At GW, mentoring consists of coordinated ongoing engagement with an innovator that can begin well before a business idea or team is formed, if ever. It can last through the development of products and business models, through the acceleration process. 

The common thread throughout our mentoring program is the Lean Startup process of customer discovery and our I-Corps -derived mentoring philosophy:

  • Focus on training the innovator, not the innovation.
  • Never judge the potential of an idea - that's the job of the innovator and their market.
  • Never tell teams what they should do with their idea, just how to develop it, i.e., guidance, not consulting.

In general, GW seeks mentors who are good listeners. Mentors need to understand the innovator, their level of experience, and the stage of the idea to provide appropriate guidance. Often, a researcher has no fixed commercial idea, or even a desire to build a business, but seeks knowledge about where their research can be applied. Students might have very little real-world experiences but want to "build an app." As teams and their ideas advance, assistance can advance and become more specific. 


Mentors with summer office hours below.

Karl Ginter

Serial entrepreneur & mentor to early stage companies.

Product Development / Startup Finance / Management

Gary Grenter

Principal Consultant at Alpha-Flow Management Consulting

MedTech / Product Development / Management

Kate Heath

Director, Student Entrepreneurship

Marketing / Innovation


Mentors In Residence fall semester office hours to be announced.

Irfan Ali

President and CEO, Recurrent Computing, Inc.

Commercialization / Marketing / Team Building

Nazlin Bhimji

Director of Programs at Global Good Fund

Social Venture / International Business / Startup Finance

Jeff Cummings

Mentor for various entrepreneurship programs

Sales & Marketing / Accounting / B2G (Business to Government)

Lokesh Dani

Founder and CEO, Xopolis

Strategy / Research

Bob Smith

Director, I-Corps at GW

Entrepreneur and Instructor