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The GW Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (GWoIE) provides support to the New Venture Competition Mentorship programs. The GWoIE team is committed to promoting excellence in multidisciplinary entrepreneurship, innovation, and regional engagement in new venture creation at GW. The office serves as a focal point to foster, promote, and perpetuate quality academic research, education, and outreach programs. It leverages the unique strengths of GW’s schools in the nation’s capital to serve society at large through the knowledge and practice of entrepreneurship.
A strict code of ethics outlines the parameters of participation in the program for both mentors and mentees.
It is incumbent on people of success to transfer their experiences and knowledge to the next generation. Future progress is built on the successes of the past.
-- Randy Graves, Director of GWERT Mentors
Student and faculty entrepreneurs often do not have previous business experience but are a source of many of the most innovative startups. In order to help overcome this initial experiential gap, GW Mentorship programs provide structured matchmaking and monitoring process to bring together experienced startup professionals with GW startups. The long-term focus is on educating and nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs.
How It Works
Startups with at least one GW student or faculty member as a founder, principal, executive, or officer are eligible to take advantage of GW Mentorship programs.
GW Mentors are accomplished entrepreneurs and business/legal/technical professional who are volunteering their time without compensation. The mentors work on teams to provide impartial third party advice in their areas of relevant expertise and have agreed to abide by the Mentors Code of Conduct. The GWoIE staff will facilitate the formation of mentor teams from volunteers at each meeting and will monitor the ongoing relationship to provide assistance when useful.
The following resources should be utilized to search, connect and meet with the GW Mentors.
MentorCity is an online matchmaking platform and a database for mentors and mentees at GW. It allows mentees to search for particular industry and expertise amongst the GW Mentors. The platform eases and tracks engagements and communication by providing a centralized space for all mentorship related activity.
The primary goal of the MIR program is to engage the GW students, faculty, and staff with seasoned entrepreneurs and business executives. Through various activities and office hours, Mentors will provide guidance, coaching, perspective, and connections to enhance entrepreneurship at GW.
All New Venture Competition semi-finalists are paired with a mentor. Semi-finalist team mentors typically devote 1-2 hours per week between February and April to their team.
Drawing from a pool of qualified experts, each team is matched with a mentor who has related industry or startup experience. Competition mentors generously give their time and share their wisdom and experience. In some cases, mentors continue to guide their team months and years after the GW New Venture Competition has ended.
"Where Innovation Meets Its Match"
The 100 Mentor Match-up is an annual networking event that allows aspiring GW student entrepreneurs (at all experience levels) to connect with other entrepreneurs, business professionals and industry experts in person. The event is made possible with generous contribution of Andrew Perlman, CEO & Director of Vringo, Inc. and alumni of the GW School of Business. The event is held around the first week of November on the GW Foggy Bottom Campus.