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College launches Hudson Valley Mentors: Pro bono consultation for regional entrepreneurs

The School of Business at SUNY New Paltz is pleased to announce the creation of Hudson Valley Mentors, a new, pilot program that matches our growing network of pro-bono mentors with local entrepreneurs to help them address business challenges, overcome obstacles and reach milestone goals.

The creation of this program is in partnership with the Sommer Family Foundation. Dan Sommer is an ed tech entrepreneur, was the founder and CEO of Trilogy (acquired by 2U) and CEO and cofounder of Edge Pathways. Cari Sommer is the CEO of RAISE Communications.

Applications are open now to join the initial, free pilot cohort of entrepreneurs, or to join our network of mentors. Use this link for more info and to apply.

Growth-oriented businesses across all industries and sectors are encouraged to apply. Whether your goal is to increase revenue, reach a new audience, better manage your budget, connect with investors, launch a new product, add a key hire to your staff, or address a pain point in your operations, Hudson Valley Mentors exists to help you reach the next level.

“As we look around, Cari and I are excited by the innovation in the Hudson Valley, and believe that connecting experienced entrepreneurs with those starting out on their journey will be critical to advancing business growth and innovation in this area,” said Dan Sommer. “We are delighted to partner with SUNY New Paltz on this initiative.”

“There is overwhelming evidence that mentorship can be a major factor of a business’s success, and Hudson Valley Mentors aims to become the largest hub of business acumen and knowledge in the region,” said Program Manager Eliza Edge. “We want to help local entrepreneurs achieve their growth milestones, and hopefully go on to become mentors themselves, creating a lasting ecosystem of support right here in the Hudson Valley.”

All applicants must meet the following criteria to be considered for mentorship placement:

  1. Located in the Hudson Valley: Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, Ulster, Sullivan, and extending to Greene and Columbia Counties.
  2. Business Stage: Applicants must have at least $500 in revenue AND been in operation for at least 12 months.
  3. Business Revenue: Less than $3 million in revenue over 12 months.
  4. Growth-Oriented: Applicants must have a specific and targeted challenge they want to focus on.

Successful applicants will be matched with mentors who possess a wide range of skillsets to meet diverse challenges faced by businesses at various stages of development. These mentors are passionate about entrepreneurship in the Hudson Valley and committed to sharing their experience and expertise to support regional growth. Mentoring will take place over the course of four to six weeks.

Want to connect with us and learn more? The Hudson Valley Mentors program is hosting a kick-off panel in conjunction with Venture Fest on Thursday, March 4, at 4 p.m. Edge will moderate the panel and will be joined by business leaders including Leon Green, N. Damali Peterman, Dan Leader, and Dan Sommer, whose family foundation committed the funds to establish this pilot program.

Click here for more information about Venture Fest and to sign up.

Hudson Valley Mentors is made possible thanks to a generous contribution from the Sommer Family Foundation to the SUNY New Paltz Foundation.

The program is being realized in collaboration with the School of Business at SUNY New Paltz through the Hudson Valley Venture Hub.