Sawmill Mentee Application

Mentee Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I participate in a mentoring program?

The Sawmill Mentoring Program seeks to offer one-on-one guidance by matching Sawmill Society members with industry experience to mentees searching for advice as they pursue their entrepreneurial vision.

This opportunity is unique to Rose-Hulman-affiliated mentees in that it is focused in entrepreneurship. It offers a chance to learn about others' past challenges, failures, best practices, and wins.

Aside from career advice, mentees can work with their mentors to further their understanding of non-technical aspects of starting a business.

What a mentoring relationship is not:

It is NOT professional legal, accounting, or broker-dealer representation or guidance.

It is NOT an opportunity to pitch for fundraising.

How am I matched with a mentor?

The list of available mentors is posted on the Sawmill Society webpage in the mentor program section.

Applicants to be a mentee may list their top three choices of mentors based on their needs regarding their startup.

A mentor will be chosen based on their availability.

How much time can I expect to spend on this?

The ultimate amount of time spent in conversations between mentor and mentee may be determined by the pair, but the expectation is a minimum of two hours per month.

How do I know if I qualify to have a mentor?

The Sawmill Mentor Program is designed for all ranges of expertise. Whether you are just starting out or just finished your first fundraising round, the goal is to pair mentors and mentees through all stages of a startup.

What should I have prepared to begin working with a mentor?

You can have as much or as little prepared based on your interest and experience to this point. Even if you have no experience, but are interested in learning more about pursuing entrepreneurship.

If you’re interested in a higher-level mentoring relationship, it would be advantageous to have the following things prepared:
1. Business plan
2. Marketing plan or feasibility study
3. Specific needs for next steps
4. Current roadblocks

How will I meet my mentor?

After your application is reviewed, inquiries will be sent to your preferred mentor(s).

Once the mentor has agreed to accept you as a mentee, an introductory email will be sent to both parties. The expectation is communication will begin within one week of introduction.

How long does a mentoring partnership last?

The one-on-one mentoring process can last as long as it needs to, or until the mentor or mentee determines there is no need to continue conversations.

Ideally, this process will generate relationships that will last a lifetime.

Will I maintain ownership of any of my intellectual property?

Yes, but there are additional steps to consider when protecting your ideas.

Any early discussions regarding your idea, technology, or application should be conducted using non-enabling language. This means describing the concept at a high level without divulging the most important aspect or key details of the technology. One must become adept at sharing the necessary information to move the discussion forward while protecting the fundamental details of the idea.

At the appropriate time when both the mentee and mentor agree to dive deeper, a mutual non-disclosure agreement (MNDA) can be executed to protect shared confidential information. An MNDA allows the mentee-mentor discussion to move into important details to further work through more discrete business and/or technology challenges.

Are there any additional benefits to having a mentor?

Several integrated programs at Rose-Hulman hope to offer, in conjunction with the Sawmill Society, special events, panel discussions, virtual and in-person networking opportunities, and more.
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