RMIT Venture Mentoring Service

RMIT Venture Mentoring Service (VMS) supports RMIT staff, students, and alumni who are embarking on research translation and entrepreneurial journeys.

RMIT VMS is a sister program of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) VMS and the first university in Australia to adopt the MIT model.

What is RMIT Venture Mentoring Service?

RMIT’s Venture Mentoring Service exists to support and guide high-potential RMIT staff, students, and alumni through their research translation and entrepreneurial activities with free and objective mentoring. This mission is based on a number of key understandings:

  • An entrepreneur with a good idea and a connected team of proven Mentors is more likely to succeed.
  • Mentoring works best in a conflict-free, confidential and trusted environment.
  • Team mentoring (multiple mentors matched with an entrepreneur) has proven advantages over traditional forms of one-on-one mentoring.
  • A highly qualified and committed group of volunteer Mentors is the key to a successful venture mentoring program.
  • Mentoring should focus on building stronger entrepreneurs (rather than businesses).
  • Formal, sustainable processes are critical for a successful mentoring program.

What makes this program unique?

RMIT’s Venture Mentoring Service is a sister program to the prestigious MIT Venture Mentoring Service. Unlike other mentoring programs, RMIT VMS’s core focus is on delivering value to Mentors. Mentors not only receive exclusive training upon joining the program, they also connect with other high-calibre Mentors through a group mentoring model and networking events. By focusing on delivering the best experience for Mentors, the program creates a virtuous cycle of value that is ultimately passed on to the entrepreneur.

How much does it pay?

RMIT’s VMS Mentors are all unpaid volunteers.

What are the benefits of becoming an RMIT VMS Mentor?

  • High value pathway to give back to the community
  • Satisfaction / pride in developing the next generation of RMIT student, staff and alumni entrepreneurs
  • Exposure to exciting Ventures, bleeding-edge research, clever ideas, and exciting new products and services
  • Opportunity to meet, network with and learn from other high-calibre Mentors
  • Camaraderie of being a part of an active and engaged community
  • Pride in the connection with a prestigious program

What qualifies me to be a Mentor?

  • Significant and relevant experience (professional skills, industry domains or business roles)
  • Enthusiasm for the program
  • No biases or conflicts of interest
  • Comfortable with Team Mentoring format
  • Ability to advise and coach through constructive critiquing
  • Respected by colleagues
  • Time to participate
  • Note that you do not have to be a startup founder or affiliated with RMIT to be a Mentor

What is the time commitment?

  • Two hours per month per Venture (you can mentor multiple Ventures if your time permits)
  • This time per Venture includes:
    • Monthly Mentoring Session (90 minutes via video conference)
    • Communications, reviewing Venture documents, Venture follow-up (30 minutes)

What backgrounds do Mentors have?

  • Mentors come from a variety of backgrounds, from C-suite to startup founders to consultants
  • The current cohort of Mentors hold (or have held) senior leadership roles in organisations including:

ANZ Committee for Melbourne KPMG Australia SJS Strategy
ATMC Education Group Corei Web Mentorhub Tank
Auslaser Business Solutions CSIRO Monash University TickBox
Barons Medical Consulting Daymark NAB Trajan Scientific and Medical
Biarri Donovan Leadership No to Violence Transpire
BioRevive Evans & Partners Origin Energy VidVersity
Brockhurst Consulting FastTrack Recruitment & Staffing Software Qualia Technology LTD W3 Digital
businestorylab Gloweave Consolidated Pty Ltd RACV World Vision Australia
Buzz Products GrowthOps Rare Birds Lab YMCA Victoria
Capgemini IBM iX Red Cross Blood Services  
Career Money Life Idea2Opportunity Riggident  
carsales.com Ltd Intellimedical Technologies Salesforce  
Chandler Macleod Kathmandu Strategic Commercialisation Australia  

 

What do Mentors love about VMS?

Our VMS Mentors are a community of passionate and experienced professionals. The value Mentors get out of VMS is so great that we have less than 1% attrition rate because they are so engaged in the program. The word spreads fast too - most new Mentors that enter the program have been recommended by existing Mentors. Here’s what some of them had to say about the program:

“Our team has a good mix of skills and people are respectful of each other’s contribution. We have just jelled and loved the experience!”

“I’ve loved our team; we have thoroughly enjoyed meeting each other and learning from each other”

What are the benefits of becoming an RMIT VMS Mentee?

  • Confidential access, free of charge, to a diverse group of highly qualified and experienced Mentors
  • Participation in an exclusive, high-value program based on the MIT mentorship methodology - the first at any university in Australia

What qualifies me to be a Mentee?

  • You are an RMIT affiliate - staff, student, or alumnus
  • You are embarking on a research translation and/or an entrepreneurial journey (at any stage)
  • You are amenable to constructive feedback and mentorship
  • You are respectful, diligent, reliable, and will be engaged in the program

What is the time commitment?

  • 90-min mentorship sessions as and when required (i.e. every four to six weeks)
  • ‘Homework’ action items that you and your Mentors have agreed will help progress your venture in the next month

What are other Mentees saying about the program?

“It is OUTSTANDING”

“VMS is invaluable to our business: amazing mentors help keep us focused on the right goals, and regular meetings ensure we're actually making progress”

“VMS really helped me to reframe my value proposition, get a shareholders agreement in place and practice my pitch"

“It’s challenging, scary and often vulnerable to sit in front of a team of experts, but the insights and reflection gained from experience cannot be matched"

“The initiative is one that is a must for all startups and scaling businesses”

Who can I contact for more information or to express my interest?

For more information on the program, please email the team vms@rmit.edu.au.

What types of Ventures is VMS for?

The VMS Program is open to any RMIT affiliate (i.e. staff member, student, or alumni) embarking on an entrepreneurial or research translation journey. Some examples of current and past teams include:

Entrepreneurial Ventures

Research Translation Initiatives

The VMS team

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Get in touch with the VMS team

For more information on the program, please email the team at:

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.