Applications will open again in November 2017!
Our mentorship program in Springfield equips startups with thousands of dollars worth of free training and 4 months of regular monthly meetings.
Early-stage companies (and nonprofits) strengthen their pitches for funders, solidify a business plan, articulate their goals and challenges, and tap into the expertise of our mentorship community at a critical moment to move their business forward. Each startup works closely with a facilitator to identify milestones, track accomplishments, and negotiate pivots when needed. Ventures emerge with a dramatically improved business model and a deep network of people ready and willing to help them far into the future.
“VVM has way exceeded my expectations. I have never seen an environment so passionate, invested, and committed to our success. I wouldn’t be where I am today without VVM. And if you consider that we didn’t have to pay to participate in the program, or give up equity, it is easily one of the best business decisions I have ever made. I can’t recommend the people or the program highly enough.”
—Mike Arian, CEO, Prophit Health
“The past six months just saved me years of going the wrong way.”
How to Get In (Selection Process)
1. You must have an undying passion for your business. We look for entrepreneurs who live and breathe their startup.
2. You must be coachable, or able to take advice well and put it into action. This program is completely based on getting you tons and tons of advice from tons and tons of sources, so without coachability, we can’t help.
3. We look for entrepreneurs with ambition to scale (benevolent world domination). If your business saves puppies, awesome! But VVM wants you to aspire to save all the puppies.
These are the only criteria that we care about. For-profit, non-profit, tech company, food company, huge innovation, or simple service, it doesn’t matter at VVM.
Benefits for Entrepreneurs in Our Mentorship Programs
- Confidence: Learn to pitch your idea so it can attract mentors, partners, and funders.
- Visibility: The people in this region most dedicated to helping entrepreneurs are right here, and you’ll be on stage in front of them.
- Relationships: Relationships take time. This program gives you six months to build meaningful relationships with people who can have a transformative impact on your startup.
- Your Tribe: Entrepreneurship can be lonely. Our startups immediately find themselves surrounded by a tribe of people who understand the entrepreneurial life and support you through its ups and downs.
- Rapid Evolution: The sheer size and quality of the VVM community helps you fix what’s wrong before it’s too late and develop far faster than ever before.
“Trying to find support and resources for our startup, we’ve encountered many who take advantage of how little entrepreneurs know about what’s available to them. VVM recognizes that by empowering entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills to succeed, everybody wins. I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of the VVM community.”
—Rachael Ellison, Co-Founder, Need/Done
Resources for Startups
- Pitch Camp tips
- Videos on flavors of capital, startup marketing, how to pitch, executive summaries, and more
- Our favorite podcasts for startups: Startup and The Full Ratchet
- Lean Launchpad course
- Customer development interview template
- Template business model canvas
- Executive summary template | sample executive summary