Our exceptional team of mentors have started, grown, and sold companies across a range of industries. They provide specialized coaching at every stage in the startup process, helping our members face challenges with confidence and find solutions with ease.
What It Means to be a Mentor
Mentors are at the heart of the Startup Virginia experience and help drive our members to success. Our mentors come from a wide variety of professional backgrounds, representing an array of industries and offering unique viewpoints. We’ve partnered with more than 200 mentors – successful entrepreneurs, investors, and subject-matter experts – who volunteer their time to help our members learn and grow, totaling an average of 200+ mentoring hours a month.
Because mentors are a vital part of our culture, we hold them to the highest of standards. We select those who have the professional credentials, as well as the time and dedication to devote to our members.
"Startup Virginia is an exceptional environment. A group of passionate entrepreneurs and thought leaders coming together in concert to make exceptional tools to better the world. Startup Virginia is a catalyst organization fueling the future of the MidAtlantic entrepreneurial ecosystem. I am proud to be a part of it."
– Jeff Palumbo
Being a Mentor at Startup Virginia is both rewarding and fun!"
— Michael Saxon
“Richmond is an amazing place because of its incredible creative energy. It is energizing to work with highly-skilled, mission-driven entrepreneurs who are making a difference by building companies that improve tomorrow.”
— Cliff Fleet
“Being a Startup Virginia mentor has been a very rewarding experience and has given me the opportunity to meet and work with several founders on their successful journey to launch their companies. It is very exciting to be a part of Startup Virginia in its leadership role in the growing Richmond Entrepreneurial Ecosystem."
— John Kemper
“I always feel like I'm getting the better end of the bargain in learning about a startup business from an industry I likely know nothing about. Great learning for me, and fun to share my startup experiences with them!”
— Brad Cummings
"I have volunteered as a mentor with Startup Virginia since early 2017. I have had several mentors over the course of my own career who have helped me tremendously. They have been generous with their time and selfless as they have invested in my development. Being able to pay that gift forward with many of Richmond's startup CEOs has been a great way for me to invest in the community."
— Dave Wasik
"Assisting entrepreneurs to achieve their "Big Ideas" brings me full circle on two quotes that impacted me but I believe them too. The first, "Your life is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life"-Steve Jobs and a quote from Reid Hoffman-"An entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds the plane on the way down."
— Rafe Wilkinsons