Flinders New Venture Institute

  • nvi@flinders.edu.au
  • (08) 8201 7928
  • Level 2, 1284 South Road Tonsley SA 5042

    Mentor Program

    Innovators/ Entrepreneurs trained

    Students trained

    Industry expert hours

    Welcome to our Mentor Program.

    Have you ever thought about giving back by becoming a mentor? 

    Whether you’ve had great success in your own field, and become an expert along the way, or had a mentor of your own who helped you, mentoring is something you can do that makes a direct difference on someone else’s life. Our mentor program is a core part of what we do, and we’ve made matches that reflect that – between students, business founders, researchers, teachers and participants in our programs.

    Enhance your leadership skills, build networks, shape the people in your community and get all the good feelings from helping people while doing it. Welcome to our mentor program, we’re glad you’re here!

    Thinking of giving back as a mentor?

    The Mentor Program here at Flinders New Venture Institute (NVI) has been at the core of what we do since our inception.

    With programs that support everyone from startup founders, professionals looking to upskill as innovators and university students, we’re committed to matching industry leaders with the people that need a little guidance. 

    NVI connects people who come through our programs with mentors that can help with: 

    • Coaching: Advice at specific points in the program where our participants are looking for feedback and guidance from experts inside and outside of NVI.
    • Community: Expanding the networks of the people who come through our programs looking to meet more likeminded members of the business community.
    • Resources: A deeper investment of time, finances or skills.

    Program overview

    The Mentor Program brings our program participants who are looking to develop their skills and capabilities together with you, industry experienced mentors. The program provides a network for both mentor and participant to develop ongoing relationships by meeting regularly for professional business development in an organised and supportive framework.

    As a mentor within these meetings, you may engage with your program participant in a group or through one on one support, via the provision of constructive feedback and act as a sounding board to help guide your participant toward building a successful idea, innovation or business. 

    There's plenty of reasons to become a mentor with NVI

    The benefits of being a mentor don’t stop at just feeling good about giving back. Our mentor program is designed so that everyone who joins it becomes part of our community, comprised of our team, fellow mentors, participants and supporters from throughout the years. Here’s how.

    We want to celebrate your contribution to the success of our programs, and we do so with regular catchups and networking drinks with our team and your fellow mentors – including one BIG party at the end of each calendar year, just for mentors. We want you to be able to connect with people who can help you, so we make sure our door is always open to you at Flinders at Tonsley, whether you need a place to work from, meet clients or catch up with someone in our team. We provide you with opportunities to build your own skills and expertise through our programs, which you’ll always hear about first.

    Meet some of our mentors

    David Floyd

    David Floyd

    Co-founder & CEO of First On The Beach


    “Serving as a mentor and supporter of NVI has reinforced one simple principle – business is a two-way street! While I’ve enjoyed contributing my more than 35 years’ experience to the numerous business concepts that have come before us, I’ve never failed to learn something new and valuable from every group. This can range from the latest social trends and the underlying problems they’re trying to solve, to the sheer enthusiasm for the opportunities, frustrations and even potential failures that lie ahead.

    The team at NVI actively refine the program in response to community and business demands. If you have skills and knowledge to share, and are open to constantly learning, it’s simple – just get involved!”

    Leila Henderson

    Leila Henderson

    Founder & CEO of NewsMaker 


    “As a long-time mentor, pitch coach and judge of the NVI programs, I’ve learned so much about my own ventures through the eyes of the participants. Like holding up a mirror, I’ve had cause to reflect on what I need to change to succeed. It’s both inspiring and grounding to see what is often just an idea or dream transformed into reality by these young (in stage if not age) entrepreneurs”. 

    Andrew Muecke

    Andrew Muecke

    Business Engagement Partner at Department for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure


    “It makes you realise that you have not only learnt a great deal over your career but that it is worthy of sharing with others. Throughout this program I enjoyed working with people who want to achieve something special with their lives and are ready and willing to put in the effort required. There’s no greater satisfaction in being able to share your experience with others who ultimately use that knowledge in greater ways than you could ever imagine!”

    Programs with mentoring

    We enlist the help of our mentors across four of our programs: Venture Dorm, Flinders Enterprise Consulting, Foment and the Innovative Manufacturing Accelerator. Explore how each of them use mentors by clicking through the accordion below, and see which are best suited to your skills.

    Please note that as a mentor you can choose which sessions to attend from the sections labelled ‘Mentor options’.

    Venture Dorm

    Program overview

    Venture Dorm helps participants take their business, product or service from idea to market validation in just 8 weekly sessions. Participants will have the opportunity to build their skills and capabilities with experienced facilitators and test their ideas with you, the mentor. As a mentor, you’ll provide professional one on one advice and feedback to them and their business idea, helping them solve challenges, refine their pitch and act as a soundboard to help guide their idea to the next level!

    What do we look for in Venture Dorm mentors?

    • Are motivated by the success of startups
    • Are able to provide direct feedback in a sensitive way
    • Open to innovation
    • Prepared to give pitch advice

    Some of our program mentors

    • Greg has over 40 years experience as a management consultant, technologist, corporate re-engineering practitioner (restructuring), multiple start-up founder, innovator, business mentor, strategist, negotiator, business manager, board adviser and company director.

    Connect with Greg

    • Allison was previously an occupational therapist, manager, director and is now CEO and founder of a nationally awarded and internationally recognised application, CareApp.

    Connect with Allison

    • Dylan has over 14 years of experience in the industry, with extensive knowledge in sales, digital media, branding, offline promotional media and graphic design. Dylan’s the founder of Happy Skin Aus and is also a previous Gold eNVIe winner of Venture Dorm.

    Connect with Dylan

    Flinders Enterprise Consulting

    Program Overview 

    Flinders Enterprise Consulting (FEC) gathers high level business students to form a consultancy group. This group focuses on developing and providing evidence-supported recommendations and solutions to a challenge that a real business is facing. Students will first present their recommendations to an advisory board who’ll provide them feedback on the presentations content and offer diverse perspectives to the problem. This process will be repeated a second time so that the student team has a quality presentation and the best advice ready for their client. Mentors will be part of the advisory panel and picked based on how their experience matches with the project. 

    What we look for in FEC mentors

    • Flexible 
    • Open minded 
    • Open to innovation 
    • Can provide criticism in a sensitive way 
    • Has consulting and industry experience 

    Mentor options

    • Advisory panel one (three hours): Advisory board – mentors will join an advisory board consisting of PWC advisory service members to hear student presentations and provide them feedback.
    • Advisory panel two (three hours): Advisory board

    Project Executives

    FEC is currently looking for ‘Project Executives’ who are individuals that are willing to:

    • Actively direct the student team to ensure that the team achieves the needed professional quality to assure a satisfied client
    • Attend class once a week to review and oversee work and client deliverables which will include vetting early student communications, and stepping back gradually
    • Apply what’s taught in class
    • Use the project to teach practical business skills

    If you’re interested in applying to be a Project Executive, contact Angela directly via Angela.difabio@flinders.edu.au.

    Project Executive commitment

    In class and outside class involvement (roughly 6 hours a week)


    Program overview

    FOMENT is Australia’s first Wine, Tourism and Technology accelerator for SMEs, focused on looking critically at participants businesses and introducing them to industry 4.0 tools and techniques. We’re currently in the process of recruiting mentors for the pilot program, which will take six companies through three weeks of intensive bootcamp like sessions of content and mentorship.

    Mentors experienced in wine, tourism and tech will sit in on the sessions and help participants make critical assessments, provide feedback and give non-binding recommendations as they build their prototypes and solutions. Mentors will also have an opportunity to join an advisory board to hear participating company’s solutions and provide in depth feedback and advice. 

    What we look for in Foment mentors 

    • Experience in the Agricultural Technology, Wine or Tourism industries
    • Experienced in business growth or ‘scaling up’ 
    • Are motivated by the success of others
    • Pathway to market experience 
    • Experience in commercialisation 
    • Flexible
    • Open to innovation

    Mentor options

    • Session two (one hour): Workshop – Mentors will sit in on workshops and provide advice and feedback to participants as they work through activities.  
    • Session three (one hour): Advisory board – Mentors will be a part of an advisory board which will view the participating companies solutions and use their industry knowledge and experience to provide in depth feedback. 
    • Session five (one hour): Workshop 
    • Session six (one hour): Advisory board 
    Innovative Manufacturing Accelerator

    Program Overview

    The Innovative Manufacturing Accelerator (IMA) is for small and medium enterprises and startups in the manufacturing industry wanting to explore new opportunities or solve manufacturing problems by building market driven innovation capabilities, utilising industry 4.0 techniques. The key focus of this program is building innovations that are customer centric, making the most out of the latest technology and techniques in advanced manufacturing whilst building transformative business models. Mentors provide their insight to participants within this program in two ways, the first is participating in structured workshops to provide their knowledge and non binding recommendations for the manufacturing challenges presented by the participating companies. The second is to watch the presentations of participating organisations by viewing as a part of an advisory board. Mentors will use their manufacturing experience and knowledge to provide feedback and recommendations on the participants solutions. 

    What we look for in IMA mentors

    • Experience in the manufacturing industry 
    • Are motivated by the success of others 
    • Flexible
    • Open to innovation
    • Experience in commercialisation
    • Experience in product design 

    Mentor options

    • Session two (one hour): Workshop – Mentors will sit with participants as they work through session activities and provide feedback and advice to help projects get to the next stage. 
    • Session three (one hour): Workshop 
    • Session four (one hour): Advisory board – Mentors will form a part of an advisory board where they’ll hear from participating companies and provide feedback to projects. 
    • Session five (one hour): Workshop 
    • Session six (one hour): Advisory board 


    Our programs are held in the following locations:

    1. Venture Dorm: Metro, Mount Gambier, Barossa, Byron Bay 
    2. Flinders Enterprise Consulting: Flinders Victoria Square
    3. FOMENT: Metro 
    4. Innovative Manufacturing Accelerator: Metro


    Have any questions about the Mentor Program?

    If you’d like to know more about the Mentor Program and how you can get involved, contact Angela below.

    Contact number: 8201 7591
    Email: angela.difabio@flinders.edu.au 

    Or to apply, click the button below: