About Startup Mentoring

Startup Mentoring was established in 2008 to serve the large community of MIT alumni in Northern California. Starting in the Fall of that year, several mentor/ mentee matching sessions have been scheduled each year. At these sessions, ventures are each paired with several seasoned executives from the pool of mentors (currently numbering over 100 and growing). In its first eight years of operation, Startup Mentoring has served over 160 emerging ventures, spanning business concepts from social networking and interactive Web services to medical devices, healthcare IT and energy/cleantech. Teams meet monthly for several hours for as many months as the mentees feel they can benefit.

A team mentoring approach is used, with groups of 3 mentors meeting with entrepreneurs in sessions that provide practical, day-to-day professional advice and coaching. Mentors are selected for their experience in areas relevant to the needs of new entrepreneurs and for their enthusiasm for the program. Our mentor pool is experienced in a broad range of markets, product categories and technologies, as well as all key functional disciplines. Relationships between entrepreneurs and mentors are formed on the basis of entrepreneurs’ stated needs. Assistance is given across a broad range of business functions, including company strategy, product development, marketing, sales channel development, intellectual property law, finance, human resources, and funding/ownership issues.

Startup Mentoring services are offered without charge to MIT alumni and affiliates in the Bay Area. As an all volunteer-based program and given its educational focus, we stipulate that mentors may not be compensated by or invest in ventures they are actively mentoring, unless invited to do so by the mentee. In such cases, the change in status is subject to approval by the program office and the mentor is recused from further mentoring that venture.

Startup Mentoring expects to grow significantly during the coming years. The next round of mentor/mentee matching is targeted for Spring of 2016. If you’re interested in being involved as either entrepreneur or mentor