"Participating... has been very insightful and rewarding for me personally as it has introduced me to a group of incredibly bright and passionate entrepreneurs who are eager to test their business concepts with a team of Mentors that bring a wide variety of experience and expertise. This is a great opportunity for these young researchers and budding entrepreneurs. I wish I had such a group to lean on early in my career!"
Lee Riesterer, CEO, Gray Rock Digital
Mentors are crucial to the success of our programs, whether it is being part of a mentor pool to be called on to help teams through a program program or joining our mentor network for low touch engagements such as coffee chats to help teams understand the ecosystem better.
You can become a mentor with a university to be called upon to help specific National, Regional, or Sites teams or to assist in a mentor pool with regional cohorts. Sites teams receive micro-grants on an ad-hoc basis or through scheduled programs at I-Corps Sites locations to conduct rapid customer discovery and determine if the I-Corps National Teams program is the right path forward in their commercialization journey.
If you are in the southeast region and are interested in joining the I-Corps South mentor network please contact us and we will help incorporate you into the entrepreneurship ecosystem and mentor network which would make the most sense based on your experience and location.
Teams must include an industry mentor who contributes to customer research and guidance on how to pivot based on the team's research findings. This requires a 7-week commitment from the mentor and team. The commitment includes a national kick-off event, closing event, participation in customer interviews, and weekly WebEx calls.
Industry mentors work with Regional I-Corps Cohort teams to share their industry experience. There can be individual mentors dedicated to specific teams or a pool of mentors for multiple teams and/or the entire cohort to lean on for coaching and advice through events such as our mentor lunch. These programs typically run 3-4 lengths and might require anywhere from 5-20 hours of time depending on the program structure over the duration.