The Mentor Capital Network identifies and supports entrepreneurs who are starting or growing businesses to solve the world’s biggest social, economic, and environmental problems at scale in a way that others will be inspired to follow their lead.

We are efficient in building our programs around work the entrepreneurs would be doing anyways to build their businesses. 

We build engaging mentor and peer-to-peer partnerships where you chose your network based on who you find most helpful. 

We are effective at giving our mentors and entrepreneurs what they need to strengthen our communities. Since 2004, our alumni have created tens of thousands of jobs through companies deploying more than a billion dollars in revenue and funding to solve the world’s hardest problems. 

  • Criteria and Benefits — Information for entrepreneurs who are considering applying for our program
  • Application Information for entrepreneurs who have decided that we can help you.
  • Details for entrepreneurs who have been invited to participate in our program.
  • Mentor Information for individuals who help us support our entrepreneurs.
  • Frequently Asked Questions, in case we missed anything,.

Criteria

  • You must be starting or growing a for-profit company with a social, environmental, and/or cultural mission that makes your company stronger. Simply giving a percentage of your profits to charity, while noble, is not sufficient.
  • Company leadership can be any age, any educational level, and based anywhere in the world.
  • The company can be any stage, and of any type (including co-ops) as long as it is not a solely charitable operation.
  • We don’t care if you are seeking outside investment now, later, or never.
  • You must be able to fill out our application form in English, which should take you 30-40 minutes. (If you are invited to submit a full business plan, that document can be in English, Spanish, or French.)

Benefits

  • An average of 25 pages of constructive feedback on your business plan. We customize a team of mentors to read your business plan and provide you their expertise and perspectives.
  • Mentoring relationships where you and the mentor choose each other. You decide which reviewers you want to engage with, based on the quality of their feedback to you.
  • A network of founders and peers solving similar problems. The MCN is a platform for you to engage with non-competitive peers, founder-to-founder, to learn from and strengthen each other’s efforts.
  • Investor connections. Participation in our programs also gives you an opportunity to be part of our Investor Fishbowl and Green Grab events where we put companies in front of accredited investors to pitch for professional debt or equity investment.
  • Support that doesn’t take you away from running your company. From the ground up, we are built to keep you running your company.

Application Information:

This section is being updated. Please check back shortly.

Timeline for Spring 2020 Cohort: 

This section is being updated. Please check back shortly.

Mentor Information: 

This section is being updated. Please check back shortly.

What were looking for in a Business Plan

Please note that neither the MCN nor our volunteer reviewers will sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) during our program.

Technical Specifications

Your plan should be sent to us as a single file in Adobe PDF, ideally no longer than 23 pages (including the cover sheet and executive summary). Email your plan to network@mentorcapitalnet.org as an attached file. You may reference additional online resources in your business plan, but the reviewers will not be required to view them.

The following information should be included at the beginning of your business plan, or in the text of the email to which your business plan is attached:

  • Company name
  • Name(s) of the lead contact individual(s), and email and telephone contact information.
  • Physical address of the company.
  • Website of the company (if you have one)
  • An answer to: “Where do you need the most help in making your company successful?”
  • A list of any competitors that you want to make sure do not review your plan.

Content

As for the content of your business plan, we are deliberately vague — we want to evaluate your actual business plan, not something you wrote just for the Mentor Capital Network. However, there are some basic elements you should make sure to include.

  • You should describe your Product / Solution. This could cover: what it does, intellectual property, non-IP barriers to entry & technology validation.
  • You should describe your Customers and Marketing Strategy. This could cover: customer engagement, partnerships / channels, market sizing analysis, market segmentation, trend analysis, & pricing strategy.
  • You should describe your Competitive Advantage. This could cover: competition, substitutions, differentiation, and your industry knowledge.
  • You should describe your Team and Major Partners. This could cover: your senior leadership and major partners, and what they bring to the organization.
  • You should describe your Financial Model. Please make sure to include an income statement, actual information for up to the past three years (if you have them) and projections for the next three years.
  • If you are currently seeking Investment, you should make sure to describe what you will do with the investment and how that will move your company forward. You should NOT indicate how much of the company can be purchased with that investment (due to regulations in the USA securities laws).
  • Our slogan is Mission Drives Margin. This means we are looking for companies whose social, environmental, and/or cultural values are part of what will make the company financially successful. Please make sure to cover how that happens in your company. Examples of this could include:
    • Environmental actions that lower your operational risk.
    • Treating your employees, suppliers, and/or partners fairly in a way that reduces turnover costs.
    • Addressing markets that are traditionally ignored. These markets can be delineated by geography, income, class, gender, etc..
    • Using diversity (gender, class, ethnicity, etc.) to strengthen your teamwork, and/or your understanding of your market. If you are unclear on how to do this, we recommend this article as an overview: http://ssir.org/articles/entry/the_rise_of_gender_capitalism.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • While most of the companies in our revenue are either pre-revenue or have 1-3 years of revenue, we have worked with companies that are further along. The key is that you must be open to receiving feedback on your business ideas from reviewers, including industry and regional experts, investors, lawyers, and accountants from around the globe. You must be open to changing your business model, otherwise we can not really add value.
  • You must be interested in building an ongoing relationship with a mentor.
  • You must be able to submit your documents in English, Spanish, or French. Our team’s primary language is English, so if you are working in Spanish or French, please have at least one person we can communicate with in English.
  • The application takes an average of 45 minutes to fill out.
  • If you have already have an existing 2-5 page summary of your program, use that. In all cases, we’d rather give feedback on the document you are currently using.
  • To save you time, we also accept applications that have been submitted to Agora PartnershipsEchoing GreenFledgeGlobal Social Benefit InstituteSeed SpotUncharted, and Village Capital. Just send us the same paperwork you sent them.
  • You may re-submit your application as many times as you want before the deadline.
  • Your leadership team can be any age or educational status.
  • Your company can be based anywhere on earth.
  • You may submit plans for hybrids, or for-profits that are owned by non-profits. But the entity itself must be for-profit.
  • In addition to judging your application on business viability and potential social impact, we also look for companies that we have the specific mentors and resources to help.
  • We do not distribute grants. Any for-profit or non-profit organizations that apply looking only to receive funds will not be considered.