Who is eligible to participate?
VMS is best suited for full-time entrepreneurs with operational questions, who are ready for an initial “advisory team”. If you are in an early planning stage or startup stage, we can recommend alternative programs. As CED VMS sessions are offered in the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina, the entrepreneur must be able to meet with mentors in that location.
Are the entrepreneurs responsible for any fees or considerations?
CED VMS services are offered free of charge: there are no fees for the service, nor does CED ask for any equity.
Are there rules CED VMS entrepreneurs must follow?
CED VMS entrepreneurs are expected to commit to a sustained relationship with CED VMS and to be professional, open, respectful and responsive to the volunteer mentors who work with them. They are also expected to provide CED VMS, to the best of their ability, with accurate information about their venture.
How do I apply?
We request prospective entrepreneurs to complete and submit a questionnaire on the VMS Forms page to provide basic information about themselves and the venture or idea they are pursuing. All identified proprietary information provided by applicants will be kept strictly confidential by CED VMS. You will then be contacted by our intake specialist who will conduct a phone or face-to-face interview. If you are accepted for mentoring, you will be asked to sign a form agreeing to abide by the VMS rules and principles.
How does the mentoring process work?
Once you have enrolled, CED will arrange for your first mentoring session. The initial meeting may be with one mentor or with multiple mentors, depending upon the current status of your venture, your needs, and mentor availability. Meeting frequency is up to you.
It is important for participating entrepreneurs to realize that CED VMS mentoring services are educational only. All business decisions remain under the full control of the participating entrepreneur. In other words, we are here to help set and get to critical milestones; we cannot do it for you.
How are mentor matches arranged?
The formation of a relationship between a mentor and entrepreneur is purely voluntary. The mentors assign themselves depending on their interests or areas of expertise. Though CED VMS assists with connecting appropriate mentors and entrepreneurs, the decision to form a relationship remains with the prospective mentor and entrepreneur. On occasion CED VMS may not have the appropriate resources and may have to decline a request for assistance.
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