Coached to Perfection: IDEA Ventures Gain Knowledge through Personal Mentorship


Photo: Brooks Canaday/Northeastern University

Success as an IDEA venture is dependent on several factors. But in this student-led program, all roads are navigated with the help of IDEA’s coaches. Coaches act as liaisons between ventures and all of IDEA’s resources: business planning, networking, events, legal consulting and funding opportunities.

IDEA Coaches come from within the undergraduate, graduate and alumni communities, and expand a broad range of expertise and experiences. Each coach is paired with ventures that join their portfolio and receive guidance to help them grow and succeed. The coach not only becomes familiar with the inner workings of IDEA, but also provides ventures with the tools they need to be sustainable.

As one of IDEA’s most important and unique assets, coaching focuses its efforts on peer-to-peer mentoring, offering each venture specialized attention. Coaches are diverse in style and offer a wide range of talents, industry experience or academic focus.

Each of IDEA’s 39 coaches are paired with ventures by Head Coach Ben Preston. Coaches are matched based on each venture’s mission and value proposition. By learning the needs and caliber of each venture, Ben is able to pair them with like-minded coaches for a mutually beneficial collaboration. There is no lack of knowledge within the coaching network and the program offers coaches that fit perfectly with any venture. Coaches also offer exposure to different clubs, organizations and resources that often become available to their ventures, as well as connections with different investor groups and field professionals. Many of our coaches are alumni, MBA students, students and startup professionals.

As the caliber of coaches increases, so does that of the ventures. IDEA accepted 31 new ventures in January, of this year, alone! With that, comes an increase in venture diversity, reaching founders of different ages, academic statuses and startup experience. The success of the venture/coaching partnership has created an influx of interest. The reputation of both IDEA and the coaching program has gained considerable traction through media coverage, professional referrals and a positive feedback.

The coaching program has proven to provide ventures with the skills, resources and knowhow to propel them through their business plan and funding, all the way to market entry as strong competitors.

Check out the coaching team on our website and learn how you can get involved!