Mentors & Advisors

Mentorship is a vital element of any entrepreneur's success. Startup Tucson provides a variety of ways for subject matter experts, business mentors and advisors to "pay-it-forward" to the next generation of innovators. 

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Review the mentoring programs below and complete the Mentor Interest Form to get started! 

Startup Tucson Mentor Program:

Our vision for the Startup Tucson Mentoring Program is to have a diverse, growing group of mentors and subject matter experts who are consistently involved with entrepreneurs, in ways that they find personally fulfilling.


Our desire is that everyone who engages will have a clear sense of what their expectations are for commitment, values, and skills so that everyone can have a phenomenal experience from start to finish. 


Startup Tucson offers the following ways to engage as a mentor depending on your availability, expertise and desire to give.

1) Momentum Mentor Sprint (Commitment Level: High)

2) Action Advisor Program (Commitment Level: Medium)

3) On-Demand Experts  (Commitment Level: Low)

“70% of mentored startups and businesses survive more than 5 years, which is double the rate of the non-mentored businesses in the US.” Inc. Magazine, 2017

More details

Commitment Level: Medium

Action Advisor Program

Action Advisors are subject matter experts that offer “office hours” for entrepreneurs to have brief coaching sessions. Mentors can select how often they would like to be available for “office hours”. When mentors are marked as available, entrepreneurs are able to schedule 30 minutes sessions using an online portal. ​​ Advisor Requirements:

  • Must be a subject matter expert in a tactical/professional skill-set that can be offered in consulting style session format (note: general business consulting or leadership is not an ideal fit)
  • 2+ years experience
  • Commitment to at least one advising block per quarter (advising blocks are 3 hours)
  • Agreement to provide entrepreneur updates to Startup Tucson team
  • Agreement to non-solicitation terms
Entrepreneur Entry Requirements:
  • Startup Network Member
  • High-rate of follow-through (if you consistently miss or cancel appointments at the last minute, you will not be allowed to sign up for future sessions)
  • Commitment to completing advisor feedback surveys

Commitment Level: High

Momentum Mentor Sprint Program

The Momentum Mentor Sprint Program is a two-month structured mentor pairing program to help early-stage companies take their idea to the next level. Each of the companies that will be involved with this program will have completed our Startup Fundamental Series, which will have provided them with the basic building blocks of business (ie. lean business model, customer discovery, market research, and business financials etc). After completing this series, each company will be paired with a mentor for a two month "sprint". Mentors receive training, materials, and structure to help facilitate the experience. Mentor Requirements

  • Must have 10+ years of business/c-suite experience, strong preference for founders or co-founders (industry not critical)
  • Complete Startup Tucson Mentor Training
  • Commits to two months of mentoring, using the structure provided
  • Commits to completing Satisfaction Survey
Startup Company Requirements:
  • Network Members
  • Completed Startup Fundamental Series
  • Have paid the program fee
  • Must have high participation (ie. cancel meetings no less than 24 hours in advance, cancel no less than two sessions)
  • Commits to completing Satisfaction Survey

Commitment Level: Low

On-Demand Experts

On-Demand Experts are individuals that have a particular expertise to share with entrepreneurs. This could be in-depth knowledge into a specific industry, long-time work experience solving a particular problem or in a certain role or a wide background of knowledge in business they are ready to share. On-demand experts are added to Startup Tucson’s database and directly paired with entrepreneurs for one-to-one connection sessions as needed. As the most flexible of our mentoring options, this could mean you receive multiple connection requests a quarter or that you might not be paired with an entrepreneur very often at all -- it will all depend on your area of expertise and the types of entrepreneurs Startup Tucson is working with and their particular challenges. Startup Tucson will make introductions between you as the expert and the entrepreneur, and then you take it from there. Expert Requirements:

  • For those with a particular expertise that is valuable to an entrepreneur
  • 5+ years experience in whatever area identified as expert
  • Agreement to provide entrepreneur updates to Startup Tucson team
  • Agreement to non-solicitation terms
Entrepreneur Entry Requirements:
  • Startup Network Member
  • High-rate of preparedness for expert meeting
  • Ability to follow through (if you consistently miss or cancel appointments at the last minute, you will not be allowed to sign up for future sessions)
  • Commitment to completing feedback survey

Ready to get started?

We are looking forward to getting to know you!

Complete this quick survey to let us know more about you and what you are interested in. If you have more questions, shoot us a quick email. 

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Other ways to get involved:

Sponsor an Entrepreneur

Startup Tucson is a 501(c)3 and we rely and sponsors and donors to ensure that we are able to keep our services and accessible to all.  If you are in a position to sponsor scholarship and programming, you can make a lasting impact in our community. 


Speaking Opportunities 

We have a number of platforms for speakers-- from small and informal like Startup Coffee to the main stage of TENWEST Impact Festival.  We also value workshops and seminars that mentors can offer our community of entrepreneurs. 

Contact Us >>

Startup tucson Mentor spotlight: 
These are just a few of the amazing mentors that give their time to Startup Tucson.

Gene Ragan

Founder, CTO, Senior Engineer

Specialties: Human computer interaction, interface design, iOS, Android, OSX, Data Science, Machine Learning, AWS, Azure, C/C++, Docker, Go/Golang, Objective-C, Java, Javascript, Kubernetes, Lua, Postgres, Python, SQL, Swift, 

Industry Experience: Amazon, Dreamworks Animation, Apple

Founder/Co-Founder: Semitone, Caring Labs, Ptch/DWA Investments, Mediapede

Gina Catalano

Founder, COO, Author, Coach

Fractional COO for growth minded entrepreneurs and companies - the CEO's "Swiss Army Knife"

Specialties:Operations, manufacturing, strategic coach, executive training. 

Industry Experience: Venture Solutions, Arizona MEP, Kelle Company, WMEP

Founder/Co-Founder: La Suprema Works & Events, Barrio + Co,