PENSACOLA: This summer, the Pensacola Entrepreneur Initiative conducted a survey of area entrepreneurs and stakeholders asking for ways to improve the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Greater Pensacola and Escambia County.
The responses have indicated that many entrepreneurs believe that mentorship is among our chief needs in Pensacola.
With that in mind, we have elected to make the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Venture Mentoring Service available to Greater Pensacola’s Entrepreneurs. MIT’s program, which has a specific focus on mentorship for entrepreneurs, has been implemented in 95 communities including Venture Asheville, N.C. and MERLIN Mentors in Madison, Wisconsin, whose programs we visited.
MIT Venture Mentoring Services takes a team mentoring approach with groups of mentors sitting with the entrepreneur(s) in 12-month cohorts that provide practical, day-to-day professional advice and coaching. It utilizes a strict code of ethics to assure objective, conflict-free and confidential coaching and employs best practices for recruiting, training and retaining a community of highly qualified and committed volunteer mentors.
For the first step, we will join together with representatives from our three program partners: FloridaWest, the University of West Florida Center for Entrepreneurship and the Gulf Coast Minority Chamber of Commerce for a three-day training session in Cambridge, Mass. November 19-21.
Later, Program Administrators from MIT will come to Pensacola to train our local mentors on best practices as well as speak to our community about the power of entrepreneurial mentorship. It is our plan to launch the program in Spring 2020 with a CivicCon featuring a guest from the program at MIT.
Those interested in receiving updates from the Pensacola Entrepreneur Initiative, mentoring in the program, or sharing their thoughts, should contact D.C. Reeves at firstname.lastname@example.org.