Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to participate?

VMS offers services to MIT students, alumni, faculty, and staff who have ideas which they would like to turn into businesses. The MIT connection must be the active "entrepreneur" of the venture. In addition, the entrepreneur and the venture must both be based in the greater Boston area.

By special arrangement, staff members of the Broad Institute are also eligible for VMS services.

Are the entrepreneurs responsible for any fees or considerations?

VMS services are offered free of charge: there are no fees for the service, nor does VMS ask for any equity.

Are there rules VMS entrepreneurs must follow?

VMS entrepreneurs are expected to commit to a sustained relationship with VMS and to be professional, open and responsive to the volunteer mentors who work with them. They are also expected to provide VMS, to the best of their ability, with accurate information about their venture.

MIT students should also note that VMS and mentors consider the involvement of any MIT student with the VMS or in any venture secondary to his or her overall academic interests at MIT.

How do I apply?

To apply, complete and submit our Venture Information Form. All identified proprietary information provided by applicants will be kept strictly confidential by VMS. Any accompanying materials can be submitted to We will review your form and if addition information is required, we will contact you. Otherwise, you will receive an enrollment packet by e-mail within a couple days of applying. The materials in this enrollment packet describe the rules and procedures of VMS. There is also an acknowledgement and release form for you to sign. In signing, you acknowledge that the VMS mentors are working with you on a volunteer basis, and that MIT incurs no liability in the process.

How does the mentoring process work?

Once you have enrolled, the VMS office will arrange for your first mentoring session. Your first meeting will be with 2 mentors with the primary objective of understanding your current situation. The discussion is likely to be wide-ranging in order to gain as complete a picture as possible and to identify the most critical action areas. Based on the information developed, we will bring in additional mentors and your mentor team will evolve over the next few sessions. Meeting frequency is up to you.

It is important for participating entrepreneurs to realize that VMS mentoring services are educational only. All business decisions remain under the full control of the participating entrepreneur. In other words, we are here to help; we cannot do it for you.

How are mentor matches arranged?

The formation of a relationship between a mentor and entrepreneur is purely voluntary. The mentors assign themselves depending on their interests or areas of expertise. Though VMS is responsible for matching appropriate mentors and entrepreneurs, the decision to form a relationship remains with the prospective mentor and entrepreneur.

On occasion VMS may not have the appropriate resources and may have to decline a request for assistance.

If you have additional questions, please contact

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