“The most significant lesson we have learned from our mentorship team is to ask why...for everything. It is in our nature as entrepreneurs to jump to solutions and our mentors often encourage us to take a step back, ask ourselves why we made a decision and make sure we have taken into account all available options before going forward.”
– Ashley Janssen, (’06 BA) VMS Mentee since 2014 Q3
The University of Alberta Venture Mentoring Service (VMS) supports all members of the University of Alberta community (students, faculty, staff, and alumni). Our program is modelled after the highly successful Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) VMS program. Our focus is on cultivating strong and capable entrepreneurs through coaching, and guiding them through their challenges so that they own their decisions, rather than relying on others for answers.
Regardless of what industry you are in, profit or non-profit, UAlberta VMS can help. Our entrepreneurs operate in a diverse range of sectors such as software, advertising, retail food, transportation, health and fitness, clothing apparel, agricultural technologies, and many more. As a VMS participant you need to be an active entrepreneur in a high impact venture that’s scalable and growing, with the entrepreneur and venture based in the Edmonton region. We have the depth of experience in our mentor pool to work with both newly operating companies and more mature ventures that are working towards taking their business to the next level of growth.
VMS places our entrepreneurs with a team of three to five volunteer Mentors from our business community, who provide ongoing guidance through structured meetings (there is no term limit and ventures are welcome to stay in the program as long as they are operating and getting value from of their Mentors). Our Mentors have significant experience in various aspects of growing a business, are seeking meaningful volunteer opportunities, and have a desire to engage with passionate entrepreneurs across a diverse range of ventures.
There is growing interest in entrepreneurship and innovation here in Alberta and our University community is no exception. UAlberta students and alumni have demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit, and VMS is meant to provide these entrepreneurs with the guidance and mentorship to get themselves, and their venture, to the next level.
Whether you are an entrepreneur in need of guidance, or have experience that can contribute as a Mentor to their growth, VMS may be right for you. We invite you to join us as we develop strong leaders capable of building successful businesses that will make an impact on our community and beyond!