About ECJC’s Growth Mentoring Service
The Growth Mentoring Service is an ECJC program, modeled after the established and highly recognized MIT VMS mentoring program, which connects experienced entrepreneurs with a team of skilled volunteer mentors. We use a group mentoring approach—a lead mentor coordinates a team of 3-4 mentors that meet together with the entrepreneur(s) in sessions that provide practical, day-to-day professional advice and coaching. GMS mentors are matched based on their experience in areas relevant to the needs of entrepreneurs and their enthusiasm for the program and the entrepreneur’s business. Mentors are required to subscribe, in writing, to a Statement of Principles that govern their behavior, outline their responsibilities, ensure confidentiality, guard against conflicts of interest, ensure a safe environment and control financial involvement with the entrepreneurs and their businesses. Relationships between mentors and entrepreneurs are formed based on the needs of the entrepreneur and the interests of available mentors.
The Growth Mentoring Service is managed by the Enterprise Center in Johnson County, a non-profit organization that connects entrepreneurs with the resources they need to grow and scale. It is supported by a generous grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
About the MIT VMS Model
The MIT Venture Mentoring Service (MIT VMS) was founded in 2000 after two successful MIT-affiliated serial entrepreneurs approached the University Provost with similar proposals to remedy a gap in how the university supports emerging entrepreneurial ventures. Now in it’s 16th year of operation at MIT, the program has matched thousands of entrepreneurs with mentor teams and has trained over 50 organizations around the world to replicate their model.
The MIT VMS Impact
- Over 165 experienced startup mentors currently active
- Ventures assisted: > 1,450
- Participants mentored: > 2,500
- Funding (investments + grants) raised by VMS ventures: > $1.44 billion
- 52 sites trained in MIT VMS methodology around the world