Do you have any questions? Here are the answers!
What does a Bridge for Billions program look like?
- We offer different incubation programs, some 100% online and others hybrid, that help early stage entrepreneurs to structure and develop their business ideas or projects. All our programs offer:
- Access to our platform for the duration of the program. The platform includes our 8 online business modules where the entrepreneur will learn as they go while developing their idea, validating their business plan and confirming that their product or service fits the market.
- 1h/1h30 of weekly mentoring with you (your mentor).
- Group meetings with other entrepreneurs in your program, where you will not only develop soft skills such as communication and leadership but also have the opportunity to network and connect with other participants.
- Lifetime access to our community of entrepreneurs and mentors from around the world.
- The ability to download your business executive summary at the end of the program, a comprehensive document that you can use when seeking investors, grants, partners and co-founders to increase your chances of success.
- A program certificate that you will receive if you successfully complete the program. You, as a mentor, will also receive your own Mentoring Certificate.
- Access to tools and discounts on services for your startup such as Google Cloud Services, Taskade, Mailjet, Hubspot for Startups, Amazon Web Services, and Stripe to name a few.
So far we have supported more than 3,800 entrepreneurs from all over the world (99 countries) with the support of more than 3,000 volunteer mentors. About 80% of all those who start the incubation program successfully complete it within 4 months and finish it with a viable business plan for market launch and/or fundraising. Some entrepreneurs have even launched their prototypes and generated sales and revenue during the incubation program.
Most commonly, participants leave the program with clear guidance to continue testing and updating their idea. In addition, many of them use the knowledge gained through the tools and their business plan to test new ideas after the program ends, while others quickly discover that their initial idea will not work, and are confident that they have invested their time well because they were able to realize this before investing more resources in the program.
After going through the program, 88% of the entrepreneurs rated it as essential to their success and, after one year, 73% of the companies are still in operation.
- Early-stage entrepreneurs who have a solid idea that they are passionate about and have validated through the customer discovery and market/industry research processes. that they are passionate about, an MVP/prototype with little business structure or a start-up company.
- Entrepreneurs from all over the world with a good internet connection and ideally access to a laptop or computer.
- Committed entrepreneurs who can dedicate 6 to 8 hours per week to the program.
Most of our programs are open to all sectors and profiles of entrepreneurs, although some have specifics, so be sure to review the program details before exploring projects and meeting with an entrepreneur.
What does it mean to be a mentor?
Voluntary mentoring will benefit you in several ways.
- You will learn from the latest innovation and entrepreneurship methodologies while developing your leadership skills. Our active learning model facilitates the role of the mentor by providing a clear structure and resources explained in a simple and practical way.
- You will meet entrepreneurs based on your interests and experience, and guide them through our online platform while you are part of the growth of a new company.
- You will have the opportunity to expand your network by joining more than 3,000 professionals who share your interests.
- You will guide courageous projects that tackle the toughest social challenges and generate new employment opportunities.
- Be part of the change and lead the future.
- You will develop your professional skills (soft and hard).
In addition, being a Bridge for Billions mentor is an impactful experience that you can do from anywhere you have internet access, so you can tailor your mentoring to fit your lifestyle.
As a mentor, you will guide the project through our structured program and incubation tools for the duration of the program (the average duration of our programs is 4 months, although there are some exceptions).
You will support your entrepreneur through video calls once a week and by reviewing the work he/she is progressing in each of the tools of our online platform (you can also share any extra tool or resource you consider necessary). Our platform consists of 8 business tools:
- Value Proposition
- Competitor Map
- Strategic Partners Map
- Business Models and Marketing
- Price and Business Viability
- Financial Projections
- Impact Plan
- Growth Plan
These tools will guide you and the entrepreneur to effectively cover and validate every critical aspect of the business planning process. Learn more about our tools here.
During the duration of the program (the average time of our programs is 4 months, although there are some exceptions), you will have to meet once a week with your entrepreneur for 1h/1h30 (we call these meetings “mentoring sessions”.) In addition, we recommend always dedicating at least 30 extra minutes to review and validate your entrepreneur’s progress on the platform, and go to the meetings prepared.
In addition, optionally, you can join our community sessions (called Mentors Café) which are held once a month and where you can share with other mentors the challenges you are facing as well as networking.
We believe that the matching process between mentors and entrepreneurs is one of the key moments for the success of the program. That is why we have created our “organic matching” process.
What does this mean? You will have the opportunity to meet the projects you find most interesting and meet briefly with them by video call to learn more details. We will then ask you to rank the projects that caught your attention (the entrepreneurs will do the same) so that the best mentor/entrepreneur pairs are generated. In this way we ensure that we create solid and lasting mentoring relationships.
Yes! Although we have many mentors who have already been founders, we believe that different professionals can bring different knowledge and skills that can be very useful to innovate or to enter a new sector. We believe in transferable skills and we are sure that whatever skills you can bring to the table, some entrepreneur will take advantage of it!
Yes, once you have been officially accepted as a mentor, you will be invited to an onboarding call for a training course where you will learn about our innovation methodology and how our platform works.
Both in this initial call and in the monthly meetings we organize, you will have the opportunity to meet other mentors and mentees. You will also be part of our online mentoring community where you can start conversations, share additional resources and keep learning!
Yes, you can! The first time, we recommend that you focus on a single project to be as involved as possible. After that, we would be delighted if you decide to support several entrepreneurs at the same time. The only thing we ask is that you be realistic with the time commitment: we don’t want anyone to overcommit themselves or raise expectations that they can’t meet.
Like you, entrepreneurs go through a selection process once they have applied to any of our programs. All of our programs are open to any entrepreneur who meets our selection criteria and can commit to the duration of the program.
We have developed a selection process that evaluates the maturity of the business and the level of commitment of the entrepreneur and does not inadvertently discriminate on the basis of education level, socioeconomic status, country of origin, current location, gender, race, or any other factor not directly related to the business and the nature of the business.
Our basic selection criteria are as follows (there may be more specific criteria depending on the program):
- The applicant must be the founder or main initiator of the project.
- The project must be in one of the following stages of development: idea or concept developed; project or Minimum Viable Product; and start-up or recently launched.
- The applicant must treat this project as his or her priority at this time (we cannot accept applicants who are not serious about developing their businesses).
- The applicant must also have a desire to be part of a special community of early-stage global entrepreneurs and be willing to play an active role within this community.
We are constantly opening new calls, register and explore the currently open programs here. When the matching process of one of the active programs starts you will be able to register and invite the projects you are most interested in to an initial meeting and decide if you want to work together. Once both parties agree on a collaboration you will sign a Mentoring Agreement.
Our platform has been built to facilitate collaboration. Once you have access to an entrepreneur’s workspace, you can work together leaving feedback on every aspect of their business plan.
You will also have access to our platform chat to communicate with the rest of the program participants as well as our video tool integrated in our platform, so that every week you will be able to meet and talk as if you were in the same room.
Apart from your private project workspace, in some of our programs we create an online group with all the participants of your call (mentors and entrepreneurs) to share articles and resources, ask questions and overcome challenges together. Keep in mind that in all our programs there will be online sessions to connect with other mentors and mentees, sharing is much better!
Finally, you will also have direct messages to communicate with project members from the platform, and each team can decide (or not) to use alternative communication channels such as phone, Whatsapp, email or Slack to name a few.
How do I apply to join as a mentor?
Join us if you have a passion for helping aspiring entrepreneurs: the more diverse the profiles and experience of the mentors, the greater the chances of creating fruitful synergies. Professionals from all industries and fields are welcome, all you need is a minimum of 5 years of post-academic professional experience. For young professionals with less years of professional experience, we will ask additional questions.
The applicant profile should demonstrate some familiarity with entrepreneurship, either by working with entrepreneurs in the past, launching a personal venture or cultivating a passion for the subject. Applications are evaluated individually by the Bridge for Billions team, and after you are accepted you will be invited to one of our online onboarding sessions where mentors learn more about their role and our methodology.
Don’t forget that some of our programs may have specific selection criteria, so check the profiles that each program is looking for before applying.
Mentors can always choose when to join a program call. Once you commit the time required is approximately 1.5 hours per week (1h of mentoring session and minimum 30 minutes of review of the work on the platform) for the duration of the incubation program (the average time of our programs is 4 months, although there are some exceptions).
If you want to participate in one of our programs but don’t know which one go to the Mentors page and check which programs have open calls right now (we update this page constantly). If you meet the program requirements then create your mentor account and apply here (it won’t take you more than 20 minutes).
If you are already familiar with any of our open calls, then go to the program’s website and apply directly there.
Once you apply to a program, and it is about to start, we will invite you to the first Onbarding session where you will learn more about the program, our methodology and connect with other mentors. These sessions also occur monthly.
Anywhere you have an Internet connection! Our incubation programs can be done completely remotely as it is 100% online, so you can easily connect from anywhere in the world.
Other frequently asked questions
Being a Bridge for Billions mentor is a 100% volunteer experience. As a mentor, you will have a positive impact on someone’s life. You will meet profiles with innovative ideas and develop your mentoring skills, exposing you to the latest innovation and entrepreneurship methodologies while helping a start-up grow.
Yes, mentors who successfully complete the incubation program can apply for their own Mentorship Agreement.
Of course! Tell the entrepreneur to apply and, if accepted, he/she will be able to select you as a mentor later in our matching process.
We advise you to have a laptop or desktop computer and preferably one of these browsers: Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox. However, our platform is also suitable for cell phones.
Also, we expect you to have a stable and reliable internet connection both for your weekly review on the platform and to participate in the calls with your entrepreneur via video call.
Bridge for Billions co-creates innovation programs with public and private organizations. These organizations work with us to create entrepreneurship programs that foster social innovation, promote diversity, equity and inclusion as well as economic development for diverse groups.
If you know of an organization (corporation, foundation, investment fund or development agency) that might be interested in building a program please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with more information.