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The importance of mentors

Mentors are at the core of the Institute for the Global Entrepreneur programs.  The I-Corps™ Mentor Network embodies the public-private partnership at the heart of the NSF Innovation Corps. Through the Network, I-Corps™ Teams have access to a broad range of commercialization expertise as well as potential sources for business relationships and partnerships.

Mentoring with IGE

The Institute for the Global Entrepreneur invites experienced entrepreneurs and industry leaders to join us in our mission to educate, train and mentor high potential engineering and technology leaders. Our mentors find it a personally rewarding to give back and share their knowledge and insights with the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders.

Interest in becoming a mentor?



If you have any questions, please reach out to Marie Christensen at or see our FAQs

Role of Mentor

NSFI-Corps™  and Accelerator Mentors

The NSF I-Corps™, Global Training, and Accelerator mentors are typically individuals who are entrepreneurs, industry experts  and/or have experience transitioning technology from research to market.  Their role is essential in guiding and advising the teams as they determine their market value proposition as well as assisting with industry introductions.

The IGE NSF I-Corps™ mentor also provides feedback and updates to the I-Corps program director on teams’ progress and program assessment. The IGE I-Corps™ mentors are expected to work with their teams at least 5 hours a week (including class time) as they provide meaningful guidance.  The IGE NSF I-Corps™ mentor is not compensated, but often enough, there are opportunities in other internal programs where they are able to receive compensation.

The IGE Accelerator and Global Training Mentor are individuals with deep industry, investment, or entrepreneurship experience. They work with companies without expectation of reward or compensation.  They will share their knowledge and guidance freely and will open their networks when appropriate. Mentors are expected to work with the teams for a minimum of 9 months or longer as the team progresses.  IGE Accelerators are compensated for their time.  

Other Opportunities

IGE mentors are often called on to participate in other activities within IGE and around campus.  UC San Diego Ecosystem is thriving with startup and entrepreneurial activities.  Activities such as Accelerator Review Panels and Triton Innovation Challenge judges to name a few.  Often, they are invited to speak at events around their specific expertise.

Current Mentors

Claude Benchimol

Mary Ann Beyster

Jim Bixby

Jennifer Cayer

Michael Collins

Charles Curbbun

Mario Diez

Mark Dilorio

Ricardo dos Santos

Darrell Drinan

Dan Flanegan

Carolyn Fritz

Richard Garber

Catherine Gauthier Whitwer

Alyssa Gutner-Davis

Eamen Hameed

Matt Hedayat

Annika Jimenez

Mike Krupp

Rakesh Kumar

Jay Kunin

Richard Kuntz

Phil LeBlanc

Brynley Lee

Albert Liu

Magda Marquet

Rob Matthews

Gioia Messinger

Judy Muller Cohn

Gwen Nero

Danielle Rowley

Joe Smith

Garrett Smith

Lynette Tran

Brenda Wallach

Alan Waskin

Kai Wenk Wolff

Charles Zahl

Noam Ziv