Entrepreneurship Professional Mentor Program

Entrepreneurship Minor

Gain Insight from Seasoned Professionals

The mentor program instills a mentorship component that integrates professionals with undergraduate students at UT Austin who are eager to learn more about professional development, entrepreneurial empathy, business planning, networking, and managing uncertainty.

This mentor program is designed to enable student participants to proactively connect with both local and extended professionals, and discover feedback and insight into the startup community from seasoned professionals across the country. 
Only current UT undergraduate students allowed. Appointments will take place either in-person or via Zoom.
For students, the mentorship program provides an opportunity to obtain “real-world” advice and feedback on startup business ideas for Pitch competitions and other collegiate business competitions, or launch a new venture. For students who have already started a business, the mentorship program can provide guidance about operating and growing a business.

For mentors, the program provides an opportunity to meet and interact with innovative and passionate students, guide students in evaluating their ideas and concepts, and share stories of your successes with entrepreneurship classes and with student entrepreneurship clubs.

Students: The Entrepreneurship Mentorship Program is right for you if:
  • You have an innovative idea for a new venture and would like an experienced entrepreneur to provide feedback to help you determine if the idea is viable, as well as receive guidance on how you can do research and take other actions to proceed.
  • You have written an executive summary or business plan for a Pitch competition or other business competition and would like feedback.
  • You are developing a business idea and have legal and/ or accounting questions and would like general advice on these issues.
  • You have already launched a startup, and seek guidance and feedback on how to get your venture to the next level
  • You are curious about entrepreneurship, and would like to speak to a successful entrepreneur about what’s involved.
  • You would like to invite an entrepreneur to speak to a student club event.

Current Mentors

Isabella Bella Hughes Headshot

Isabella Hughes

Hawai’i FoundHer, Co-Founder

Sunthar Premakumar

REX Real Estate, Executive

Matt Thomas

Academic Works, Co-Founder

Brian Hall

Traverse Legal PLC, Attorney

Tucker Villareal

Richards Rodriguez & Skeith LLP, Partner

Past Mentors

Steve Barcik Amstel

High Tech Design Safety, CEO

Kailey Euceda

Baker Hughes, IP Licensing Program Manager

UT Grad: MS Technology Commercialization, 2020


Douglas Fairbanks

Johnson and Johnson, Global Director of Commercial Development, Robotics

UT Grad: MS Technology Commercialization

Mike Feldman

Alithya Group Inc., Senior Vice President of Oracle Practice

UT Grad: BBA and Master’s of Public Administration, 1994

John Graff

Current: Sonim Technologies, Chief Marketing Officer

Previous: National Instruments, Zebra Technologies, Uhnder

UT Grad: BS Electrical Engineering, 1987

Brandon Hunter

Roog Inc., Founder & CEO

UT Grad: MS Technology Commercialization, 2019

Josh Lawton-Belous

Global Cyber Alliance, Global Business Director

UT Grad: MS Technology Commercialization, 2017

Haydar Manaf

Babel Alchemy, Co-Founder

Mark Matterhorn

Kitchen Pantry LLC, Founder

UT Grad: MS Technology Commercialization, 2019

Lance McNeill

City of Austin’s Economic Development Dept., Small Business Program Manager

UT Grad: Master’s of Public Affairs, 2015

Neha Pachade

Cognizant, Senior Consultant (Product Owner)

UT Grad: MS Technology Commercialization, 2020

Kathleen Rochard

Serent Capital, Senior Director

UT Grad: MS Technology Commercialization, 2014

Nathalie Rovall

Indeed, SMB Senior Product Strategist

UT Grad: BBA Finance, 2017

Dr. Nicholas Styles

Children Story Time LLC, Founder and CEO

Lucy Wu

SparkCognition, Director of Strategy & Corporate Development

UT Grad: BBA Accounting, 2009

Hear from the Mentors

“Very satisfying experience! It was a joy giving back.”


“We formed a good bond and I will make myself available as a resource going forward for my mentee.”


“[It was satisfying] to watch the mentee and their business concept evolve.”

Make a Connection!

Here’s what the mentors say are the characteristics of an ideal mentee:

  • coachable
  • passionate
  • intelligent
  • affable
  • ambitious
  • conceptualization skills
  • organization
  • inquisitive mindset

“Someone who is eager to acquire perspective and try out different techniques for growth challenges. Engaged, interested, and inquisitive. Mentors can help solve problems or guide career experiences. I think it’s important to have a mentee who shows up with questions about what they want to do with their future. It’s ok to not know what you want to be and to be exploring interests. Mentors can help talk through it.”

Hear from the Mentees

“I have benefitted so much from this mentorship! [My mentor] connected me with another one of his mentors… who is helping connect me to events that go on in [my field]. [He] also encouraged me to take action on one of my business ideas and helped me with the first steps that I needed to go through to launch it.”


“I was able to receive both entrepreneurial advice and career advice from my mentor which helped me discover what I wanted to do during my final semester of college.”


“I think overall I learned that I am on the right path and having the ‘discovery’ mindset in college is something I should take advantage of. [My mentor] helped me see that there are careers in [my field] that will allow me to combine my entrepreneurial mindset with [my field] and overall made me very excited about what the future has to hold. I learned so much about what it is going to take to start my business and am very excited to continue putting in the work to make it a reality.”


“We had very similar interests and a lot of [my mentor’s] background covered careers that I have been interested in so it was really nice getting to talk with him about what he like/disliked about each job he has held.”