Mentorship Program

About Our Program

In the dynamic world of entrepreneurship, academic knowledge is just the foundation; real-world experience is the key to unlocking true success. Our comprehensive mentoring program bridges the gap between theory and practice, empowering aspiring entrepreneurs to transform their business aspirations into tangible realities.

Together, we can cultivate a thriving ecosystem of mentorship, empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs to transform their ideas into reality, driving economic growth, and creating positive change in the world.

Mentorship Matters

Our meticulously crafted mentoring program goes beyond traditional education, embracing the human factor that fuels entrepreneurial ventures. Through meaningful connections with experienced entrepreneurs, our mentees gain invaluable insights, tailored guidance, and the unwavering support they need to navigate the entrepreneurial landscape.

We believe that mentoring is a two-way street, fostering enriching relationships between mentors and mentees. Our mentors, accomplished entrepreneurs themselves, share their wisdom and expertise, while mentees bring fresh perspectives and boundless enthusiasm to the partnership.

We Welcome Mentors

We invite experienced business professionals and entrepreneurs to share their knowledge and expertise with our aspiring business leaders. Your time and talent will make a profound impact on the next generation of entrepreneurs. 

Mentor of the Year

The Mentor of the Year Award serves as a resounding call to action, inspiring others to step forward and embrace the role of mentors. By sharing their knowledge, experiences, and passion, individuals can make a profound impact on the lives of aspiring entrepreneurs, shaping the future of innovation and business leadership. We’ll be rolling out the inaugural Mentor of the Year Award in 2024.

Interested in Mentoring?

There are several different mentorship opportunities, such as:  Traditional 1-to-1 mentoring, group mentoring, Tech Transfer, competition judging, classroom or event speaking engagements, and more.  Let us know which options interest you!

Submit your information

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Do I have to be a USF graduate to participate?

A:  We absolutely welcome experienced professionals with other educational backgrounds. The most essential part of mentorship is the passion to help guide and support our students.

Q:  What are the requirements or qualifications for mentorship?

A:  An ideal mentor embodies the highest standards of character, integrity, and a genuine passion for making a positive impact on the lives of their mentees. A mentor should possess a wealth of business and/or entrepreneurial experience, having successfully navigated the ups and downs of starting a business, leading new initiatives, or launching and running a startup.Their guidance is rooted in empathy, understanding, and a deep belief in the potential of each student entrepreneur.

Q:  How do I become a mentor?

A:  Step 1 - fill out the Mentorship Interest Form. Step 2 - you will be contacted by the Mentorship Committee if a strong match is found for you.  Step 3 - attend the Mentorship Training session.  Step 4 - meet (virtual or in-person) with your mentee at least twice per month.  Step 5 - provide feedback to the Mentorship Committee on a monthly basis.

Q:  How does the matching process work?

A:  Both mentors and mentees fill out comprehensive surveys to gather information on their backgrounds, professional goals, and preferences.  The Mentorship Committee reviews all submissions and pairs mentors with mentees based on strengths, interests, and industries.

Q:  How much time do I have to dedicate to the program?

A:  Meeting (virtually or in-person) with the mentee at least twice per month is expected.  We also strongly encourage you to attend any Mentorship Program events, such as Mentor Mixers, as well as support your mentee during any in-person pitch competitions.  The average time needed to dedicate to your mentee is 3-6 hours per month.

Q:  What if the mentor/mentee partnership isn’t meshing well?

A:  This is unlikely, but does happen on occasion.  If work schedules, professional commitments, or mentor/mentee partnership no longer works for either the mentor or the mentee, we ask that the mentor or mentee immediately contact the Mentorship Committee. Whomever would like to continue to participate in the program will be matched with another partner in the future.