Charlotte Business Resources

Charlotte Business Resource

The goal of the Charlotte Business Resources group is to connect you with the information you need to start and run a successful business. represents a community-wide collaborative effort by a network of organizations committed to working together to save you time and money by providing relevant business resources & information.

21 Innovate Charlotte Mentors Prepare for VMS Pilot

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.

If you would like to learn more about what’s happening at Innovate Charlotte, please subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media: FacebookLinkedIn, and Instagram.


Small Business and Technology Development Center

The North Carolina SBTDC is a business advisory resource for growing and developing businesses. Our highly skilled professionals provide services statewide from offices hosted by campuses of The University of North Carolina System. The SBTDC operates in formal partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency and others, making it a unique and valued asset in the economic development infrastructure of North Carolina.  Business, government, and university leaders recognize the SBTDC’s value and impact.

The effectiveness of SBTDC services is confirmed by ongoing client evaluations and annual independent verification of our economic impact. SBTDC programs and services are regularly reviewed by federal and state funding partners. The SBTDC also undergoes a rigorous external accreditation review every 4-5 years, and has been continuously accredited without conditions since 1988.

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Innovate Charlotte Seeking Experienced Individuals

Innovate Charlotte is seeking experienced individuals who want to mentor the next generation of entrepreneurs

Interviews with numerous entrepreneurs and supporters throughout 2017, revealed that connecting to quality mentors was a key opportunity to support their entrepreneur success. As a result and after talking with several partner communities in Atlanta, the Triangle, Boston and others, we identified the MIT Venture Mentoring Service (VMS) as a program that we could bring to Charlotte to fill this. In February, the Innovate Charlotte team and some of our community partners traveled to Boston to participate in the 3 day MIT Venture Mentoring Immersion Program. It was an amazing experience, learning about this 20-year-old mentoring program that seventy-nine hubs around the world have implemented in their communities and envision how Charlotte can become number eighty.

MIT Venture Mentoring Service (VMS), which has the following advantages:

  1. Tested approach refined over 20+ years of experience
  2. Mentors have the opportunity to interact with, learn from, develop relationships with like-minded peers on your team
  3. Mentor colleagues provide excellent sounding boards
  4. It is easier for you as a mentor to move on from mentoring a specific venture when other expertise is needed

Apply to become a mentor on our website.