NEXT has partnered with MIT to bring its venture mentoring services to our ecosystem. Venture mentoring is a highly structured environment where groups of seasoned entrepreneurs meet with individuals to help understand and guide their business decisions.
NEXT Venture Mentoring Service (VMS) efficiently and effectively connects experienced business leaders with high-impact entrepreneurs and fosters ongoing mentor relationships that lead to improved venture performance and a stronger pool of entrepreneurial talent for the Upstate of South Carolina.
Mentoring is done with a team approach – several mentors volunteer for each entrepreneur and they provide guidance and counsel as a group, not as individuals. NEXT VMS mentors provide unbiased, conflict-free, practical, actionable advice. Mentors abide by a strict code of ethics, and follow formal, sustainable processes focused on continuous improvement. NEXT VMS is a long-term commitment to entrepreneurs.
These pairings are carefully selected based on the type of business and the availability of mentors from that industry. Rather than generic business advice, we work hard to create long-lasting, high-value relationships between mentors and mentees.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) created the VMS model and is a key partner in the NEXT program in Greenville, including providing leadership training to the NEXT staff for the 2015 program launch.
I have been involved in NEXT since 2006 and am involved in their team-based mentor program. I continue to be amazed by two things with my mentors: first, how quickly they can jump into a conversation and immediately have ideas and provide valuable information very relative to the conversation or question at hand; second, how ‘invested’ I feel they are in my business. With absolutely no financial gain, I truly believe I have mentors who want to help me succeed and have a true interest in me and what I am doing.I would recommend VMS to anybody in need of guidance, no matter where they are in their business.Mark Essex, founder of Netalytics
VMS member since 2015
My business partner, Joshua Tucker, and I moved to Greenville in 2015 and immediately got involved in NEXT. When we applied to the VMS program with NEXT, we knew we would have access to some very smart and successful people, but we had no idea how much the relationships we would create there would help our business. Our mentor group has helped answer some of our most pressing and difficult questions. The level of trust within our group allows us to tackle issues, get advice, and come up with actionable items that otherwise come only from years of experience. We are better founders, and have a stronger and faster-growing organization as a result of the VMS program.Keith Shields, co-founder of Designli
VMS member since 2016
Interested? Let us know
Interested in participating? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.