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Startups

Apply To Become A Venture Mentoring Team Powered Startup

If your company is a startup, and you would like the assistance of a dynamic team of mentors, this is where you begin. (The application below is for companies in the startup phase only. If your company is an ongoing Small Business which was referred to by a VMT Community Partner, click here.)

You’ll start by giving us some basic information and uploading your pitch deck or description of your business, and a one-minute video via the form below.

When you click “Continue Application,” you’ll be taken to a form where you’ll tell us more about your company, your goals, your needs, and what you’d like to see from a mentoring relationship. This information will be reviewed by members of our team. If we feel that we can positively impact your business, we’ll ask you to present a pitch session to a group of our mentors.

Should you and we wish to move forward, we will help you refine your business, investor/grant pitch, and help prioritize your activities, all on a volunteer basis and at no charge to you. We operate under a code of conduct which provides a safe and confidential environment for the founders we mentor. 

We also maintain great relationships with individual angel investors, angel groups, and venture capitalists, and will make appropriate introductions when we mutually agree you are ready. 

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

Overview

During the VMT application process you will be asked to record and submit a 60-second video.  This document provides an overview of why we ask for the video, what VMT is looking for in the video, and how to submit

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 is your traction so far? Recent success?
  • How do you think mentoring will help you?  (Marketing? Financial? Hiring?)
  • Recap? Leave your audience with a tagline to remember you.

Why Submit a Video?

Sharing your story through video provides the VMT Mentors with an opportunity to get a better sense of 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.

Begin your application in the form below. We want to share the links you provide below with all of our mentors. 

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.”

Provide URL - Google Drive, Dropbox file
Provide URL - Google Drive, Dropbox file
Provide URL - Google Drive, Dropbox file
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
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