The Maryland Tech Council Venture Mentoring Services Program (MTC VMS)
The program was established in partnership with Montgomery County and the Maryland Department of Commerce, but belongs uniquely to the Maryland Tech Council. Specially trained teams of volunteers with expertise in entrepreneurial activity and start-up businesses, are matched with carefully selected mentee companies to assist them in becoming successful operating companies.
The program is based on a team mentoring approach modeled after the highly-successful MIT Venture Mentoring Service which has been implemented in more than 60 communities around the globe. The results have been stunning in terms of capital raised, job growth and company survival. Mentors and mentee companies participate by invitation. There is no fee to the mentee company for the mentoring program.
The ultimate goal of the program is to bring employment opportunities and capital to the area in the technology and life sciences fields by helping companies to grow faster. MTC VMS will provide mentoring services to Maryland tech and life sciences companies with a demonstrated proof of concept that are preparing for their first venture or institutional financing. The MTC VMS program is engaging highly qualified volunteer mentors with experience relevant to positioning early stage companies for venture or institutional financing and who are committed to providing advice in a team mentoring setting.
We are now recruiting volunteer mentors and mentee companies to participate in the pilot year as we implement and refine this exciting program for our community.
Our mentors are carefully selected based on their professional experience as well as their desire to assist Maryland technology and life sciences companies with a compelling business concept that are preparing to raise their first venture capital or institutional financing.
Chosen mentors are individuals who want to engage with aspiring entrepreneurs in the successful development of a new venture and who want to work in a team mentoring approach. Our mentors come from many different backgrounds, e.g., founders, CEOs, chief technical officers, or executives of companies, and have specific functional expertise required by the mentored company. Mentors in other VMS programs give, on average 1 to 1.5 days/month to the program depending on the number of companies the mentor works with; mentors generally engage with more than 1 company at a time, although that is not required. Mentor qualifications include:
- Mentors must be free of conflict with the mentee and their company
- Remain financially independent of the venture they are mentoring
- Have experience in growing an enterprise and raising capital
- Provide their time and expertise on a completely voluntary basis and be in sufficient control of their time that they can make themselves available as needed
- Sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement and an Ethics Agreement
Mentors who are interested in applying for this program should submit an expression of interest to the MTC Venture Mentoring Program.
The Maryland Tech Council VMS is focused on companies in the technology and life sciences fields that are preparing to raise their first venture capital or institutional round of financing. Potential mentees are carefully selected and may include individuals whose organization is their first or second venture.
Potential mentee companies must be led by an individual or individuals who work full-time on the business and will be committed to the program and willing to take responsibility for engaging with their mentor team.
Potential mentees/entrepreneurs whose applications are accepted will have the opportunity to present to potential mentors at a monthly mentor meeting, after which the VMS will facilitate matches with interested mentors. The VMS team will provide guidelines to support the start-up of the relationship and assist in the ongoing management of the team mentoring meetings. Sponsorship Opportunities
In order to provide this service on a complimentary basis to mentee companies, MTC is seeking private sector support in the form of sponsorships.
We look forward to speaking with you about your engagement with this new mentoring program.
Sponsor benefits include:
- Identification as a leader in supporting innovation and entrepreneurship
- Early access to new ideas and entrepreneurs
- Sponsor identification on ALL VMS materials: print and digital
- Recognition on the MTC web site
- Invitation to all VMS events