Maryland Tech Council’s Venture Mentoring Program Expands to Serve Entrepreneurs Across Maryland
“This is a program to grow jobs and attract capital to Maryland by helping to develop seasoned entrepreneurs,” said MTC VMS Managing Committee member Sally Sternbach. “We exist to help mentees grow in their leadership capabilities, while helping them avoid typical setbacks and roadblocks often faced by early-stage companies.”
The VMS program is unique and is very different from traditional mentoring programs. Mentors volunteer their time and there is no fee to the participating mentee companies. The teams are formed around the expertise needed by a company with team members changing as a company’s needs change. The mentee approves the team, calls the team meetings (usually every 4-6 weeks) and sets the meeting agendas. To date, more than 50 mentee companies interviewed for potential inclusion in the program, with more than 30 mentee companies enrolled, who have raised more than $15 million in capital. In addition, more than 4,800 hours have been contributed by volunteer mentor and managing committee members. The Maryland Department of Commerce, among other partners, has provided support for the program.
“We are proud of Maryland’s thriving tech and biotech industries, which receive tremendous support throughout their life cycle with programs like the MTC VMS,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “In two short years, this program has demonstrated its tremendous value, as well as the continued demand for this type of intensive team mentoring to help companies reach their full potential.”
MTC VMS mentors are carefully-selected successful entrepreneurs and specialists in key business services needed by startups. Based on the well-established and highly successful MIT Venture Mentoring Services program, the MTC VMS mentors counsel through asking questions and to provide a perspective that leads the entrepreneurs to achieve their own goals and work.
For inclusion in the program, mentee companies must be connected in some way to Maryland and must have a technology or life science-related product or service with more than a proof of concept and at least one full-time employee. Mentors and mentees alike are accepted into the program without a termination point. As the leaders and companies evolve, the teams evolve to address the pragmatic growth issues facing each mentee and its company.
“Being a mentee in MTC VMS has been extremely impactful for us as a small startup company,” said Remedy Plan Therapeutics Founder and CEO Greg Crimmins, Ph.D. “We came to Maryland from California and needed a place to start. We were able to develop deep connections and instead of just jumping into the ‘deep end of the pool’ and starting to swim on our own, we have experienced mentors coaching and guiding us along the way. I’m so impressed with the caliber of the program and mentors that I’ve referred several other new CEOs to the program.”
CEOs interested in the Maryland Tech Council Venture Mentoring Services program and who meet the criteria are encouraged to apply today to the program at www.marylandmentoring.org or contact Pam Lubel at (240) 243-4049.