Mentorship

Your Personal Sounding Board

Starting a business can be overwhelming! It’s important for new founders to have someone they can turn to for guidance. Our BCITSA Entrepreneurship Mentorship program gives students and alumni an opportunity to connect with and learn from experienced entrepreneurs and business experts. Mentees meet with their mentors on a regular basis over a six-month period to get support to launch or grow their startups, set business goals, and work towards achieving them.


Program Details & Requirements

  • The program runs for six months. Mentee-mentor pairs should expect to devote approximately two hours per month to meet with one another.
  • Meetings can take place virtually (via webcam), over the phone, or in-person if practicing physical distancing safety measures. Please note that our Fall 2020 intake (September 2020 – February 2021) will be 100% virtual and we encourage pairs to choose virtual meetings at all times during this period.
  • The program is designed to be mentee-driven, meaning that mentees are expected to take the initiative for the relationship.
  • Mentees are responsible for setting their business goals, scheduling meetings with their mentors, providing meeting agendas before meetings, and coming prepared with topics and discussion points.
  • The mentorship program is free for BCIT students and alumni.

Two intakes per academic year:

Fall: September to February
Winter: February to July

Please contact Laura Barreca if you are interested in becoming a mentor (Lbarreca@bcitsa.ca)

Tell me more about being a

Top Reasons to Join the Program

  1. Gain valuable startup advice from an experienced entrepreneur or subject matter expert matched with you based on your business goals.
  2. Develop entrepreneurial skills and knowledge in strategic and operational processes, business planning, funding, and other areas in line with your specific business goals.
  3. Access additional resources and support to get closer to launching or growing a successful business.
  4. Learn to set and prioritize strategic business goals.
  5. Improve your interpersonal skills and learn about business networking.

Requirements

To be considered for the program, you must:

  1. Be a BCIT student (full-time or part-time) or BCIT alumnus
  2. Have an established idea for a business

You must be willing to:

  1. Create business goals to work towards with your mentor’s support during the program. (Training on goal-setting will be provided.)
  2. Meet with your assigned mentor for at least one hour per month for the six months of the program.
  3. Complete mandatory mentee training before the start of the mentoring relationship.
  4. Complete monthly progress check-ins with program staff.

Mentee Application Process

How to Apply:

  1. Complete the online application for the next intake: Apply Here
  2. After the application deadline, you will be invited to book and attend an intake interview.

Application DEADLINE for the next intake (Winter 2021: February 2021 – July 2021): Monday, January 11, 2021.

Selection Criteria

You must:

  1. Be at a stage where you are positioned to benefit from mentorship. We will help you determine if mentorship is right for you at your current stage of business development, or if there is another service that may be a better fit to help prepare you for mentorship at a later stage.
  2. Be able to meet mandatory program commitments: Complete mentee training and meet monthly communication requirements with your mentor and program staff. More details will be provided during training.
  3. Understand that selection is subject to mentor availability.

Mentee FAQ:

How do you decide who will be my mentor?

After you complete the application form and once applications close, you will be invited for an intake interview. During the intake interview, we will get to know more about you, your business goals (both short- and long-term), and what your biggest needs are.

Based on the information you share with us, we will go through our database of available mentors to match you with someone who can help you with your specific business goals and needs.

Who are the mentors in the program?

Mentors in our program are volunteers, and are usually experienced entrepreneurs themselves. They are from diverse industries and backgrounds. We also recruit industry experts from a variety of fields, as mentees often need expert support for tasks like prototyping, business communication, networking, or marketing.

Can I work with my mentor for more than six months?

You can continue to work with your mentor informally after the mentoring period ends IF both you and your mentor agree to keep working together. This is a conversation you can have with your mentor in the last month of the program. You will be provided with training on how you can approach such a conversation. Please be aware that mentors are generously volunteering their time for this program, and do not always have capacity to continue working with mentees after the program ends.

Can I be part of the program more than once?

Yes, you can apply for mentorship as many times as you wish.

Please note that we will only match you if you will benefit from mentorship in your current stage of business development. Also, you will need to do an intake interview each time you apply so that we can assess what your needs are for successful matching purposes.

Do I have to be a recent graduate to be able to apply for this program or is it open to all BCIT students and alumni?

This program is open to all BCIT students and alumni. If you are a BCIT graduate, it doesn’t matter if you graduated this year or ten years ago. As long as you are new to entrepreneurship and need support to launch or grow your startup, we’ll match you if we have a mentor that can support you with your business goals.

What happens if you don’t have a mentor match for me?

We will do our best to match you with a mentor closest to your business goals and needs if you are ready for mentorship.

If we don’t have a mentor that meets your needs available for the intake you’re applying for, we will refer you to other resources to support you, and we will keep you top of mind for matching in the next intake.

Top Reasons to Become a Mentor

  1. Share your knowledge with eager new entrepreneurs who are just starting out!
  2. Make a difference in a new founder’s entrepreneurial journey!
  3. Give back to the community!
  4. Build your professional network by meeting other mentors and founders!

Mentor Expectations

Mentors in our program are usually experienced entrepreneurs themselves. We also recruit industry experts from a variety of fields, as mentees often need expert support for tasks like prototyping, business communication, networking, or marketing. You should consider becoming a mentor if any of the following apply to you:

  1. You started your own business.
  2. You joined a startup team in a company’s early stages and helped to build the business.
  3. You aren’t an entrepreneur, but you’re an expert in a particular field of business (for example, marketing, finance, logistics, or another area).
  4. You are an instructor at BCIT or other schools and teach in an area that could support a startup (trades, engineering, business, etc.).
  5. You want to share your knowledge and support new and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Mentors must be willing to:

  1. Meet with their mentee at least once a month for the six months of the program. Mentee-mentor pairs normally allocate approximately two hours/month for meetings and set their own meeting schedules, so you can customize meeting times to work for you.
  2. Complete a concise online mentor orientation on your own time before the start of mentoring to familiarize yourself with the program structure.

Mentor Application Process

We are always looking for experienced founders and industry experts to join our roster of amazing mentors!

To express your interest in becoming a mentor, please complete our online application.

*Please note that for Fall 2020 (September 2020 – February 2021), the program will take place virtually.

Feel free to contact Laura Barreca if you have any questions about becoming a mentor in our program: Lbarreca@bcitsa.ca