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The following guidelines for participating in RIT’s Venture Mentoring Service program are based on best practices of university-based business incubators with extensive mentoring program experience.

  1. The purpose of RIT VENTURE MENTORING SERVICE is to support entrepreneurial activity within the RIT community, focusing primarily on startup companies that are members of Venture Creations, RIT’s business incubator.  
  2. The resources of VMS will be offered without charge to all members of the RIT community who are actively connected to a venture, through Venture Creations, as a founder/principal or executive/officer.
  3. It seeks volunteer mentors among RIT alumni, locally and nationally, and from non-alumni with particularly appropriate backgrounds and skill sets.
  4. Mentors will be selected for their experience in areas relevant to the needs of these startup companies and for their enthusiasm for the RIT VENTURE MENTORING SERVICE program. 
  5. Relationships between mentors and startup companies will be formed based on the needs and preferences of the startups and the interests and available time of mentors.
  6. VMS recognizes that promotion of its goals requires careful adherence to principles that put the interests of the startup company at the forefront of all considerations and interactions.
  7. By the nature of the process, mentors become trusted company advisors and must commit to remain free of any conflict of interest with respect to the company that they are mentoring.  
  8. Mentors must be willing to commit to volunteering approximately five (5) hours of their time per month to their assigned startup company and to commit their services one year at a time.
  9. Mentors must be willing to consistently attend Board of Advisors meetings, on a pre-determined annual calendar. Teleconferencing will be provided for mentors who cannot attend in person.
  10. Mentors must be willing to take “subject matter expert” phone calls or similar types of communication as appropriate from the startup company in between meetings.
  11. Mentors will be expected to accept some limited "homework" in the form of assigned action items originating from the Board of Advisors meetings.
  12. Should mentors wish to become an investor or an employee, that is certainly allowable, but the relationship with the company will become one of investor, and/or board member, or employee, rather than mentor.
  13. In the event that an entrepreneur desires to alter their relationship to an assigned RIT VENTURE MENTORING SERVICE mentor (e.g. the entrepreneur desires a mentor to join its management team or to become an investor) then the entrepreneur must notify the RIT VENTURE MENTORING SERVICE staff of such development and the mentor must provide RIT VENTURE MENTORING SERVICE 30 days advance notice, formally recusing himself / herself from the role of RIT VENTURE MENTORING SERVICE mentor with respect to that venture.