Reporting to the Provost, VMS is a free and confidential educational service for the MIT community. Our goal is to educate entrepreneurs by helping them create and sustain for profit and non profit ventures in the real world.
- VMS serves current students and alumni of degree-granting programs, and current MIT faculty and staff (including Lincoln Lab employees) who have a leading entrepreneurial role in a venture or venture idea.
- While we mentor the entire venture team, our actual client is the founding entrepreneur with an MIT connection. We expect that he or she will remain an active and central participant in all mentoring activities.
- Participants must be local to the Greater Boston area.
- All VMS activities are in-person on the MIT campus, so we only work with locally-based entrepreneurs.
- Entrepreneurs must be passionate about their idea and have given serious thought to the venture’s prospects.
- Entrepreneurs must commit to an on-going relationship with VMS.
- Expect to send updates on your venture and meet with your mentors on a regular basis.
By special arrangement, staff members of the Broad Institute are also eligible for VMS services.
- VMS enrollment is offered on an on-going basis.
- To apply, complete and submit our Venture Information Form found here. All identified proprietary information provided by applicants will be kept strictly confidential by VMS. We will review your form and if additional 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.
- Once you have reviewed that material and returned your signed waiver of liability, we will help you schedule your first mentoring session.
The Mentoring Process
We provide face-to-face, team mentoring drawing from a pool of over 170 carefully selected and trained mentors. All interactions with VMS are confidential and under nondisclosure. Mentors follow a strict code of ethics. This is a free service, and we do not take equity.
We help with all aspects of building a non profit or for profit venture. Your venture can be at any stage for any industry or technology. Our goal is your success and development as an entrepreneur. 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. We provide practical mentoring that is focused on what your next steps should be.
The frequency of meetings and length of participation are up to the mentee. There is no time limit on our mentoring - we have worked with some ventures for over decade.
Your first one or two meetings will be with two mentors and their goal is to understand your specific needs and the stage of development your venture is at. Going forward, your mentor team will expand based on your needs, and its make up may change as your venture evolves. One of your mentors will become your lead mentor, and they will work with you on meeting agendas and on adjusting the make up of the mentor team over time.
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.
The venture is responsible for the following:
• Scheduling meetings with the VMS office and providing meeting agendas,
• Taking meeting minutes and providing them to the office, and
• Providing monthly updates to the VMS office.
Additional Program Offerings are available to VMS ventures, including the ability to network with other ventures, access to MIT I-Corps, access to experts through office hours and boot camp seminars, the opportunity to apply to our annual Demo Day, and discounts. Learn more here.