This week we are launching our campaign to wrangle mentors for our 3rd class of Freshman Founders! These mentors are critical to achieving our goal of welcoming the incoming UT students to the Austin startup community. Last year we had a community of more than 50 incredible mentors, and this year we’re looking to maintain that number.

This post lays out what we expect out of our mentors and what mentors can expect to get out of Freshman Founders. The program is expected to run from September 2015 until March 2015, and the complete program schedule will be available in mid-August. Learn more about the two tracks here.


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Why you should be a Freshman Founders mentor

Help cultivate Austin’s next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. Austin’s startup community is packed with Longhorns, and Freshman Founders is built to continue that legacy.

Meet UT’s best and brightest freshmen at Freshman Founders events. We don’t expect every Freshman Founder to go start their own business. No promises, but maybe they will be the next employee at your startup.

Stay in regular contact with the rest of the Freshman Founder mentor community and student management team. Our returning mentors include John Arrow and Dr. Bob Metcalfe. With both new and returning mentors, our community will be flush with the entrepreneurial leaders of Austin, Texas!

Our expectations of Freshman Founders mentors

We don’t expect you to make every single event; however, we ask that you make as many as possible. Our goal is to make each event worth your time, as well as the Freshman Founder’s time.

Get to know the freshmen in the program. We want a lot of interaction between mentors and freshmen, not just between mentors! Meet with a couple of students a month, and be available to talk via phone with students who take a particular interest in you. Offer advice and introductions, but only if you are comfortable doing so.

Provide feedback to the Freshman Founders management team to help us make the program better next year.

Big mentor no-nos.

Please focus on creating opportunities for students, not selling your product or recruiting.

Please become close with students, but don’t pursue romantic relationships with students you meet at Freshman Founders.

Interested in being a mentor?

Email LEA Director Xinyi Wang at

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