mentor opportunities

Mentors and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) play an integral role in EPIcenter's New Energy Incubator and Accelerator (NEIA). Incubator Clients are matched with a team of Mentors and Subject Matter Experts based on their specific business needs. The teams are coordinated by an EPIcenter Coach. Together the teams provide the Incubator Clients invaluable expertise as they develop their businesses.

San Antonio is home to many organizations that believe mentoring moves the entrepreneurial ecosystem forward which results in greater economic success. These organizations, collectively referred to as the Mentoring Organizations Roundtable - San Antonio (MOR-SA), are interested in ensuring the quality of the 'service of mentoring' across the city and facilitating the positive and productive mentor-mentee relationship. While each entity may recruit, screen, and train its mentors separately, all subscribe to some common tenants and expectations for mentor values and behavior.

EPIcenter has formed a partnership with many of these other entrepreneur-serving organizations to streamline the mentor application process. Therefore, those who apply to mentor through EPIcenter's mentor application will also have the option of selecting other organizations that they wish to mentor for: Geekdom, Trinity, and VelocityTX.

See the FAQs for more information.

expectationsapplication       FAQS       






expectations

Interested in becoming a Mentor or Subject Matter Expert in EPIcenter's New Energy Incubator and Accelerator? We are currently accepting applications (see the FAQ section for more information). Before starting the application, take a moment to review our expectations of Mentors and SMEs below:     






   COMMITMENT
Mentors are expected to volunteer approximately 2-4 hours of their time each month to meet with the Client.
   QUESTION
Mentors are expected to use a method of asking questions to encourage critical thinking and to draw out ideas.
   AUTHENTICITY
Mentor teams are to function as a living example of effective teamwork for a Client team.
   COMMUNICATION
Mentors and SMEs must communicate effectively with the Client team and Coach.
   GUIDANCE
Mentors provide assistance to the team to set and achieve milestones which will lead to a sustainable business.
     
Click here to apply!

Faqs

what is a mentor?

A Mentor is a volunteer with knowledge and experience that could be useful to someone who is starting a new business. Mentors come in all shapes and sizes with varying backgrounds, experiences, and personalities. Mentors have a willingness to be trained in EPIcenter's methodology of mentorship. This methodology includes asking questions to encourage critical thinking on the part of the Client and to draw out ideas and underlying presumptions. Mentors are NOT there to tell the clients what to do. Rather, the Mentor role is to help the Client self-discover what is needed to take the next steps to grow a business and accomplish milestones on a timely basis.

A client's Mentor Team will, collectively, help fill a gap in the startup company's team whether that be in marketing, regulatory, business development, accounting, etc.

Mentors need to be independent (not relatives, longtime friends, investors, or directors), and not receiving any compensation from the company to be mentored.

Mentors should be able to commit approximately 2-4 hours each month to meet with the Client.

Interested in becoming a Mentor? Click here to apply!

what is a subject matter expert (SME)?

A SME is a volunteer with specific knowledge and experience that could be useful to someone who is starting a new business. SMEs are called upon by Mentor Teams to offer specific or technical information helpful to the Client or to answer specific questions as they arise.

SMEs can also lead trainings on specific topics for multiple Clients at once (ex. leading a one-hour training session on how to use Quickbooks).

Interested in becoming a Subject Matter Expert? Click here to apply!

can someone be both a mentor and a subject matter expert?

An individual may take a different role at different times with different Clients.

what is a coach?

A Coach is an EPIcenter employee who will guide the Incubator Clients through a curriculum designed to help them further develop their business. They will also coordinate with the Client's Mentor Team, which is composed of multiple Mentors and SMEs, as needed.

what is the process for becoming a mentor or a subject matter expert (sme)?

Individuals who are interested in becoming a Mentor or a SME should complete the application. The application will be reviewed and a member of the EPIcenter staff will reach out to schedule a preliminary meeting to learn more about you and tell you more about the role and expectations.

Those interested in becoming a Mentor will then attend a Mentor Orientation session to receive further training and to get to know other Mentors. Depending on the specific needs of the Incubator Clients at that time, you may be invited to attend a Mentor Matching Event, where potential Mentors meet the Incubator Clients to learn more about one another. Both Mentors and Clients will provide feedback to EPIcenter staff regarding who they think would be a good fit for them. The Coach will use that feedback to match the Client with a team of Mentors. If you are not matched with a Client right away, we will hold on to your information and may call upon you to act as a SME, or invite you to future Mentor Matching Events.

Those interested in becoming a SME will be contacted as needed to assist with Client questions or creating Client training courses.

Are mentors and subject matter experts financially compensated?

No. These are volunteer roles, and no compensation will be provided. However, there are many other benefits to mentoring. These relationships are very rewarding and often result in a friendship that lasts long after the formal relationship ends. It is a great way for individuals to give back to the community and industry that enriched their lives and gave them a sense of purpose.

When I apply to become a mentor am I automatically a mentor for the other mor-sa organizations as well?

No, you must opt-in to have your application shared with other organizations. Please note that these other organizations have their own mentor policies and procedures. For additional information please visit their respective websites.

can i invest in my mentee's startup?

To avoid any conflict of interest, Mentors and SMEs are not permitted to invest in their Mentee's startup. If, during the course of a mentorship, a Mentor/SME wishes to financially invest, the mentorship role will be terminated and another suitable Mentor will be engaged.

How do i stay up-to-date on the progress of the incubator?

Our Power Network members are the first to hear about any news or updates. Click here to learn more.

I would like to support the incubator financially. how do i invest, offer a grant, or arrange other financial support?

Contact Jill Vassar, Director of Development and Partnerships, at (210)904-2682 or jhvassar@epicenterus.org.

Questions

If you have any questions please contact:

Andi N. LittlejohnPrograms Manager