Impact for scaleups
Business ventures assisted
External finance raised by VMS participants
Organisations worldwide trained to launch their own version of VMS
Mobilising Students, Staff and Alumni to Start and Scale Businesses
Massachussetts Institute of Technology Venture Mentoring Service (VMS) is continuing to provide a successful programme for students, alumni and staff with ideas they want to turn into businesses.
Launched in 2000 VMS matches both prospective and experienced entrepreneurs based in the Boston area with skilled volunteer mentors, now numbering 175. Participants meet initially with two mentors who build a detailed picture of the business and identify the most critical action areas. Subsequently, the business leader meets with groups of 3-4 mentors selected for their relevant experience and tailored to the challenges faced by the business.
Mentors provide support across a broad range of business activity including product development, marketing, intellectual property law, finance, human resources and business management and contribute more than 12,000 hours a year. All business decisions remain under the full control of the participating founder.
VMS’s model is fully transferable to other universities and business colleges and its Outreach Programme has trained 100 organisations globally to launch their own versions.