU

StartUP FIU has had the pleasure of working with VMT mentors since our founding in 2016. The entrepreneurs in our StartUP FIU Empower Accelerator have benefited greatly from the wisdom and guidance of VMT mentors in all our cohorts to date. Some VMT mentors have lectured and taught in several of our advanced programs and also have provided advice to much earlier stage companies in our newest program, The Proof of Concept Studio. VMT co-founders Bob Nelson and Jim Ryan, as well as many others, including Greg Gould, Terry Bentley, Sandy Finn, and Bernardo Wolfson have, by their guidance, all strengthened the startups in our programs immensely due to their commitment, perseverance, and rigor as mentors. At StartUP FIU we feel very fortunate to partner with the VMT and look forward to our ongoing collaboration.

Veterans Florida Logo

The Venture Mentoring Team has provided the Florida Atlantic University Veterans Entrepreneurship Program with some amazing mentors including: John Gullman, Bernardo Wolfson, Andy Kaplan, Jon Fichman, Claudio Sorrentino and Bob Nelson. VMT mentors are assigned veteran entrepreneurs based on the veteran’s business and the mentor’s expertise. Since their assignments, VMT mentors have demonstrated their dedication to each entrepreneur and are providing expert guidance throughout the startup process.

Michael Giallombardo

Director of Military and Veteran Affairs

Shana Ostrovitz headshot

Shana Ostrovitz

Executive Director & VMT Mentor


I have a unique perspective on the VMT as I have been involved in every aspect of the program. My first start-up was mentored by the VMT, and I saw the power of mentorship through that experience. Now, in my role as the Executive Director of 1909, a Palm Beach County business incubator, I count on my relationship with the VMT to provide experienced, certified mentors for the businesses 1909 serves. Wanting to give back, I have become a VMT mentor myself. Each of these experiences has provided me with a network of valued friends and partners — smart, talented, altruistic individuals who are generously supporting startup founders and small business owners.

Founder Institute - South Florida

VMT has been one of our program’s biggest supporters. We have had dozens of their members contribute to our sessions and mentor our founders both during and after the program.

James Irvine


Target Forward Founders

The Venture Mentor Team has been a phenomenal partner with Target Forward Founders.  While mentoring roughly 60 of the founders that were a part of the program, the mentors provided a wealth of invaluable guidance and resources.  With the additional VMT mentor expertise, the founders have been able to accelerate their brand growth and directly apply their newfound knowledge.  The mentors immediately connected with our founders, were flexible with the founder inquiries, and authentically shared their vital feedback.

Tahaji Felder

Senior Program Manager, Target Accelerators

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

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


The Venture Mentoring Team Mentors; they are amazing! The best thing that could have happened to HealthSnap. They truly care about the growth of the companies, selective with companies they choose to volunteer their time, the mentors are highly experienced and it’s as if we had a board of highly skilled executives that are giving us guidance. They come from an altruistic direction and it’s evident. They have really developed our confidence for higher level corporate enterprise deals and we have some big corporate deals in the pipeline that we know we can count on them to guide us on and to foresee any pitfalls, etc.. They take pride in our wins as part of our team. Love them to pieces… Our HealthSnap mentors are Bob Nelson, Jonathan Fichman (our lead mentor), Mary Ann Knaus, Andrew Simkovsky, Ron Rosenzweig, John Sory and Steven Barnett.

Yenvy Truong

CEO and Co-Founder