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The Dingman Center's Mentor Program
Dingman Center Mentor Services Policy Dingman Center Mentor Services Policy
1) General

The Michael D. Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship The Michael D. Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship provides mentor services to emerging growth companies in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Northern Virginia. The mentors are experienced entrepreneurs, service providers, and faculty members with expertise in nearly all areas of interest to such firms. The mentors are volunteers to the Dingman Center.

2) Company Eligibility

To be eligible, a company must be defined as "emerging growth." In other words, the business must have prospects for significant revenue growth and job creation. Each company must submit an acceptable business plan/executive summary to the Dingman Center along with its application.

3) Mentor Availability

Mentors are available on a limited basis. Appointments should be planned in advance, and locations of meetings should be selected by mutual agreement.

4) Indemnification

The company agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, its individual mentors, and the University of Maryland from any claim, action, liability or suit arising from actions taken by the company as a result of work performed by the mentors and the Dingman Center for the company.

5) Confidentiality

Mentors and Dingman Center employees will use their best efforts to maintain confidentiality of the company's proprietary information.

6) Mentoring Fees

The company entrepreneur will pay for mentor services at the rate of:

  • $45.00 per hour;
  • $35.00 per hour for all companies belonging to any University of Maryland System (UMS) incubator;
  • FREE for undergraduate and graduate student entrepreneurs enrolled full-time at any University of Maryland System campus and for companies with such students as majority owners.

After the initial consultation, if the entrepreneur contacts the Dingman Center and informs the program manager that the assigned mentor was not suitable to the company's needs, no fee will be charged. This policy only applies to the initial meeting. The companies/entrepreneurs will be billed by the Dingman Center on a monthly basis, and payment will be due within 30 days.

7) Mentor-Company Relationship

a) The University and the State of Maryland have well-defined rules regarding ethics and conflicts of interest. These rules apply to volunteers, as well as to employees of the University. The Dingman Center policy is in full compliance with the above. Furthermore, because the major purpose of the Center is to assist entrepreneurs, it is important that no perceptions of conflict exist in the relationships between mentors and client companies.

b) A mentor will receive no cash payments, nor negotiate for future payments, for his/her services (any payments by client companies will be made to the Center).

c) A mentor will not hold an equity position, nor an option therefor, in a company with which he/she is working as a Dingman Center representative.

d) If a client company and a mentor wish to enter into a paid-consultant or equity relationship, the mentor will disclose this to the Center Director immediately, and he/she will no longer represent the Center while assisting that company.

e) Any relationship between a mentor and a client company with which he/she is working, other than a mentor-client relationship (e.g., paid consultant, stockholder, officer, director) must be fully disclosed to the Center Director.

f) Special provisions for companies in all UMS incubators: in addition to (e), above, the company will also disclose said relationship to the Director of the respective incubator program and it must obtain approval by the UMS entity providing conflict-of-interest guidance prior to any such agreement.

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