VMS supports innovation and entrepreneurial activity throughout the MIT community by matching both prospective and experienced entrepreneurs with skilled volunteer mentors. We use a team mentoring approach with groups of 3 to 4 mentors sitting with the entrepreneur(s) in sessions that provide practical, day-to-day professional advice and coaching. VMS mentors are selected for their experience in areas relevant to the needs of new entrepreneurs and for their enthusiasm for the program. Mentors are required to subscribe, in writing, to a Statement of Principles that govern their behavior, outline their responsibilities, guard against conflicts of interest, and control financial involvement with the entrepreneurs and their ventures. Relationships between mentors and entrepreneurs are formed based on the needs of the entrepreneur and the interests of available mentors.

VMS assistance is given across a broad range of business activity, including product development, marketing, intellectual property law, finance, human resources, and founders issues. VMS services are offered without charge to MIT students, alumni, faculty and staff in the Boston area.

VMS complements and works cooperatively with the many MIT centers and programs promoting entrepreneurship and providing many resources to encourage formation of businesses and to move technological knowledge from the laboratory to the marketplace.

Quick Facts

  • VMS is a free service
  • Exclusively for the MIT community
  • Reports to the Provost
  • Over 165 experienced startup mentors
  • Ventures assisted: > 1,450
  • Participants mentored: > 2,500
  • Funding (investments + grants) raised by VMS ventures: > $1.44 billion
  • All communications are confidential

The Institute will continue to serve as one of the most powerful engines of innovation and entrepreneurship in the world. MIT VMS has been and always will be critical to that mission. VMS makes a unique contribution to entrepreneurship at MIT by engaging its large group of highly qualified volunteer mentors to guide aspiring entrepreneurs as they develop the skills to bring their ideas to fruition.

L. Rafael Reif, President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology