Our mission is to foster startup communities, creating programs for the success of the founders and their ventures whom we support.
We build communities and programs to foster the success of community members who are startup founders. The Venture Mentor Community plays a key role in our startup programs (Accelerator, Challenge14, Scale36). We look for professionals who are driven by our collective mission to help emerging ventures succeed.
Our program enables professionals around the world to volunteer as mentors to founders. Startup founders develop relationships with the participating mentors for guidance in growing their ventures. Our community is guided by the following principles, and the community members are expected to hold each other accountable to these guiding principles:
We are an inclusive and diverse community consisting of many cultures, races, beliefs, ideas, genders, gender expression, ages, political views, and we embrace, value, and welcome this diversity.
As a member of this global community, that embraces the common humanity of every participant in all communications, interactions, and actions, You pledge to celebrate and uphold:
Diversity. Innovation. Entrepreneurship. Community.
And we will hold true the following values:
Honesty above all
Integrity as a professional
Commitment to being present
Respect for others
Investing in each others success
Positive influence in communications and actions
Giving without asking for anything in return
Clarity in communications
Kindness in actions
With the above values in mind, we have described further details below that model a successful mentoring relationship.
Understand the industry or problem space their mentored startup operates in. Understand the maturity level of the startup they are mentoring. A mentor should be conscious of the startup’s goal, and topic areas in which they need guidance. Make time, create headspace, be present, actively listen, and ultimately help guide startups founders to finding their own answers by redirecting the conversation to the relevant topic as needed, co-creating action items, and ensuring the advice and takeaways from the sessions are fully understood by the startup founder.
A mentor provides substance within their expertise, holds information in confidentiality, has the startup’s best interest at heart, and does not promote startup actions to simply further a mentor’s financial interest. The mentor maintains a high-level self-awareness on all these matters, and understands that even though they may be the startup’s designated mentor, they are part of a larger community, and generously connects the startups to other mentors / advisors / resources that can also help the startup with differing expertise and viewpoints.
Prepare agenda items for a session with a mentor, and clarify the topic they seek guidance on. Mentors provide guidance on the strategy, and subject matter expertise of differing levels, so be clear on the topic you are seeking guidance on, and let the mentor fully understand where the startup is presently without bias or preconception. Startups should facilitate the scheduling of sessions with their mentor, keep an open line of communication and keep their mentor apprised of news, good and bad. A mentor cannot help if they do not know what is going on.
Appreciate and acknowledge the role of a mentor. Be honest with their mentor, and once actions are decided within a session, commit to them – if an action is not met, communicate with their mentor as to why not. Be communicative, actively seek advice or guidance from the mentor. Maintain focus, say what you do not know, ask for clarification.
Dissolving a mentoring relationship:
Both mentors and startup founders are aware that their behaviour continuously affects the mentoring relationship. We hope that the above outline and value list helps to encourage positive mentoring relationships, but both mentors and startup founders understand the mentor/startup relationship can be terminated at any time. Our advised way to terminate a relationship is to 1) talk to a program administrator in VIVE D.C. and ask them to help facilitate the termination. 2) Respectfully tell your mentor / mentee that you would like to terminate the relationship, then tell VIVE D.C. Administration and request another mentor / mentee.
Enforceability of our Values and Ethics:
Termination based on violating our values: If we find that any member – mentor or startup does not uphold our values or membership statement, we have the right to terminate access to our community at anytime.
To notify us of a violation you may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org , or connect with our Executive Director at email@example.com or speak with a member of the Mentor Council or Venture Council, so they can escalate the matter.
Code of Conduct contributors
This code of conduct was created and is maintained in collaboration with Startups Ignite, The Mentor Community, and Venture Council. Please note that this Code of Conduct may change as the needs of the community evolve, and you will receive notification of changes if you are currently an active community member at the time of the change.