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Programme

MIT Venture Mentoring Service

Leadership Capacity

Impact for scaleups

190+

Experienced mentors

2,900

Businesses ventures assisted

3,600

Participant entrepreneurs

US$9bn

In external finance raised by participants of VMS

400+

Businesses launched

124

Organisations in 28 countries trained to launch their own version of VMW

Key sectors

Finance Food & drink Healthcare Impact ventures / Social Impact Life Sciences & Biotech Building & Construction Manufacturing / Advanced Manufacturing Creative, digital, film, games & media Professional services Defence & security Technology & Communications Engineering / Advanced Engineering Transport & Logistics Environmental Science & Technology Farming, fisheries & forestry

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Venture Mentoring Service (MIT VMS) uses a team mentoring approach to provide practical, day-to-day professional advice and coaching to students, alumni and staff, supporting them to turn enterprising ideas into scaling businesses.

A detailed picture of the scaling business is built at the outset of the programme, identifying critical action areas. Scaleup innovation and entrepreneurial activity is then supported through the MIT community. Experienced and prospective entrepreneurs are matched with skilled volunteer mentors selected for their experience and commitment.  

Further support is delivered through team mentoring sessions and one-to-one meetings. Entrepreneurs can also book half-hour practical advice sessions. These cover key business areas including legal, intellectual property, human resources and product development. Support is available throughout the scaling journey, from an initial venture idea to viable business. VMS support is aligned with other entrepreneurship programmes at the university.

Participants are also given the opportunity to showcase their businesses at the Entrepreneurial Edge Event each autumn – an annual networking reception hosted by VMS. VMS entrepreneurs seeking funding, get the opportunity each month to practise a four-minute elevator pitch in front of around 80 mentors at a monthly Snapshot Pitch Presentation and twenty qualified funding-ready VMS ventures are invited to make short pitches and host tabletop demonstrations to an audience of potential investors during the VMS Demo Day. 

The MIT VMS mentoring model methodology, concepts and practices are disseminated to other institutions through a series of training programmes under licence from MIT. In the last 17 years, the MIT VMS Model has been successfully replicated in organisations worldwide ranging from universities and economic development agencies to business incubators.

VMS also brings together mentor teams to help more advanced ventures with major changes and opportunities such as strategic partnerships, exits and mergers. In 2021, VMS relocated to the MIT Innovation HQ, an innovation and entrepreneurship hub that provides collaborative space for students..

“… MIT VMS, one of the institutions with the greatest specialty in mentoring, certifies the teachings and participates in the program. […] MIT has turned the art of mentoring into a science with guidelines and a methodology.”
– Pere Vicens, Mentor, Barcelona Activa

“There is no need to learn mentorship by trial and error. Embracing the VMS Model will save any institution a significant amount of time and money.”
Scott Fitzerald, Board Member, Silicon Couloir

MIT Venture Mentoring Service website