The SJF Cleantech Mentorship Program provides a unique opportunity for cleantech entrepreneurs across the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Appalachia region to accelerate the growth of their private companies by engaging with a nationwide network of experienced entrepreneurial and industry leaders. This program will be administered through an online community facilitated by SJF Institute and will provide entrepreneurs access to resources, connections and the support needed to address the business challenges they face.
- Initial Assessment: The program will begin with an initial assessment of the entrepreneur’s business model by SJF staff. The entrepreneur and SJF staff will jointly identify business development priorities and goals for the course of the mentorship program.
- Mentor Engagement: SJF staff will facilitate interactions between Entrepreneurs and Mentors through the SJF Cleantech Community as well as encourage the opportunity for one-on-one communication. Mentors will be added to the program on a rolling basis and are required to meet criteria that demonstrate their ability to offer substantial value and adequate time resources. Mentors are typically seasoned executives, industry experts, or an experienced practitioner in the business issues most relevant to entrepreneurs.
- Online Cleantech Community: Entrepreneurs will have access to a national network of mentors, peer cleantech entrepreneurs and SJF Ventures and SJF Institute staff. The online portal will provide a platform for interactive discussions and information sharing and will allow entrepreneurs located in geographically disperse areas to engage with additional support beyond local resources.
- Entrepreneur Discussions and Webinars: SJF will conduct conference calls or webinars every four to six weeks for all Cleantech Mentorship entrepreneurs. These calls will address various business issues including: Capital Raising, Sales & Marketing, Recruitment and Employee Engagement, Policy and Regulatory Environment, etc. The information will be presented by experts in the field with the opportunity to engage in Q&A and follow-up discussions.
Early stage cleantech entrepreneurs that are committed to accelerating their private company’s growth and are able and willing to engage in regular discussions through an online community and participate in monthly business topic calls and webinars. Entrepreneurs are also strongly encouraged to attend at least one in-person SJF organized event in Raleigh-Durham or NYC. A schedule of these events and assistance with travel can be arranged after being accepted into the program. Applications will be evaluated on the viability and potential of the business model, market size and need for the product or service, experience of the entrepreneur/ management team, and the ability of the entrepreneur to benefit from the program.
Applicants will be accepted on a rolling admission basis. However, SJF Institute may cease accepting applications after a maximum number of program participants has been reached.
- Registration Fee: Selected entrepreneurs will be required to pay a $500 fee to participate. This fee can be fully credited back to entrepreneurs as travel reimbursement for attending any of the eight events hosted by SJF Institute in NYC and Raleigh-Durham in 2011.
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2010 SJF Cleantech Mentorship Program Summary
The 2010 SJF Cleantech Mentorship program included six content sessions which covered strategic planning, pitching to investors and valuation/terms discussion, sales and marketing strategy, managing growth and effective leadership, one-on-one with investors, and an open forum networking session. In addition to the content sessions and feedback from SJF staff, entrepreneurs participating in the program received guidance and feedback from experience mentors throughout the year.
The Institute for Sustainable Development / Green Plus