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Small Businesses

How To Become A Venture Mentoring Team Powered Small Business

Small businesses are nominated for VMT mentoring by one of our Community Partners listed below. If your company is a Startup in search of mentoring, click here.

VMT is the National Mentoring Partner supporting Elevate Together, Office Depot’s initiative to support Black and Hispanic-owned small businesses through grants and mentoring.  If your small business is located in the following cities, you may be eligible to apply:

Businesses in the cities below nominated by the Urban League are eligible to receive VMT mentoring.

Businesses in the cities below nominated by the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce are eligible to receive VMT mentoring.

The VMT Pay It Forward Pledge

Once accepted into The VMT, we ask our mentees if they would like to sign The VMT Pay It Forward Pledge. The VMT Pay It Forward Pledge states that when the company’s founders feel comfortable to do so, they will pay forward the altruism they have received working with The VMT by volunteering to support other small businesses. Many of our mentees have later become mentors, creating positive results that extend far into the future.

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