Nexus becomes the second UK provider of world-famous mentoring scheme

University of Leeds innovation hub, Nexus, is to join Imperial College, London, as the UK’s only providers of the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Venture Mentoring Service (VMS) Model for supporting new businesses.

The Nexus Venture Mentoring Service, based on the unique team mentoring method created by MIT in Boston, will give business founders access to a prestigious network of trusted experts, including University of Leeds alumni, Angel investors, founders, CFOs, CEOs and entrepreneurs with a wide range of expertise and backgrounds, all dedicated to accelerating their growth which in turn supports the regional economy.

Nexus director, Dr Martin Stow, said: “We want to become an even stronger powerhouse for innovation, recognised nationally and internationally, which means we’re continually adapting to meet the needs of our Nexus member businesses. We’re truly privileged that the University of Leeds has become only the second organisation in the UK to be licensed and trained in the MIT Team Mentoring Model, enabling us to launch this exciting new service for our region’s brilliant entrepreneurs and early stage businesses.”

The unique model provides three mentors to one mentee, ensuring outstanding quality and breadth of advice from an inspiring network of business experts. It operates to a strict code of ethics, which ensures objective, conflict-free and confidential advice from a community of highly committed volunteer mentors who are genuinely motivated to share their expertise in order to help new business develop and thrive.

Jonathan Hewlett, founder and start-up CEO at Pilot Lite Ventures, who is supporting the scheme said: “I’ve been lucky enough to benefit from strong mentors throughout my career and the chance to give something back through Nexus as a University of Leeds graduate is extremely appealing.

“To have a critical, objective and supportive friend to ask the right questions is what makes mentoring a unique enabler for anyone developing their business and career. To provide this as a team of mentors, each able to focus on different strengths and challenges, makes the Nexus model an exceptional opportunity.”

Jerome Smith, co-director of the MIT Venture Mentoring Service, said: “We’re proud to have trained a leadership team from the University of Leeds in the MIT Model, which provides a valuable service to entrepreneurs from the MIT community.

“We’re confident it will have the same success here in Leeds and we look forward to working together with Nexus. Our ambition is to help more business owners to succeed in launching new products and services, growing their businesses and their local economy.”

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