On Thursday, June 14th, Kent Summers, a professional trainer from MIT Venture Mentoring Service, conducted a training and orientation session for 21 Innovate Charlotte Mentors, who were chosen for our pilot program.

The focus of the training was to communicate the core principles of MIT VMS methodology that we are adopting, and also to provide a hands-on team mentoring experience.

All mentors, who took part in the training on Thursday, had to submit an application, go through an interview process with Walt Frye, and sign strict guiding principles to ensure that we create a respectful, conflict-free, confidential and trusted environment for the mentees.

The MIT Venture Mentoring Service was conceptualized in 1997 by Alec Dingee and David Staelin in Boston. It was officially launched in 2000, and very soon was recognized by the Kauffman Foundation as an innovative leader and gold standard in venture mentoring.

Starting from 2006, MIT VMS began to scale and disseminate the model to other organizations through their Outreach Training Program. Innovate Charlotte’s team attended a 2.5-day training in Boston in February 2018. We became the 80th organization that adopted the MIT VMS methodology.

At the core of the program is the mission to connect entrepreneurs from the community with teams of experienced volunteer mentors for objective, unbiased, practical business advice, and guidance.


All mentors were especially excited about the opportunity to conduct practical training sessions with our pilot companies Bova Metrics and Honeyfi.

On June 21, 2018, the company selection process is going to be finalized during the monthly mentor meeting. We will also do the company-mentor matching, which will allow us to officially launch the Pilot Program for selected startups.

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