Imagine a mentoring system designed to foster innovative, entrepreneurial minds that possess the creativity and drive to construct solutions that will enhance the quality of life for all of us. Further imagine that these entrepreneurs are supported by a tested process of training, and access to the networks and resources they need to bring their solutions to market. The Venture Mentoring Team offers these opportunities in an expansive atmosphere of collaboration that brings together research, education, and the best business minds to help promising entrepreneurs succeed in their quest to build a better world.
Our Venture Mentoring Team Values
Altruism, Empathy and Respect for Others
Our mentors share the principal desire to give back. With that desire as our driving force, we respect and appreciate diverse perspectives and points of view. We each value and continue to practice “walking in another’s shoes.”
The companies we mentor are solving complex problems and providing services in a wide variety of industries and technologies. Our mentors are encouraged to leave their comfort zones and pursue mentoring assignments outside their fields of expertise. The VMT experience is designed to add depth to the strategic and leadership expertise of both our mentors and our mentees. Just as our mentees do, our mentors conduct research and continue to grow, learning and problem solving in new and exciting ways.
We seek to engage mentors who possess a deep understanding of their fields of expertise and who have the flexibility and creativity to apply their knowledge to the new and emerging opportunities that our founders have chosen to pursue.
Leadership and Collaboration Skills
Our mentors are skilled leaders who possess the ability to collaborate expansively with a focus on equality in collaboration. Collaboration is a key attribute, essential in team mentoring.
We focus our founders on creating and pursuing achievable goals that will lead to success. Founders benefit from our tested, systemic approach to building a flourishing and profitable enterprise.
At its core, the VMT is a social organization that builds deep respect and lifelong friendships with fellow mentors and with the founders whom we guide.
The VMT Certification Process
VMT Certification assures that our mentors achieve the tested standards we have set through our collective experience in the entrepreneurial world, and that we provide our founders with the best possible mentoring experience in a safe, collaborative environment.
Potential VMT mentors pursue an evaluation process beginning with a background review by the VMT Membership Committee comprised of our most experienced mentors.
Applicants with extensive relevant professional experience then participate in six interviews with VMT committee members.
Characteristics including intelligence, professional background, team experience and orientation, a deep desire for lifelong learning, and a purely altruistic motivation to mentor are assessed.
Applicants who pass the committee review undergo an official background check to determine their suitability to mentor.
Our Code of Conduct
Once approved by the membership committee, applicants are asked to sign The VMT Code of Conduct to assure a safe environment for our founders.
Our mentors agree to the following:
- Hold all discussions with founders in confidence
- Make no investment in, nor sell any product or service to the companies we mentor
Click on the video link below to learn more about the VMT Code of Conduct with Hartmut Junghahn, a Member of the VMT Membership Committee and Founder of HJ Boutique Consulting LLC.
VMT Mentor Training
We recognize that not all mentor candidates come to us with a clear understanding of startups or small businesses. While well intended, advice offered from a corporate perspective may not be the best advice for the businesses we mentor.
A key distinguisher of VMT Mentorship is our in-depth training and certification process. Through twelve hours of seminar and video training, mentors are oriented to better understand the differences between managing growth in the corporate world, the needs and restraints of a startup, and the dynamics of running a small business.
Our priority is to guide mentors to appreciate and understand these differences as well as gain the knowledge of what every startup and small business needs to consider. We prepare mentors to offer tested guidance in a variety of business environments.
Our coursework features the structured VMT Mentoring process, including:
- Team mentoring techniques
- Soft skills training including the Socratic Method of Questioning and mindful listening
- Building an impactful pitch deck
- Understanding seed, angel and venture capital financing as well as small business financing
- The sales process
- Investment Vehicles
- Corporate structure
- Intellectual property
- Mentoring non-profits
- Resolving partner conflict
Upon acceptance into the VMT program, new mentors are encouraged to participate in team mentoring, participating as observers of the process as well as active participants. Through this early engagement in the team process, new mentors gain knowledge and confidence as they build their mentoring skills. Team Mentoring is also an important avenue for meeting fellow VMT mentors and creating the close friendships that are integral to the VMT process.
Please click on the video link below to learn more about the team mentoring process with Jennifer Hudson, a VMT Cerified Mentor and President, ThinkBeyond Public Relations.
VMT Mentor Certification
Upon successful completion of the interview process, background checks, signed agreement with our code of conduct, VMT mentor training and 20 hours of team mentoring, mentor candidates are certified as VMT Certified Mentors.
Sharing the VMT Process
The VMT Mentor Recruitment, Training and Certification Program is available to other organizations including academic institutions, business development entities as well as for-profit and not-for-profit accelerators and incubators.