Mentor a Team

GW Mentor meeting with several students at the 2016 100 Mentor Match-Up Event
GW Mentor meeting with several students at the 2016 100 Mentor Match-Up Event

In 2010, the GW New Venture Competition began the Mentorship Program. Since then, participation in this program has proven to be one of the keys to success for most of the competitors. Any individual, or team, participating in the competition may request a mentor at any time during the academic year.

An annual survey taken by semi-finalist teams indicate that mentors provide the most valuable input they receive from any outside source. The survey also indicate that 88% of mentors feel their team accepted their advice.

Mentors are principally selected from seasoned Washington-area entrepreneurial executives. Mentors are matched with teams, as best possible, based on the mentor's expertise in the business of the team and the type of guidance the team needs most.

New Venture Competition Semi-Finalist Team Mentors

All semi-finalists are paired with a mentor. Semi-finalist team mentors typically devote 1-2 hours per week between February and April to their team.

Drawing from a pool of qualified experts, each team is matched with a mentor who has related industry or startup experience. Competition mentors generously give their time and share their wisdom and experience. In some cases, mentors continue to guide their team months and years after the GW New Venture Competition has ended.

Types of Support

The following areas represent the types of support the mentors provide to their teams: 

  • Review of business model
  • Market or customer-level feedback
  • Guidance in customer discovery
  • Access to prospective customers
  • Help with crafting their Business Model Canvas
  • General management advice
  • Organizational advice
  • Technical input regarding the product or service

Become a Mentor

Mentors should have real-world experience with startup ventures either as entrepreneurs or as investors.