MVP: For Entrepreneurs & Ventures

Problem

Startup entrepreneurs from state colleges and universities often lack a deep network of relationships, which decreases their chances of survival.  Meanwhile, many business executives love to mentor but lack a way of easily and enjoyably connecting with entrepreneurs. 

Solution

MVP uses the model that has proven effective at the MIT Venture Mentor Service and Valley Venture Mentors:  put the right people in the same room, give them just enough structure, and facilitate beneficial collisions.  The program meets monthly in Boston so that mentors have a chance to build real relationships and see how the ventures evolve over time.  

Benefits to entrepreneurs:
  • Mentoring - If a technologist wants to really advance, they know that getting ten brilliant technologists to look at their prototype will be a significant help.  MVP surrounds you with brilliant entrepreneurs and business executives to help you build a financially sustainable business around your idea.
  • Social Capital - An opportunity to earn relationships with extremely well connected and successful people who can instantly open doors that would otherwise take months or years to reach.  

Commitment

  • Money - None!
  • Time - To fully take advantage of the opportunities presented by MVP's mentors, teams set aside at least an hour a week for six months for telephone meetings.
  • Sharing documents - Under an agreement of confidentiality between the entrepreneur and the mentor there will be a full sharing of business plans and related documents.  If the business is in operating mode, it will share financial data.
  • Orientation - Before the mentoring process begins the entrepreneur takes part in a 30-minute online orientation to the mentoring process.
  • Reporting - The MVP staff will communicate periodically with the entrepreneur about the quality of the mentor relationship.  At the conclusion of the mentoring experience the entrepreneur will respond to a survey from MVP staff.
  • Sign an Agreement which spells out the responsibilities of the entrepreneur and the mentor. 

Criteria

MVP has a limited number of slots for teams.  Slots are assigned to ventures based on the following criteria:

  • Passion to execute
  • Coachablility
  • Ability to physically participate in all meetings (one per month in Boston)
  • Hungry - not yet generating enough revenue to make a living
  • Skin in the game - invested significant sweat equity (AKA time) into the venture
  • Ambition to scale up beyond a traditional small business

MVP does NOT care what if you are a nonprofit or a for-profit, biotech or food processing, etc.  ONLY the above criteria matter.  The program is open to students, staff, faculty, and alumni.  While MVP is funded by UMass Amherst's Isenberg School, entrepreneurs from other campuses may apply.

We accept new ventures throughout the year, so apply anytime (see below).

 

MVP is not a source of funding, but its mentors may advise the entrepreneurs about seeking investment funds. 

What if we say no?

 If you are not accepted, we will let you know why, and point you to the VentureCoach program of the Center for Entrepreneurship.

Learn more

 

  1. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us.
  2. Apply to become an MVP mentee.