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Mentor Program Overview

UIC Innovation needs your help to provide guidance and inspire our students along the way! Mentors play an important role in the UIC innovation ecosystem by being an advocate and resource to assist UIC students in exploring and refining their entrepreneurial ideas. With your support, students will feel empowered to grow their idea and achieve their goals.

Mentoring is set up using a pool system where students will review your areas of expertise and schedule time with you during your identified office hours. Some participants may want to meet regularly whereas as others may just need occasional technical assistance or have specific questions they need addressed. Mentoring sessions will range from 15 - 30 minutes each. Please let us know if you find that students are not keeping appointments.

Mentor Expectations & Timeline (Fall and Spring) Heading link

  • Commit to holding office hours for a minimum of 90 minutes until the Demo Day or Blaze Venture Challenge.
    • Share a short bio (include areas of expertise) and headshot to
    • Hold office hours.
  • Participants will reach out directly to schedule a time with you; these meetings can take place virtually or in-person.
  • Approach mentoring with empathy and openness; students have varying levels of experience.
  • Listen, learn, assess, ask questions, provide feedback, and help students set realistic milestones and goals.
  • Share resources and help to connect students with extra assistance as needed.

You, our mentors, make the UIC Innovation Demo Day (Fall) and Blaze Venture Challenge  better –  we hope you can attend!

Apply to be a mentor

Frequently Asked Questions Heading link

  • Mentors may participate virtually if they do not live in the Chicago area.
  • Mentors may meet with teams outside of business hours at their own discretion.
  • We understand that things come up; if your commitment level changes, you can still participate.

If you have questions or concerns as you’re mentoring, the UIC team is here to help! We’ll check in with your regularly, but you can also email us at