EPIC MENTORS

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

The EPIC Mentorship Program engages volunteer entrepreneurs, academics, and professionals from a variety of disciplines to assist EPIC Teams of students from Post-Secondary Institutions in the development of their social ventures. Depending upon their expertise, mentors are divided into two cohorts:  EPIC TEAM Mentors & EPIC Specialized Mentors

EPIC Mentors commit to volunteering 4 to 6 hours a month virtually online for up to 4 months or 16 weeks during the EPIC team’s incubator program which takes place annually from August to November each year. Depending upon their expertise, mentors are divided into two cohorts:

All mentors will receive a one-hour specialized training to be scheduled prior to any Team assignment. Language fluency that aligns with an EPIC Teams spoken language will also be essential. In special cases another language may be used as an alternative language providing the EPIC Team is fluent in that language. Mentoring hours will be scheduled so to avoid mentor scheduling conflicts. Mentors will receive a certification from the Social Ventures Foundation for their participation in the program.

 

Please read the FAQ sheet below which should answer any other question you might have. If you have any further
questions, please feel free to email our Mentorship Administrator Pati@socialventuresfoundation.org

EPIC Specialized mentors will have specific expertise in one or more sectors including but not limited to: business, social media, engineering, health, nutrition, franchising, accounting, housing, sanitation and alternative energy and many other sectors. Specialized mentors will be assigned to EPIC teams which are focused on a social venture that aligns with the sector given that sector expertise can be very helpful in enhancing the venture. Specialized mentors will be scheduled for one-hour sessions with one or more sector aligned teams. A certain familiarity with entrepreneurship should be demonstrated in the applicant’s profile, either by having worked with entrepreneurs in the past, launched a personal venture, or cultivated a passion for the topic.

EPIC SPECIALIZED MENTORS

EPIC TEAM MENTORS

EPIC Team mentors are required to have a background in entrepreneurship which translates to having participated as a principal or ranking employee in one or more startups. EPIC Team mentors will be assigned to a specific EPIC University Team and mentor that Teams social venture development throughout the Team’s entire incubator process. This mentorship will also include helping the Team to prepare for their National EPIC competition. Team assignment will be “drawn from a hat” to avoid any conflicts of interest or favoritism given that all Teams will compete in national EPIC competitions.

MENTOR APPLICATION

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Which languages are you proficient in?
Will you be able to allocate 5 hours a month from May to August 2022?
Will you be able to allocate 5 hours a month from August 2022 to November 2022?
Do you have mentorship experience?
Which age group did you mentor?
How many startups have you participated in (Entrepreneurship Experience)
Do you consider yourself competent in mentoring a social venture startup team?

EPIC Mentors commit to volunteering 4 to 6 hours a month virtually online for up to 4 months or 16 weeks during the EPIC team’s incubator program which takes place annually from August to November each year. Depending upon their expertise, mentors are divided into two cohorts:

 

 
 

MENTORSHIP FAQ

WHAT IS THE EPIC MENTORSHIP PROGRAM?
We provide a 100% online incubation program that help early-stage social entrepreneurs to structure and develop their early-stage social ventures.
Our program provides:

  • 3-month access to our learn-by-doing proven methodology.

  • 18 hours of mentorship to teams of 5 students EPIC with your personal support.

  • EPIC Teams Social venture that will leverage the collective intelligence of the group.“Checkpoints”, online meetings with your cohort and our team to deepen the work on each critical aspect of the

  • Lifetime access to a community of fellow EPIC mentors.

  • Participation in the EPIC National competition that awards grants for commercial proofs of concepts with your EPIC Team or to support EPIC Teams that you were a specialized mentor.

  • Given that the program is 100% online, a mentor can easily join from anywhere in the world. As of today the Program is available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish

  • EPIC mentors need to have a minimum of 5 years of post-academic professional experience.

  • Social venture and the nature of it.economic status, country of origin, current location, gender, race, or any other factor not directly related to the  The EPIC Mentor selection process does not inadvertently discriminate on the basis of education level, socio-economic status.


WHAT HAS BEEN THE SUCCESS OF THE EPIC INCUBATOR?
So far, 1,000 entrepreneurs from around the world (57 countries) have gone through the Bridge for Billions Incubator which is employed by EPIC which will be undergoing certain modifications for EPIC’s focus on Social entrepreneurship. Around 80% of all who start the program successfully complete incubation within the 4 months and emerge with a viable business plan for their go-to-market and/or fundraising efforts.

 

More commonly, participants emerge with a roadmap for continuing to test and update their idea and many of them use the knowledge gained through the tools and curriculum to test other ideas after the program ends. Some of them discover quickly that their initial idea will not work–and they report that their time was well spent discovering this sooner rather than later! In the months following the program, 88% of entrepreneurs have rated the program as critical
to their success and a year after, 73% of businesses are still in operations.

 

WHAT TYPES OF SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS ARE ENGAGED IN EPIC TEAMS?
We support early stage social entrepreneurs that either have researched local poverty reduction and SDG challenge and have formed teams focused on developing a solution for a specific challenge that they’re passionate about pursuing

 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A MENTOR? WHAT DO I GAIN FROM BEING A MENTOR?
Being a mentor will benefit you in several ways. First, it will allow you to meet and connect with social entrepreneurs based on your interests and expertise, anytime, anywhere through our online platform. It will also give you the chance to expand your network by joining other professionals that share your interests. Finally, it will enable you to develop your own skills as a mentor, exposing yourself to the latest innovation and entrepreneurship methodologies, while
helping a startup business to grow. Mentoring with EPIC is an impactful experience that you can do from pretty much anywhere where you have internet.

 

WHAT WILL BE MY ROLE AS AN EPIC MENTOR? ON WHAT SUBJECTS WILL I SUPPORT THE ENTREPRENEUR?
As a mentor, you will guide your EPIC Team throughout our 4 month structured program. You will be the person who can understand the ins and outs of their social venture and, week after week, help them to validate their strategy for each critical stage, from targeting the right customers, to building a 3-year growth plan. You will support your social entrepreneurial EPIC Team through virtual collaboration on the platform as well as video chats once a week. We also
encourage any connection or extra resource that you can share with them. The EPIC Teams program is made of 8 business tools:

  • Value Proposition

  • Competition Map

  • Stakeholder Map

  • Business Model & Marketing

  • Pricing &Business Viability

  • Financial Projections

  • Impact Plan

  • Growth Plan

These tools will guide you as well as the entrepreneur in effectively covering and validating each critical aspect of the business planning process.

 

CAN I MENTOR A PROJECT IF I HAVEN'T BEEN AN ENTREPRENEUR MYSELF?

Yes! As a Specialized Mentor we believe different professionals can bring different expertise and skill sets that can be very useful to innovate or to enter a new sector. We believe in transferable skills and we are sure that whatever professional skills you can bring to the table there will be a need that an EPIC Team has.
 

DO YOU PROVIDE HELP/ TRAINING/ MATERIAL FOR INEXPERIENCED MENTORS?
Yes — once you have officially been accepted as a mentor, you will be invited to follow an onboarding training where we’ll explain our innovation-based social entrepreneurship methodology and how our platform works. You’ll get the chance to meet other mentors, and of course we’ll be here to answer all of your questions! You will also join an online community of mentors to spark conversations, share extra resources, and keep learning!

 

CAN I MENTOR MULTIPLE PROJECTS AT ONCE?
Yes, you can! For your first time around mentoring with us, we recommend that you focus on one project to be as engaged as possible. After that, we’re more than happy if you want to support other EPIC teams at the same time. Our only ask is that you be realistic with your time commitment: we don’t want anyone to overcommit or raise expectations for the other party that they won’t be able to meet.

 

HOW ARE THE EPIC TEAMS SELECTED?
Like you, EPIC Team members go through a selection process once they’ve applied to join the program. Each participating University offers a special EPIC assembly which explains the EPIC program to the student body. Although up to 1000 students may participate in the assembly only 25 students will be selected by the Post-Secondary Team Coach together with the EPIC National Team Coach. So at the end of the day EPIC Teams, Like a football team will consist of the best most passionate students who are mission driven to find solutions to local poverty reduction and SDG challenges within their communities.


HOW OFTEN CAN I GET MATCHED WITH AN EPIC TEAM? HOW DOES IT WORK?
EPIC Teams is a pipeline that focuses on the development of social ventures. These ventures then enter into a Nation competition that selects the most outstanding. Given that we want to have a level and fully transparent playing field for the competition, all teams will utilize the same EPIC incubator undergoing an identical development process. So as not to “load the deck” or play favorites given the National competitions that lie ahead, EPIC Team Mentors will be assigned
to specific EPIC Teams randomly. EPIC specialized mentors will be assigned to EPIC Teams based upon the nature of the social venture. Once signed, you’ll be ready to engage in the EPIC Teams program!


HOW WILL I WORK AND COMMUNICATE EPIC TEAMS?
Our platform has been built to facilitate collaboration. Once you have access to the workspace of an EPIC Team you’ll be able to work together through comments on every aspect of their business plan, and you’ll also have access to your own team video room embedded in our platform, so that every week you can meet and talk as if you were in the same room,
in just a few clicks. Apart from your private project workspace, you will have an online group with all of the participants from your cohort (mentors and social entrepreneurs) to share articles and resources, ask questions, and overcome challenges together. Lastly, you’ll also have one-to-one messaging with your mentee(s) available, and each team can decide (or not) to use alternative communication channels such as phone, WhatsApp, email, Slack, etc.


WHAT ARE THE ELIGIBLE CRITERIA TO BE AN EPIC MENTOR? HOW ARE THE

MENTORS SELECTED?
Join us if you have a passion to help aspiring entrepreneurs  — the greater the diversity in mentor profiles and backgrounds, the greater the chances of creating fruitful matches. Professionals from all industries and fields are welcome to apply, you only need to have a minimum of 5 years of post-academic professional experience. For young professionals with a few years of professional experience, we will ask extra questions and a short application video. A
certain familiarity with entrepreneurship should be demonstrated in the applicant’s profile, either by having worked with entrepreneurs in the past, launched a personal venture, or cultivated a passion for the topic. Applications are evaluated individually by the Bridge for Billions team, and after you’re accepted you’ll be invited to one of our online onboarding training sessions for mentors to learn more about their role and our methodology.

 

WHAT IS THE COMMITMENT REQUIRED?
Mentor applicants should show a passion for helping aspiring social entrepreneurs and should be ready to commit in order to ensure quality mentorship and a productive business relationship. Mentors can always choose when to work with a project or not, but once a commitment is made, the time requirement is approximately 1.5 hrs per week for the
duration of the social entrepreneur’s incubation program from August to November (4 months).

 

WHERE CAN I APPLY TO BE A MENTOR?
Start your application process by  filling out our application form above. We’ll notify you once your application has been approved and we’ll invite you to a onboarding call to give you a warm welcome, acquaint you to your role and our methodology and explain how to explore projects.

 

WHERE DO I NEED TO BE LOCATED TO BE A MENTOR?
Anywhere you have an internet connection! The EPIC incubation program is entirely online so you can easily join from anywhere in the world. As of today the program is available in English, Spanish and soon in French. Stay tuned for new languages to come!

 

DO I GET PAID AS A MENTOR?
Being an EPIC mentor is a 100% volunteer experience in which you’ll impact the life of a social entrepreneur EPIC Team when it’s most needed and to help them learn top-notch entrepreneurship methodologies.

 

WILL I EARN A CERTIFICATE FOR MENTORING?
Yes, mentors who successfully complete the incubation program may request a certificate.
I know an organization that would be interested in working with EPIC. Who can I contact?
EPIC is focused on obtaining support from corporations, foundations, investment funds, and individuals which wish to support its social entrepreneurship programs. To learn more, and get in touch with partnerships@socialventuresfoundation.org